Title – All Broke Down
Author – Cora Carmack
Publication Date – October 28, 2014
Series – Rusk University Series, #2
*Each book can be read as a Standalone*
In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack’s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can’t only fight for what you believe in . . . sometimes you have to fight for what you love
Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.
Environmental issues, civil rights, education–you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail for a few hours, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and not at all her type, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.
Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before–fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about, his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.
Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.
When I picked up All Broke Down, I was ready for a romance and some football. Because I knew Silas, I expected a little cocky bad boy with a sassy heroine to put him in his place. What I never anticipated was to close the book and think to myself “well, where will I go from here”. I got everything that I thought I would, but the strong sense of self-awareness that came with it caused this book to blow some others of the genre out of the water.
“There’s a hell of a lot of noise to be found in the silence, almost as much as there is in my head.”
Where Silas proved to be a jerk in the first novel of the series, he showed an entirely different side of him in All Broke Down. Through his insecurities and fears, readers got to see a much more vulnerable side of Silas, and I absolutely loved it. In Carmack presenting him angered, yet tortured, it provided so much depth to his character and proved that he wasn’t one-dimensional. Dylan was a firecracker who utterly surprised me. She had a need for control, yet an unknown desire to be free. Watching her slowly unravel, in a good way, was incredibly satisfying as a reader. She transformed before our very eyes and her journey felt like watching a child grow into her own shoes. She became an independent, strong personality and I loved that Silas was able to see her potential before she did.
“And I don’t know whether to be angry at myself for that or for feeling guilty about doing what I want. What feels right.”
All Broke Down is everything that a New Adult novel should be, and then some. These two characters are haunted by things that make them feel broken. However, it was when they could see a like soul in the other that they were able to realize our pasts shape us; they don’t define us. The novel is about making our own way instead of getting lost in the path others want for us to take. Furthermore, the activism component and urging readers to go out into the world and do something, to notice the injustices and say something, hit a very special place in my heart. I thought it suited the genre quite well and was the perfect platform for it.
“Everything in the world might be connected, but that doesn’t mean the way we feel about them has to be.”
There is something special about this novel that I wish I could pinpoint. Aside from telling everyone to go and read it, there’s not much I could say. The characters are not broken and tortured; they are simply new adults learning to find their ways. The storyline flows organically and takes you for a ride that you will not want to get off of. If you haven’t started the Rusk University series yet, wait no longer and tackle them!
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Don’t miss the rest of the Rusk University series:
All Lined Up (Rusk University #1)
All Played Out (Rusk University #3)
All Closed Off (Rusk University #4) – Releasing July 18, 2017!
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Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.