Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Young Adult / New Adult
Release date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Reprobatio, Ltd
Sage’s life as a teenage runaway in San Francisco is simple: Snatch a few hours of sleep on park benches and bus stops; dodge perverts, predators, and cops; and make enough as a street musician to eat. But her world flips upside down when she meets Derek – hot, tattooed, and charming, a singer from Seattle whose looks and talent take her breath away.
What begins as a reluctant partnership quickly develops into a cross-country race against time – and awakens a hunger in Sage that’s unfamiliar and exciting.
As they travel from coast to coast, Sage and Derek pursue their dream, only to discover that they can never run far enough to escape the demons from their pasts.
Less Than Nothing is the breakout debut NA novel from USA Todaybestseller R.E. Blake that critics are buzzing about and readers can’t put down. Sage & Derek’s story continues in More Than Anything (book 2) and Best of Everything (book 3)
Now I’m not very much of a young adult reader but I read the blurb and was intrigued so I decided to give this a go. And was I glad of that choice! It wasn’t filled with the usual teenage drama but had a knack for showing the reader something a little different to what they’re used to. It’s a beautiful story, one that refuses to let you go after you finish reading.
This story embarks on a journey of a girl named Sage who’s succumbed to the tragedies of life and has to do what she must to ensure her survival. The only option left for her than the unstable home life she had to endure was to run away and try and make it on her own, day by day as a kid with no home. While most girls her age would spend their time trying to tackle their school work or consuming their free time with their friends, Sage is required to spend her day playing her guitar, providing a source of entertainment on the street, trying to make enough just to purchase herself a bite to eat. Her nights spent sleeping various places for only a couple of hours out of fear that someone will try to take advantage on herself on her own. And then she happens to meet Derek one day, sitting across the street from where she regularly plays her guitar for a few bucks, and he’s setting up his own place to play after watching her. As the blurb states: ‘hot, tattooed, and charming, a singer from Seattle whose looks and talent take her breath away.’ After some contemplation and having the chance to witness how great they perform as a duo they decide that performing together would earn them each more than they do separately. And before she realises, they’re travelling across the country together, on a path to better their future and make their lives about living more than mere survival on a daily basis.
I think the biggest strength this whole book possessed was originality. I don’t think I have yet come across a story recently that deviates from the normal drama of young adults and goes to peer in to the lives of teenagers without homes. It explores the difficulties that they face regularly, only thinking about how their day will end while the rest of us with comfortable homes to go to busy ourselves planning our futures, things we have no guarantee for. But don’t get me wrong, this book isn’t all that serious. Everything is toned down with a patch of humour, there’s an easy going vibe plummeting throughout the whole story. It’s funny in various places and makes you laugh. Like may be not having a home to go at the end of each day isn’t that bad as long as you try to make an honest living, keep recognising the little things in life and having people to create bonds with. What really touched me was how lonely Sage was without her truly realising it. Even though this book doesn’t encounter on the path of telling the reader that sob story, I was thrilled for her when she crossed paths with Derek.
Not every story is perfect and the only little issue I experienced was a certain temper tantrum that Sage has towards the end of this book. I can’t really say what in detail but when she takes a major step without waiting to hear what Derek has to say, didn’t seem like what someone should do when they witness the person they’re close to do something that they don’t particularly agree upon. I don’t think she recognised the consequences of her actions may not necessarily be for the best. But I probably failed to realise that she’s young and doesn’t have much experience of the world therefore can make some quick decisions without giving it much thought. That was the only time I saw the whole ‘teenage drama’ situation make an appearance but it quickly faded as the tension built up and the consequences that had to my likeability of this book were never as dire as I first assumed.
I know for a fact I am going to be reading the upcoming parts to this series ‘More Than Anything’(book 2) and ‘Best Of Everything’ (book 3) because I simply cannot wait to rediscover what the world of Sage and Derek will hold now. Because we never really want the good books we read to ever really end. I highly recommend this read to anyone who’s looking to spend their reading time lost in a book that has something a little different in store for them. Add this to your to read lists!
My stomach free-falls – his voice matches his looks. No, it’s actually better than that. It’s mesmerizing to listen to, the timing of his inflection just unexpected enough to make it seem like he’s toying with the words, rolling them around in his mouth like wine tasters do in the movies, then setting them down for gentle landings at the last possible instant.
I’m not a vagrant or a bum. I don’t want charity. There’s effort and skill involved, which is why people toss their money into the case. I entertain them, and if I do it competently enough, they pay me for a job well done. Just because I’m not changing tires or working in a factory doesn’t mean what I do doesn’t have value.
Visit the Author’s website: http://reblake.com/