Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: Crushed by Dawn Rae Miller

Title: Crushed
Author: Dawn Rae Miller
Publisher: FinnStar Publishing
Publish Date: Dec. 11th, 2012

For seventeen-year-old serial womanizer Fletch Colson, life is a game and if he plays by the rules, he’ll win it all: his dream college, his parents’ money, and a hot (if a little vapid) girl on his arm. Really, it couldn’t be easier. All he has to do is get good grades, live a privileged boarding school life, and try not to mess up too much.

However, when he accepts the seemingly impossible bet to change his ways and be “just friends” with smart, beautiful, tempting Ellie Jacobs – a girl who seems hell bent on confusing him - Fletch’s whole world is turned upside down.

Suddenly, what seemed simple and clear, no longer feels right and Fletch must decide if winning it all is worth losing a piece of himself.

CRUSHED is a New Adult book. It has profanity and sexual situations, and is intended for ages 16+.

Crushed by Dawn Rae Miller is a coming of age story about a boy struggling with decisions about his future while trying to maintain a relationship with a girl without letting it go farther than friendship. This was a difficult book for me to rate because while I did enjoy the story, I just wasn't the biggest fan of the actions of the main character, Fletch.

I don't usually enjoy stories where the only things the characters do are get high, drunk, or have sex. I just don't. Not only do I hate characters that have nothing else going for them in their lives, but I just find stories like that boring to read. I started Crushed thinking I was getting an awesome high school romance, with decent amounts of sexiness, but what I discovered about halfway through the book was that all of the characters were only interested in getting stoned, drunk, or laid. That's not to say the story wasn't interesting or entertaining, it just wasn't what I wanted to read and the characters weren't growing or changing as much as I would have liked. I got bored and it started taking me longer and longer to start reading again once I put the book down.

I hate to admit it, but I'm always a little wary about books with a male narrator. Sometimes they're awesome, but other times it can feel like all the narrator does is whine about the beautiful, wonderful, perfect girl he likes. Crushed sort of falls victim to the curse of the boy narrator. Fletch is a smooth talking, womanizer who never gets emotionally close to any of the girls he's with. But, unfortunately, he's practically obsessed with his childhood friend Calista, the girl he lost his virginity to three years ago. At least Fletch doesn't whine about how in love with her he is, but he does keep thinking that he loves her, even when his actions prove otherwise. Basically, this is only an issue because I hated Calista. She was the standard beautiful girl who was only using Fletch and toying with his feelings for her. This is why I usually hate reading from a guy's point of view. It seems more times than not, a male protagonist is always "in love" with a girl like that and it drives me nuts. You would think, a smart guy like Fletch, would be able to see Cal's actions for what they were and tell her to beat it.

Fletch was a likable narrator, even though he could be whiney and even downright douchey at times. It took most of the book, but eventually he came around and got his act together. One of the good things about Fletch being the narrator is that Miller had his voice down perfectly. I really felt like I was in the head of a spoiled private school boy.

Ellie was an okay love interest. I did like her, but for a supposedly good girl, she flashed her panties more times than most of the supposed "slutty" girls throughout the book. But she did give Fletch something to work toward. Because of his blossoming friendship with her, he realized that he could and should do what makes him happy, instead of blindly following in his father's footsteps. And he learned that he needed to start respecting girls and not just using and losing them.

Crushed is an angsty read, but a good read nonetheless. The characters are flawed (very flawed in some cases) and most don't seem to learn any moral lessons throughout, but they seem real for what they are. Rich, privileged children who have no parental guidance. I didn't grow up in that sort of environment, but I can imagine life at a high-priced boarding school to be similar to the one Miller writes about.

Crushed is definitely a mature YA or New Adult novel. With detailed descriptions of drug use and sexual situations, it's probably not suitable for younger readers. But it was a good read that I know a lot of readers will enjoy.

For more about Crushed check out these sites!


  1. Great review! It's so true how books with male narrators have a harder time trying to explain where the book is leading to because the emotions are all over the place, not to mention the ever-forbidden womanizer act.

    -Angie @YA Novelties

  2. Great review. I sometimes find male narrators are great for a change, but it depends on the story and how the characters evolve. I really like the cover and I hadn't heard of this one before. Thanks for sharing.

    Katie ~ Turner’s Antics

  3. Great review! I am definitely interested in ths one because the plot sounds good and I love flawed charactrs. I lso get a little nervous when I read book with a male narrator but if it's done well then I love it.


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