Review: Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

stir me upStir Me Up
Author: Sabrina Elkins
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Teen
Source: Amazon
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Summary from Amazon:

Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She’ll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father’s French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami’s family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Julian’s all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami’s starting to feel. And Cami can’t stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He’s got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated….


2.5 out of 5

2.5 out of 5

My Thoughts

You know when you keep seeing rave reviews for a certain book over and over again.  And you read the summary, and think to yourself, hey, I think this book is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY.  So you rush home, get a your hands on a copy of the book, and start reading ASAP.  Then . . . as you are reading the book you realize that you really aren’t loving it.  But you keep reading it, because everyone else adores it.  Unfortunately that’s what happened for me with Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins.

Upon reading the summary, Stir Me Up looked exactly like my kind of book.  First it’s a romance (so YAY!), and then, to top it off, the cover model for Daemon Black is on the freakin’ cover of the book!  However, as I mentioned above, I struggled with this book.  A lot of my frustrations, however, are more to do with my preferences than anything wrong with the actual book.

The first thing that stood out to me about Stir Me Up was the writing.  It was too familiar for my tastes, and quite choppy as well.  Many phrases as sentences, and even single words as a whole sentence.  There were quite a few “whatevers” thrown around, and I’m not talking about dialogue.  I’m just not a fan of that kind of writing.

I do think that, for the most part, Elkins did a good job of creating well-developed, unique, interesting characters.  I did like the main character, Cami, and the wounded veteran, Julian.  I could see the attraction that Cami and Julian had for each other, although I am not sure if I 100% buy the romance beyond the attraction.  And a good love story should be about more than attraction.

The secondary characters were well-developed as well.  I particularly liked Cami’s best friend.  She had a lot of personality.  And Cami’s father and stepmother were interesting.  But even though the characters were well-developed, I wasn’t terribly invested in their futures.

The main story is about whether Cami and Julian will get together, but a lot of the story is about what Cami and Julian will do with their lives.  Both of their lives have changed, or will be changing, drastically.

I tend to struggle with stories about a main character stressing about what her future will be, and who she is as a person.  I think part of that struggle for me is that I always knew who I was, even as a teenager.  I’m not saying I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, but I knew who I was, and I never wavered on that.  So Cami’s struggle of what to do when she finished high school got pretty old fast for me.  I understand that many people go through similar situations, but I had such a difficult time relating.

Both Cami and Julian make decisions on their futures, but they decide not to tell each other, until they are both on their way to their new lives.  You know, to make sure they don’t influence each other.  I liked the idea in theory, but I got so bored with Cami and Julian constantly talking about how the AREN’T going to tell each other what their plans are.  They talked about it so much, and I just wanted to scream “I get it!  Enough already. Let’s talk about something else.”

In fact, I got pretty impatient with the story, and started feeling like I just couldn’t wait until the darn thing was over so I could move on to something else.  Not only was I getting bored with the “I’m not tell you my plans for the future talks” but also all the decriptions of the dishes Cami was cooking.  It’s just, I’m totally not a kitchen person.  I couldn’t care less how you make this soup or that dish, or whatever.

So yeah, Stir Me Up was just not a book for me.  I didn’t care for the writing style, and although the characters were decently fleshed out, I didn’t care that much about them, and I struggled with relating to the story.  I absolutely love romance, but often I found the romance to either be a bit cheesy, or not really going much beyond the initial attraction.  HOWEVER, I think I’m in the miniority with my opinions on this book.  So many bloggers loved this book, so I urge you to check out some of their reviews (Estelle, Betty, Cass) because maybe this book will blow you away.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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7 Responses to Review: Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

  1. theseaofpages says:

    Although I absolutely loved this book, I really loved your review!

  2. You’re not alone. I couldn’t finish it. The writing just didn’t do it for me. Since seeing so many rave reviews for it, it’s nice to see that I’m not alone in my thoughts about it. But this just goes to show not every book will be for every person. I appreciate your honest review.

  3. Maggie says:

    It’s weird, I’m in the camp of people who loved this book, but I don’t really disagree with anything you’ve said. The writing definitely was choppy, but to me that’s how I think a lot of people think/talk and I like that style of writing. But I totally get all the criticism you have for the book and I had it while I was reading, too, but somehow I just loved the book so much. While I was reading I was like 100% sure that everyone else was going to hate the book and I was just in some weird place that made me love it, haha.

    • Quinn says:

      You know, I can completely understand why you liked the writing for Stir Me Up. I do think it’s how people think/talk often, but I just don’t like books with that style of writing. Completely my own opinion.

  4. I am sorry this didn’t work for you. I really liked it, but I would have liked to have seen something more at the ending or maybe an epilogue. I hope if she writes a sequel that it will tell us what happened with these two.

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