Review: All My Life (First Things #1) by Rucy Ban

Book Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Kari meets Neil Mars. “Neil as in Armstrong and Mars…as in Bruno.” A boy who beats every vampire, werewolf, highlander fantasy Kari has ever had. But she knows she can’t get close to him. Not ever. Because that would mean telling him everything. Coming clean. And Kari can’t bear the idea of changing the way Neil looks at her. Like she’s the only girl in the world. His reverence is something too precious to lose. Perhaps even at the cost of losing him. 

But Kari doesn't know why Neil calls her his ‘Angel’ and when she finds out, she realizes what love is all about. Boundless joy, unending longing and a fuckload of heartache.

Full length New Adult Contemporary Romance.


Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

Kari is knocked over on her way to school by Eddie. Eddie is considered a geek god at school. He was able to get into an Ivy League school. They start hanging out and she brings him home to meet her mom. Then when they move to the next level he does something shocking.

Kari can’t believe what he did and feels ashamed that she didn’t know better. She just wants the incident to go away and refuses to tell anyone about it. She hopes when she goes to college it will be a thing of the past and she won’t ever think of it again.

Unfortunately he follows her to college and blackmails her demanding money every week. She fears what will happen so she pays, but he has recently asked for double the amount. She can’t get that much money from her mom. She has to find a job. There is a shop opening across the street from her house. It’s a tattoo shop owned by Agnas. Agnas invites her in and gives her a job. Kari becomes Agnas’ apprentice, learning how to do tattoos. She finds a friend in co-worker Nalini and is attracted to Agnas’ son Neil.

She tries to keep her secret and get through her life. It gets difficult to keep everything separated, especially when Eddie keeps seeking her out. Neil comes to her rescue on more than one occasion. Her secret finally comes out and Neil gets the police involved. He also reveals Agnas’ secret about her health.

Then everything spins out of control, Eddie’s true identity comes to light and goes after Kari to ruin her character. Kari is devastated and just wants a normal life. Neil’s secret also comes out and Kari is worried how this mess will affect his life. Nalini comes up with a plan to make Eddie pay for what he has done. Everything goes wrong. Kari ends up going through more than she truly expected to make it all end.

I really had a hard time relating to Kari. She was a complete victim and really refused to fight for herself. It drove me crazy how she shut everyone out and let Eddie blackmail her.

However the author created a great cast of characters at school and the shop to break through her self-banishment from life. Nalini is wild enough to start the process of cracking Kari’s shell. Tatiana also helps in that aspect. Then Neil shows up and everything changes. I loved his character. He was a sweet guy that wanted to take care of her. Every girl needs one of him. He was the one who got her to reveal her secrets.

The author also made Eddie a person you had no problem hating. He had no remorse and loved how Kari reacted to him. The scene in the book where Nalini and Kari are confronting him after the plan goes wrong is a bit confusing. I had to reread it twice to get what actually happened. The ending in that sense was final and a bit violent. I imagine Kari’s life is a complete nightmare before it becomes better. It was an interesting story. I give it a 3 out of 5.

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