Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Date Read: April 26, 2014
Genre: NA - Contemporary Romance
Source: BETA Copy from Janelle Stalder
Art student, Olivia Banks, was living her dream at an exclusive school when everything came crashing down around her. Now back in the small town she grew up in, she's forced to spend her senior year at her old school where she's known as the 'freak', all because she'd rather focus on her painting than the trivial drama of high school. But things aren't the same as they were when she left. And the one thing that is turning her life upside down the most just happens to be the resident bad boy, Colt Morgan. Her senior year was supposed to fly by so she could pack up and leave again, but what happens when there's suddenly a reason to want to stay?
"You touch her and I'll break you're hands."
I have been such a huge Janelle Stalder fan since I read her debut novel, Eden. It blew me away and since that day I have been devouring each and every book than Janelle puts out. Whether it be fantasy or dystopia, YA or NA Janelle was fast becoming one of my all time favourite authors... and then came her first ever contemporary novel... and Janelle is definitely one of my favourite authors of all time. I really can't figure out why Janelle hasn't wrote a contemporary novel before now... she is definitely one of the best in the genre if Brush Strokes is anything to go by.
Olivia had everything. The perfect life. She was living the dream at a prestigious art school and nothing could be better. But then everything came crashing down and she is suddenly faced with her senior year back at her old school where she is dubbed as the freak just because she is different. But everything isn't the same. resident bad boy and next door neighbour, Colt, who Olivia has had a crush on forever is actually noticing that she exists. Can she trust the womanizer to actually be different with her? Or will she end up with a broken heart?
I absolutely loved every single second of this book. Once again Janelle's excellent writing style and characterisation drew me in right from the start and I just couldn't put this book down. Janelle is so amazing and she has just proved that she can write absolutely anything and just be amazing. Brush Strokes is no different. It completely takes over your life and you will find yourself putting everything on your to-do list to one side until you have devoured this book in it's entirety in one sitting.
Janelle's characters are all fantastic and Olivia and Colt are no different. What I loved the most about them is that they both have pretty bad pasts but none of them are really traumatic. What you find in the majority of NA Contemporary novels is that the girl will have a really traumatic thing that has happened to her so I found it really refreshing that Olivia didn't. I also found it really refreshing that Colt has a bad past. It's very rare to find the guy having a bad past too and I loved that. It really made both characters really relatable, because they weren't perfect... but that in it's own way makes them perfect characters.
I loved Brush Strokes so much. It was just absolutely amazing. It had everything that you would want in a contemporary romance novel. It was sweet and flirty, sexy and swoony and packed full of heart-racing romance. I loved that Janelle had an arty influence right the way through the book, not only with Olivia but by putting a art-related quote at the start of each chapter. I absolutely loved reading them.
The ending of this book will have your mind-spinning. I had figured it out right at the start of "that chapter" before it was revealed but I know that it had a lot of people taken by surprise and freaking out. It just proves how much of an incredible author Janelle is. If there is only one NA novel that you read this year make sure that it is Brush Strokes. It's utter perfection wrapped up in an exceptional written package. It will steal your heart and leave you breathless.
"I want to be able to walk up to you at school and kiss you until neither of us can think straight, and then do it again and again and again, throughout the entire day so that every damn person in that schools knows you're mine."