Risking It All
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 18th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
A high-achieving teen who’s determined to become a fighter jet pilot is matched up with an accused criminal at an elite military boarding school in SM Koz’s YA novel, Risking It All.
Paige knows exactly what she wants—to graduate from Wallingford Academy and become a pilot in the US Air Force. She’s inherited her father’s no-nonsense attitude and whip-smart intelligence, all of which have made her the perfect Wallingford cadet.
Wallingford Academy is the last place in the world Logan wants to be. But after his girlfriend borrows his car and commits a crime, Logan takes the fall and ends up there with hopes of striking a decent plea bargain. For him, graduation can’t come soon enough.
When Paige is asked to mentor Logan, it’s the perfect opportunity to prove her leadership skills—but she doesn’t account for the feelings that start to develop or the baggage from Logan’s past which could threaten both of their futures.
I went into this book with a lot of hope AND a lot of trepidation. As a military veteran from a military family, I’ve found that it’s often really hard for authors without an actual military background (which, it doesn’t appear Koz has, I tried to look it up) to realistically portray the environment without being either completely kitschy or derogatory. Risking It All was a pleasant surprise on that front! While the action takes place at a military prep school, not in the military, it was fairly balanced and neutral in attitude. There was no political agenda (either to the left or right).
Paige was awesome – uptight, but awesome. I loved her so much and could totally identify with her attitude and her heart. It IS really hard, especially at that age, to learn to balance career aspirations and relationships. Logan was cute, if kind of hard to sympathize with…he really got himself into his original mess, and let himself be taken advantage of…but then had a giant chip on his shoulder. Eh, puppy love, I suppose. He was adorable AND had amazing guitar skills, so that kind of made up for it.
Overall I gave this book 4/5 stars. Recommended for cute teenage romance and interesting/unusual setting for a YA novel!
SM Koz was born in Michigan, but moved to North Carolina for college and never left. She enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, photography, reading, spending time with foster kids who call her house home, and learning new things. When she’s not creating online training for pharmaceutical companies (her day job) or writing, Koz can be found at the local community college taking courses on various topics ranging from digital art to HTML to desktop publishing. SM Koz has written six novels. Although her stories differ by genre, ranging from contemporary realism to sci-fi to fanfiction, two things they all have in common are a young or new adult focus and romance. If you’d like to learn more about SM Koz, check her out on social media.
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