I had no real grasp of what Stop! was about before going into the book, which I was able to get through a goodreads group. The novel follows Hollis Murphy as she navigates her first year of college. She has major anxiety issues due to severe burns on her face and arms from an accident, and mean girls don't help. While figuring out how to overcome her anxiety, she not only gets paired up with a seemingly weird roommate, but bumps into a certain boy a couple times that she can't take her eyes off of.
While Stop! was a much darker read than I anticipated, I enjoyed where Alison G. Bailey took it. However, the last third of the book did seem really rushed. So much was happening in so little of time that I had a hard time suspending my disbelief. Besides that fact, this was a pretty good book. I do wish some characters were fleshed out more, like Hollis' roommate and her best friend.
I would recommend this for anyone who wants a refreshing contemporary novel that focuses on topics that are ignored far too often. There is a great LGBTQ+ plot to the story, and I loved it. A lot of the times books capture everyone as being straight, which is not realistic. Though I personally do not feel the struggle of being part of the community and feeling oppressed my society, I think Bailey captured it very well.
Another plot point that I don't see often enough is the fact that the main character is a trauma survivor. A lot of the times in NA and YA we see people go through traumatic things, but we don't see the aftermath of that. In new adult, you see the classic guarded guy with a mysterious secret, but his secret is normally not that bad. Hollis on the other hand has gone through something truly horrific.
One of the things I truly appreciated was how Hollis' love interest was not a douche bag for a good portion of the book. He wasn't this guarded mysterious guy, he was just a good guy. It was an accurate representation of what a healthy relationship looks like.
All in all, I would recommend this book. I did have some issues with the pacing and characters, but that is something I can definitely look past. I enjoyed myself reading this, and I believe others would too!
With that, I give this book
3.5 out of 5 Stars!
What are some of your favorite books set in college? Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!
Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!