Title: Caught (Caught By The Bad Boys #1)
Author: Raathi Chota
Genre: Fiction/ Romance/ YA/ Mystery
Favourite Quote: ‘”Why me?” I asked once silence took over. He looked at me in confusion but finally understood.
“I don’t know… you’re different,” he said. I rolled my eyes at his cliche statement. “I watched you…” he said, and I raised a brow.
“Were you stalking me, Gunner?” I turned to him.
His eyes widened but turned into that stupid smirk. “I was intrigued and wanted to know more about you, and this was the only way.”
Lana Willson is the school geek, top of the class nerd, good girl with glasses, not to mention her dad is the sheriff. It doesn’t stop her getting bullied though, far from it. The list of tormentors in her school is endless but she doesn’t let them get to her anymore, her focus is to get into Yale and that’s all that’s important. As much as she would prefer it to stop, falling flat on her face is a common annoying occurrence now that is just to be expected and accepted. So when the four most popular boys in school drag her aside to make a bet, she can’t help but feel drawn in; if she can make it two weeks as the school’s bad girl, the bullying will stop for good. Why the sudden interest she has no idea, but Lana has some secrets of her own, she wasn’t always a good girl so winning the bet might come easier than they expected. Unfortunately her ‘bad girl’ persona becomes more real than she ever imagined when she ends up covered in blood in a dark alley.
‘”Lana?” Nick mumbled.
“Hmm?” I turned to Nick. Liam and I saw a trail of blood. My eyes widened in horror as we slowly followed the path. The trail ended by a dumpster where Benny stood, his hands in his pockets. We followed his gaze to what he looked at, and the lump in my throat grew.
“Lana, what have you done?”‘
I’m pretty sure this series has hit one of my top guilty pleasures, and I don’t know whether I love it or hate it for that.
The story is frustratingly gripping, full of unexpected surprises and twists that will keep you eager to know more. I should mention now that the story does include addiction, alcoholism, mentions rape (not explicit), drugs and murder, so it may be sensitive to some who would prefer to avoid this.
I didn’t know whether I loved Lana or whether she just irritated me. Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll clearly weren’t a first for her when she decided to take the bet to become a ‘bad girl’ which made you think that the nerd title was actually the pretence, you didn’t know whether she was going to jump into the next dare because she wanted too or because it was a front. Yeah her dad is the sheriff and yeah she’s book smart intelligent, but what else is there besides the glasses that give her the good girl title?
Whilst Lana was strong in some ways, she was also completely pathetic in others, easily throwing herself into various addictions; drinking, cigarettes and pills. Whilst you could forgive her for the most part with the haunting nightmares keeping her up at night, I felt like she enjoyed punishing herself which is why she picked Benny. The one guy out of them all that physically hurt her.
What I found most frustrating is why she suddenly became really attractive to the male species once she took off her glasses, for like ALL the guys. I mean, seriously?
Speaking of the romance.. what? As much as I liked watching all the guys fall at her feet for the bet, it introduced too many potential romantic possibilities that made you wonder where the hell it was going to end up. You don’t know who is really in it for the long run and who was just challenged by the bet.
First there is Blake, the popular bad boy who was the first to realise there was more to Lana than meets the eye, who pulled her away from her comfort zone and introduced her to a life of excitement as well as danger and addiction who can’t help but feel drawn to her in that adorable ‘first love’ kind of way.
Then there is Carter, the heart-throb of the school who can (and most likely has) had all of the girls he wants, yet he asks her to prom night and spends the night next to her knowing he could have pursued her but didn’t – he’s a gorgeous mystery that I can’t work out but I definitely want too.
Ethan, the protective popular jock who wants her to come to his games and parties as well as wear his jacket to show her off.
AND then you have Benny, the guy who bullied Lana for years, has physically abused and tormented her who suddenly wants to apologise and change his ways. Lana easily forgives him and then choses him over the rest. Yeah I have to admit, the tears are real, the guilt is clear on his skin and the love in his eyes is definitely swoon-worthy – but really? Is he the only one she can really trust and who makes her happy after all the years of abuse? Or is it the secret he keeps for her that keeps her with him deep down?
Simply put – the author included too many characters and made them all just as good as each other in their own twisted way. I think part of me is glad that Lana didn’t choose Blake; the bad boy that started it all, but the feelings Blake develops for Lana makes you wonder where it’s going to all end and I’m keen to find out!
The story was told mainly from Lana, but at times it included other’s perspective which brought the story to life through various characters, even if brief, it was good to get inside their heads. Especially Blakes.
‘We all have secrets. For the past few months, I tried to figure out Lana. One thing was for certain: we had a few things in common. Yet there was something else about her that I couldn’t crack. I could stare at her for hours, but I knew that I wouldn’t get anything out of her.’
There was so much to keep you engaged with the story, it was easy to relate too and the author did a great job at setting the scenes for a high school romance. I wasn’t at all surprised by the cliffhanger that made me emotional. I didn’t hesitate to purchase the second book ‘Flawed – Caught by the Bad Boys #2’.
I’m the school geek. The teenage girl with glasses. The girl who boys avoid because her dad just so happens to be the Sheriff.
All I’m interested in is getting into Yale so I can leave this town and everyone in it behind. Until four of the most popular boys in school suddenly show an interest in me…
Why? I’m not sure. But when they make me a bet I can’t refuse, I shed the good girl skin I’m in just to prove to them I’m not as innocent as they think I am.
Only, things start to go wrong. Really wrong.
As I stare down at the grave in front of me, I know my life will never be the same again—not while I’m caught up in this web of lies, deceit…and murder.