It's been a while since I've read a book resembling this one. In a way it's a typical New Adult, yet there is something about both characters as well as the setting of a college sorority that almost made these two (and the people around them) feel even younger than they actually were. Yet both MC are dealing with difficult issues - Jack with the loss of his parents and Ed with financial problems which also impact his struggle with coming out as gay.
Jackson Murphy and Marcus Reynolds are best friends, just like their dads used to be. They are even sharing the same exact room their fathers shared in their own years at Harrison college. Yet the excitement is more bitter than sweet considering the accident that resulted in the death of both Jack's parents. He is still dealing with it, having panic attacks but Marcus' presence helps.
Jack loves a fun bet, but when he finds himself betting said room as well as his place in the sorority against coming with a date to a dance he starts to doubt his ability considering his bad luck dating guys from college. His hope is renewed, at least for a little bit, when he meets Ed.
Edward Knowles is the sort of endearing shy guy you want to hug like a teddy bear. At least that's the vibe I got from him - I SO wished we got his POV as well (we only got Jack's). He has a loving family and that's a part of the reason he is simply unable to risk their approval with coming out to them. With every minute he spends with Jack, every text sent/received he wants more yet he is paralyzed with fear of the consequences. He doesn't know about the bet. Jack would rather not put him on the spot.. But naturally it only makes things worst for Jack who doesn't want to disappoint Marcus as well if he can't bring Ed and he doesn't feel right bringing anyone else (not that there is anyone out there..).
Besides our sweet not so innocent couple there are also Jack's other friends Brittany and Seth who finds their way into each other's arm, as well as Nessa who Marcus can't get away from. All of them together with a few others from the sorority makes Jack's life more complicated but mostly fun. They can count on one another and though Jack doesn't have any real family left, he can find a sort of family feel with them. Well, aside from Harper and his cronies (who made the bet in the first place).
I liked this book but I can't say I loved it. I was frustrated with Ed quite a lot. I wanted him to stop being afraid and ACT on what he feels. I also think that though Jack used to be in therapy after his parents' death he needs more now considering the amount of flashbacks and panic attacks he had during the book. I would have liked for the issue to be dealt in a more professional way. For me it's a more of a rounded up 4 stars I guess. Though I'm excited to see where Anyta and Andy take us in the next installment of Darren Gage (who used to be one of Harper's cronies) and Isaiah Nettles (whom we haven't met yet). And you know what? After reading "Better Have Heart" I'm a puddle of goo. Perfection!
I kindly received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
This book is out TODAY - June 1st - Grab it now through Amazon / KU.
30-31 May 2020
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Harrison Campus is a New Adult series by Anyta Sunday and Andy Gallo. It contains 3 books and one novella, all revolving college life and finding true love against the odds. All novels are EXTREMELY endearing and sweet, with the most delicious slow burn.
1. Better Be Sure [Jackson Murphy & Edward "Ed" Knowles] (Published 1 June 2020) ★★★★
2. Better Have Heart [Darren Gage & Isaiah Nettles] (Published 1 July 2020) ★★★★★
3. Better Be True [Nico Giacomo Amato & Lucas "Luke" DeRosa] (Published 3 August 2020) ★★★★★
3.5 Better For You [Evan Tergen & Charlie O’Leary] (published 1 March 2021) ★★★★