Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Third Degree by Julie Cross

By 11:05 AM , , , , , ,

Third Degree
   by: Julie Cross

Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Random House Flirt
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 240 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Fans of Monica Murphy and Tammara Webber will savor this New Adult novel—a story about coming of age in the heat of the moment—from Julie Cross, the internationally bestselling author of the Tempest trilogy.

I used to be “Isabel Jenkins, child prodigy.” As lame as that sounds, at least it was an identity. But now I’m not sure what I am. I just failed the most important exam of my life—the emotional readiness test required to get into a medical residency program—and it turns out my parents can’t stand each other. Now I’m trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces of my life, and that means re-enrolling as a college freshman, but this time I’m shutting the books and majoring in being eighteen.

But so far, my roommate hates me and I’m not into the party scene. The only good thing about school has been getting to know my insanely hot RA. Marshall Collins makes me wonder about everything I missed while I was growing up too fast. Pretty soon we’re hanging out constantly, but for the first time, I find myself wanting more than a no-strings-attached physical relationship. And the lesson I really need is one Marsh definitely can’t teach me: love. Because I’m going to be alone forever if I don’t learn fast.

Ok all you New Adult lovers- are you ready for this?
Finally we have a different type of storyline! No bad boy meets good girl trying to reform him or vice versa, no virginal main characters, and no page after page of angst! Instead we have a main character who is so intelligent and gifted that she does not know how to act socially. Her social awkwardness is OFF THE CHARTS. This did make it a bit more difficult to connect with Izzy as she really has no filter and says what she is thinking. However, as the story progresses and with a little help from a cute college RA, Izzy starts to learn social cues and what is and is not socially acceptable. There were so many times I chuckled at Izzy's inner and outer dialogue because she really didn't have a clue as to how to engage in acceptable social behaviors.
Marshall (Marsh) is probably my favorite character. After Izzy's dreams get put on the backburner, she is forced to adapt and do what a normal 18 year old would do: go to college. It is here she meets Marsh, as he is her RA. Marsh is sweet, funny, and ends up taking Izzy under his wing as her social ineptness is going to get her in serious trouble. He doesn't want that for her and ends up becoming one of the few people Izzy can call a friend. As the two spend time together, her helping him with his A&P studying, and he with her social skills, the two end up forming more than just a friendship and now have feelings to deal with as well. Marsh knows he shouldn't do this with Izzy, as relationships between RA's and residents are frowned upon. The rules go out the window once Izzy discovers that there is more to Marsh than she ever thought and she is there for him in a capacity he won't let anyone else be.
Marsh's situation really raised awareness for me, as I had no idea exactly what that situation entailed and I have a student who is also in the same position Marsh is. My heart broke for exactly what Marsh is going through, but I absolutely loved Izzy's persistence to have Marsh let her in.
Marsh and Izzy's relationship is a really cute one and I loved reading about them. Cross added just the right amount of steam between the two and I felt their relationship developed naturally and fluidly. That's not to say it's perfect by any means. Marsh and Izzy definitely have their kinks to work out. Both are incredibly stubborn individuals and Izzy must learn how to deal with new revelations that will impact everything she's ever known about herself.
For the most part, I was engaged in this story and I really enjoyed how different it was from other New Adult novels. Yet, there was something that just kept me from being blown away by this one. I'm not sure if it was my initial struggle to connect with Izzy or if it was something else, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is that didn't work for me. I definitely applaud Cross for creating such a uniquely different heroine and I really liked the development of her relationship with Marsh, as well as Kelsey (her roommate). Izzy is still young and while she may feel as if her life is coming down around her, things happen for a reason and in the long run she will appreciate this 'time-out' from the medical world, as it really makes her stop and think about what she wants for her life.

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  1. I have got to read this one! I love that it doesn't follow the typical path and that the heroine is so different. Plus now I am very curious about Marsh. Great review Jessica!

    1. Yes! It's a lot of fun! I like different, quirky heroines!

  2. Hmm... this one sounds pretty interesting. I am ALL FOR something new, fresh and unique! I can be awkward too (LOL) so maybe I can relate to her more? (probably not the same thing, but whatevs)

    Great review lady! I will check this one out :)

    1. I am too! These days I NEED unique and fresh!

  3. Izzy reminds of Sheldon from TBBT from what you're saying, lol, and if so, this should be a funny read. Sucks that it wasn't all that amazing though.

    1. YES! She is totally the female Sheldon! LOL. It was funny, but there was just something a little bland to it.

  4. I love when books break the NA barriers and dare to be different. I have just finished Letters to NoWhere by Julie and I loved it so I'm eager to try more of her work.

    Even with the issues you had, I'm still keen. Great review Jess :)

    1. Me too! I really can't wait to read Letters to Nowhere! I won that a while back but haven't gotten to it!

  5. Great Review Jess! I have this one for review, and am reading it tuesday or wednesday. I love that the storyline is unique and fresh. You have me very curious about what Marsh is going through that you also have a student going through. I hope I connect with Izzy. I can see how it would be difficult with her being such an awkward character though. Have a great week friend :)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    1. Thanks Lindy! I'm glad to see you enjoyed this one!


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