Chances by Jaime Scarfuto
Publisher: Jaime Scarfuto
Publication Date: March 2016
In high school, I thought I’d end up with James. In college, I thought I’d end up with Alex. As the years went on being with Alex wasn’t what I wanted anymore. I wasn’t being loved and cared for, I was being neglected and forgotten. After the final straw I had enough and started my life over. Being alone for the first time in almost six years. Little did I know, my high school reunion was right around the corner and maybe a second chance to be with James too. But was that what i wanted? Who doesn’t want to end up with their high school sweetheart? or is there someone else out there for me?
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Chances features Jeanie Camello, who is just realizing that her boyfriend of over five years is no longer the right guy for her. Soon after she breaks up with Alex, she receives an invitation to her ten year High School reunion. Believing that this would be the chance for her to get answers about a failed almost-relationship from ten years ago, she decides to attend the get together.
From the synopsis, you’ll probably get the impression that most of the story revolves around the reunion (like I did). That’s not the case here; in fact, the reunion happens to be a very minor aspect of this story.
I would describe Jeanie as someone who is sometimes blind to the obvious. James, her high school crush was (and still is) evidently not very interested in a relationship; but somehow, she has never noticed. Her relationship with Alex has been on a downward spiral for a long time; but everyone excluding Jeanie is aware of that fact.
With the help of various flashbacks, it’s possible to have insight to Jeanie’s high school days and the events that transpired between her and James (the almost- boyfriend). It’s not hard to miss the fact that Jeanie is more worried about a relationship that didn’t even happen a decade ago than she is about the five year relationship that just ended.
In the beginning of the story, we see a lot of Jeanie’s closest friends; but as the story proceeds, they only get together whenever Jeanie wants to have some girl talk about her love life. Even Gabby, who’s supposed to be her room mate, is always unavailable with the excuse that she’s staying over at her boyfriend’s house. Jeanie’s other BFF, Gavin, is pretty much the same as Gabby, since he’s only ever present when there’s a part he’s playing in the story (which is not often).
I would say my main issue with Chances is Jeanie, herself. She spent ten years bemoaning a relationship and wanting answers; but when the chance comes for her to get closure, she’s suddenly interested in forgetting about the past and focusing on the present. That, coupled with the fact that the story’s not character- driven ended up being the deal breaker form me with this book.
Overall, Chances didn’t exactly succeed in rocking my world but if you can overlook the little things that don’t really add up, you’ll have an easy read that will appeal to readers who are not a finicky as I am.
Guest review contributed by 1-800 Books. Janey provides book reviews, blog tours, cover reveals, and book blitzes.