Title: A Whole New Crowd
Release Date: August 16, 2014
Taryn grew up in a different world. Her boyfriend was a criminal. His older brother was part of a gang. They weren’t great people, but they were her family. Then everything changes when she’s sent to a new family in the neighboring town. New family. New friends. A new world. She’s elated. This is her chance for a new beginning, but secrets start being revealed and Taryn learns her new life has some ties to her old one, ties that she’s not happy about. Her new family might not have been the lucky break she thought she had.
Tijan never ceases to amaze me with her incredible story-telling abilities. She masters her plots and her characters every single time. A Whole New Crowd raised the bar once again. This story was gritty, emotional, and full of suspense, with just enough romance to keep your heart happy while the storyline absolutely exploded with twists and turns. Once the first few chapters laid the groundwork, this story took off running and it had me sprinting to keep up until I reached the end.
“A counseler told me when I was younger that I had an unhealthy amount of anger inside of me. She’d been kind. It was fury, and it made me who I was.”
I am always excited to get to know Tijan’s characters. She has a gift for crafting inimitable characters and developing them beautifully throughout the story. Taryn and Tray were no exception. Taryn has a fiery spirit, a thirst for living, and an underlying emotional vulnerability that had me captivated by her from the start. Tray exudes mystery with a hint of danger. His fierce need to control his environment and protect what’s his makes for some incredibly intense moments when he and Taryn butt heads. The passion between them is off the charts and Tijan made certain you could feel the heat radiating off the page. The dynamic she created between these two characters is phenomenal. They are sarcastic, demanding and too smart for their own good. The witty dialogue between Taryn and Tray gave rise to some of my favorite moments in this story.
“I’m here to kick some ass. Let’s save the poetry talk for later, like never.”
I still can’t seem to wrap my head around some of this storyline. It was brilliantly planned and intricately interwoven to keep you guessing until the last possible minute. Nothing is as it seems in A Whole New Crowd. As you read, layer after layer of this story is revealed and as the truth finally comes to light you will find yourself in awe of this masterfully written book. Tijan created a complicated and twisted world that was incredibly dynamic and kept me on the edge of my seat. The suspense was killing me and the action got my heart racing as I furiously swiped my kindle trying to figure out where this crazy story was headed. When everything began to unravel, I couldn’t put this book down.
“The tension inside me snapped. It imploded inside me, drenching my insides with shame, guilt, anger, pain, longing, and so many other emotions I couldn’t name. They were becoming too much.”
I was all over the map in my emotions with A Whole New Crowd. I found myself laughing at the ridiculous high school social hierarchy and grinning at Taryn’s in-your-face and I-could-care-less-what-you-think attitude. There were moments where I absolutely wanted to slap a fictional character and definitely moments where I wanted to comfort one. I felt anger, relief, giddy, panicked and overwhelming joy as I took Taryn and Tray’s journey with them. Tijan made me want to throw something one minute and then brought tears to my eyes the next. A Whole New Crowd is a fantastic and unique story that will definitely stick with me. A huge high five to Tijan for this one!
I hit the punching bag. They lied to me. It barely moved so I hit it again. They didn’t care that they lied. I gritted my teeth. My fist tightened and I rolled my shoulder back, lifted my wrist again, and bent forward into the stance. One foot was in front, the other behind, and I was on my toes. I was ready to switch them, jab back and forth, and bounce back as the bag should’ve been swinging to me.
With a deep growl, I hit it as hard as I could. It moved an inch.
“You’re using your arm.”
“Duh.” I didn’t look as Tray came into the room. He left the lights off, and the only light on was the small lamp positioned over the punching bag. Sweat rolled down my back and I’d lost my shirt long ago. Standing in my black sports bra and a pair of boy shorts, I felt fine. I was heated, but not overheated with the air conditioner in the room.
He circled around. I glanced down, saw he had kicked his shoes off as well. After another moment of studying me, he took his shirt off too. He tossed it to the corner, then tilted his head to the side, and his hazel eyes narrowed at me. A slight smirk lifted the corners of his lips. As he stood there, his muscles clenched. His chest lifted and he breathed in, his stomach muscles clenched in and then out. There was hardly an ounce of fat on him.
We’d been sharing a bed for two months now, but as I drank him in, it was as if I was seeing him for the first time. Hunger and lust slammed into me. My mouth opened and I swallowed. Where the hell had this come from?
His smirk widened and he gestured to my arm. “Use your shoulder. Hit with your body, not your arm. Your strength comes from your core. The hand is the weapon.”
“I want to bone you right now.” I frowned. “Why?”
“Because you’re working out. Because your adrenalin is pumping.” His hand gestured from his chest to his stomach. “Because I’m a prime specimen.”
I snorted. “You don’t need to work on that confidence. Your arrogance just sucked all the oxygen out of the room to inflate your ego.”
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Tijan started writing later in life, after she had already graduated college with a different direction in mind and a different degree under her belt. Hitting the brakes on that path, she taught herself how to write a good book and began posting at sites such as Fictionpress, along with Wattpad. After receiving such encouraging messages from readers, she self-published Fallen Crest High and has continued throughout the year. She continues to keep writing NA books!