REVIEW: More Than This by Jay Mclean

Published: August 1, 2013

Publisher: Self Published

Pages: 311 Pages

Format: Paperback (purchased)

RRP:  $12

5/5 Stars

*Mikayla*
In one night my fairytale ended. Or it may have begun. This is my story of friendship and love, heartbreak and desire, and the strength to show weakness.

*Jake*
One night I met a girl. A sad and broken girl, but one more beautiful than any other. She laughed through her sadness, while I loved through her heartbreak.

*This is our story of a maybe ever after.*

He was right. It made no difference whether it was 6 months or 6 years.
I couldn’t undo what had been done. I couldn’t change the future.
I couldn’t even predict it.
It was one night.
One night when everything changed.
It was so much more than just the betrayal.
It was the Tragedy.
The Deaths.
The Murders.
But it was also that feeling.
The feeling of falling.

So until I signed up to attend the Indie Authors Down Under event, I’d never heard of Jay McLean. Having signed up and now read all three books in this amazing series, I can honestly say it was the best decision I’ve ever made!

More Than This is book one in Jay McLean’s New Adult series. It’s the story of Mikayla (aka Micky) and Jake, who meet under rather unfortunate circumstances, bond under heartbreaking situations and fall in love. It’s beautifully written, deeply emotional, and simply a powerful read. One I highly recommend to any fan of the New Adult genre, or romance in general.

Mikayla’s life is shattered into a million pieces the night she first meets Jake, and not the good kind of shattered. In the space of a few hours she’s caught her boyfriend cheating and come home to a crime scene investigation. The world is not her friend, but Jake is willing to be. When her world dropped out from underneath her, he picked up her and held her close. In the following days and weeks he becomes her rock, anchoring her to the real world. One she would never forget, or be able to repay. But living in such close proximity, and with such intense feelings and intimate moments, it’s hard not to straddle the line between friends and what lies beyond. But is Mikayla willing to take that step? and can she let anyone else in? Only time will tell.

More Than This embodies everything I love about romance novels. Mikayla’s world has been turned upside down and she’s naturally distraught. When Jake sweeps into to rescue her, she is more than willing to give him the reigns and allow him to be her knight in shining armour. But what got me, and made me completely fall in love with these characters and their struggles, was the ideology that Jake truly loves Mikayla, the whole Mikayla. He meet her when she was at her lowest point and he guided her slowly but surely out from the black hole of despair. Marilyn Monroe once famously proclaimed that “if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as Hell don’t deserve me at my best”, and I think that fits this novel to a tee, because Jake is more than fighting for Mikayla, he’s fighting for their future that they don’t even know exists yet. And he’s doing it while she’s at her worst, because he can and wants to see her at her best. After everything he does for her and everything the pair witness, god knows he deserves the chance to see it come true.

At the heart of this novel, is the concept of choice and the consequences that may ensue based on our individual actions. I particularly loved this concept, especially after Mikayla’s prom night is pretty much obliterated right in front of her when she catches her boyfriend and best friend cheating, and even more so based on the events that occur later that same night (don’t worry I won’t spoil that surprise for you!). But rather than indulge in teenage angst and sulk, and play the victim card, Mikayla chooses to embrace life and unknown. She makes the decision then and there as her heart is breaking in the restaurants bathroom, that she wants to be happy. She’s choosing to be happy. So instead of going home and feeling sorry for herself she takes newcomer Jake’s offer to hang out with him and his friends at their prom. That decision takes not only guts, but determination and a lot of willpower on her behalf. When Micky made this decision, I sat up straighter and knew that this wasn’t going to be your average New Adult novel. Nor where the characters going to by whinny so-and-so’s. And let me tell you, it was a relief to discover such strong, individual characters who were willing to embrace life despite the shit thrown their way.

More Than This is a breathtaking, heartbreaking novel that is sure to wind up romantics everywhere. The writing is snappy, with narrative tensions cleverly tuned and maintained. What’s more it features a cast of colourful characters that straight away you just want to get to know more. With a wide cross range of characters (Parents, younger siblings, friends, relatives, class mates, rivals etc), there’s someone there that you are bound to instantly connect with and draw you into the narrative. Which is just as well really, because with this author and this narrative, you’re not just going to read the character’s story, but your going to witness it unfolding right before your eyes. You are going to FEEL everything – the highest highs and deepest lows, emotional and mental insecurities and physical achievements, your going to get it all and feel everything.

So if your looking for a romance book with the right about of humour, tears, and emotional upheaval, and the perfect book boyfriend of course, well then look no further, because you have to give this book ago. Words cannot express how truly amazing it is, for it is a book you not only read, but feel. A book I’m sure to love for a long time to come.

Oh and make sure when you read it, that you have access to book two, because although there’s not a cliff hanger per-say for this book, there is an epilogue last line that is going to leave you hanging and wanting more. I know I demanded to know more instantly, and fortunately for me, I had book two, More Than Her, beside me ready to go!

To grab a copy of this amazing book head on over to Amazon for both print and e-copies, or buy straight from Jay McLean and a get a signed print copy here.

Books in the More Series so far:

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