Calling California by J.P. Grider
(Hunter Hill University #1)
Publication date: June 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Cali Parker is poor. She has a lot on her plate – her father is dying, she’s working to help pay the rent, and she’s two-years behind in college.
Griffin Brooks is rich. He has not a care in the world – he’s acing his engineering courses, his hobby is restoring his fifty-thousand dollar classic car, and he has a different girl on his arm every week.
When Cali sees Griffin on her first day of class, she’s immediately smitten and thinks she’s found the perfect guy. When Griffin sees Cali at the bank, he immediately forgets the blonde he was with that morning. Then they meet, and their worlds collide.
Cali doesn’t belong in Griffin’s world, and he doesn’t understand hers. But just when Griffin convinces Cali that their two different worlds can blend, a secret is revealed that tears them apart.
Is their love strong enough to bring them back together, or will their worlds drift further apart?
Book Review ~ ‘Calling California’ by J.P. Grider ~ 5 Stars!
Calling California was such a unique read in the new adult genre, that it has stayed with me long after finishing it. Cali is one of those characters that I immediately rooted for, the fact that she had flaws (and quite major ones at that) made me identify with her as a real person and feel excited to see how she’d progress and develop as a person throughout the novel.
Having a character who is very clearly living a life of ‘the poor’ was a really interesting basis for the story, and to see Cali’s very strong aversion to the wealthy was really unique and had me fascinated. All too often I’ve read about how the rich look down on the poor, so it was brilliant to see just how this can so easily be switched around. Whilst I can accept that some readers might find Cali’s disdain for anybody with money a little unfair and can at times make her unlikeable, I for one loved seeing just how much her relationship with Griffin changed her perception of money, and that it isn’t so much rich and poor, but what people do with what they have. The chapter that showed Cali and Griffin as youngsters was beautiful and really set the tone of the whole novel.
I loved the sweet and romantic side to Cali and Griffin’s relationship, and how they felt comfortable enough to be witty with each other. The slow development of Cali’s trust in Griffin also made for some really brilliantly written scenes where we see Cali’s doubt in Griffin because of his privileged background, despite his caring and down-to-earth nature, and the fact that she knew she was falling for him.
This isn’t just a beautiful romance though, there are a lot of emotional family scenes which really make this book stunning. Cali’s father is dying throughout the book, and we see the heartbreaking reality of a young girl who can’t handle watching her father die a slow and painful death, yet her guilt at leaving him alone in his final days. I shed a tear reading these scenes and it really clenched at the heart.
I loved the mystery behind the characters pasts as well. I don’t want to spoil for people who have yet to read it so will just say that not all is as it seems. I really disliked Cali’s mother for her cruelty to her daughter in the hopes of making herself seem less at blame, yet I also felt for her situation. Cali however was so strong throughout and I really hoped that she would come out of her journey unscathed, despite her mother’s attempts to hurt her, in the hopes of keeping her close in her misery.
This really was a fantastic story which has stayed with me long after finishing it. Griffin is the perfect hero, and I really loved his desire to do right by Cali, and his guilt at having to hide things from her so that he could keep her from further pain.
*Review copy was provided by the author through Xpresso Book Tours Review Opportunities in exchange for an honest review*