From USA Today Bestselling Author of Going Under
Cadence Miller is a good girl. She just happens to make one terrible mistake her junior year in high school which costs her ten months in juvenile detention. Now a senior, she’s lost everything: her best friend, the trust of her parents, driving privileges, Internet access. It’s a lonely existence.
But there is one bright spot: Mark Connelly, her very cute, very off-limits 28-year-old calculus teacher. She falls hard for him–a ridiculous schoolgirl crush headed nowhere. She can’t help it. He’s the only good thing at Crestview High. She doesn’t expect him to reciprocate her feelings. How inappropriate, right? But he does. And he shows her.
And that’s when her life goes from bad to good.
Book 1 in the Too Good series
(New Adult Contemporary Romance. Translation: Description of drug use and explicit language and sex.)
I must say that rarely do I find a book that leaves me thinking more than feeling, but Good, took me on so many different levels of thought and emotions. I was mentally exhausted once I finished this book, yet I was wanting more.
Cadence made a stupid rash decision. It should have been a good life lesson, but instead her parents felt it was cause to ruin her life for as long as they felt it was necessary. She goes back to school to be tormented and bullied. Through all of it I felt she took responsibility for her choice and never played the victim card. She just continued to question, when would her punishment end? Trying to make everyday as bearable as possible she just went through her day trying to be invisible. She worked hard to follow the rules that her parents had put in place. She was in her senior year of high school and wasn’t even allowed to drive or leave the house. When she walked into her Math class she meets her teacher Mr. Connelly. He was willing to treat her with respect. I think he really felt sorry for her at first.
Mark Connelly, I am not sure what his motives were, but I will give him credit for making her days at school easier. He was back and forth with his emotions. One day she would go in and he would make her feel like a Queen, the next he was ignoring her and not even glancing her way. He taught her more than Math, he gave her a new appreciation for music and life. I will give him credit that he may have started the relationship when she was only 17 but he did wait till she was 18 before any sex was involved. Knowing he was at risk of losing his career and reputation he continue to convince her that they were meant to be.
There were so many levels to this story. For me as a mother, I was angry that a teacher would go after a student like that, but I had to take myself out of that role and remember she was of legal age of consent. She was 18 before she lost her virginity to Mark. It was consensual, he never forced her. He was gentle with her, explaining what she didn’t understand, but there is still that social stigma regarding teachers and students becoming involved. I am not condoning that, but I am saying this book made me rethink if that rule should be across the board no matter what the age. My decision is still out on that.
The author also interjected the religion card in this story. This hit me personally because being raised Southern Baptist, I found as an adult I had to decide what I actually believed in as far as the rules to the religion versus what I just accepted as law. This is where Cadence struggled. Sex before marriage was wrong. Committing a crime was wrong. Making a mistake to disgrace the family was wrong. Falling in love with a non-believer was wrong. Basically doing anything was wrong according to her Bible thumping parents. After being told you are wrong and a horrible sinner for so long, when do you stop believing it and realize that it is your life? Once you do decide do you have the courage to live that life?
This is what Cadence had to struggle with. Does she follow her heart or does she follow a list of laws presented to her by her parents and the church. She tried to be a “good girl”. She would read her Bible and cry, begging God to give her the answers but she felt abandon. The only one who accepted her for who she was, mistakes and all, was Mark Connelly. I am not sure we can really punish Cadence for going towards the only acceptance she was offered. She was 18, trapped by past mistakes and forced to live with the fact her parents didn’t like her because she brought shame on the family.
In the end it all blows up around her and she if forced to run. Mark and Cadence relationship has been exposed to her parents by a “well-meaning Christian”. Wondering if her father’s threats are going to become reality she and Mark have to decide what is more important. Each other or life as they have known it. I can hardly wait for the next book. Better is the second and FINAL installment in the Too Good series.
I highly recommend this series. I know it is going to be emotional for many and it is going to raise a lot of questions regarding what we accept in society. Isn’t that the greatest things about books, making us THINK about where we stand and why we believe what we believe? I am not asking any of you to change your views and support relationships between teachers and students. I can’t say that I would permit that, but I do value a book that forces me to look at the issue and challenges me as to why I feel so strongly about certain issues. So many times we just accept what is socially demanded. Good makes you look at the situation from the outside and become accountable for the choices you make. Choices not only in the teacher/student relationship, but in your religious beliefs, your parenting style, your acceptance of people who have made mistakes and paid their debts to society. How long are we suppose to make a person suffer for one mistake? Is it even our job to make that person suffer?
S. Walden doesn’t allow her readers to just go with the norm, she writes in a style that makes you rise up and admit to your beliefs and morals. This was a courageous step for her to make. She will get a lot of negative comments because of the plot of the story, but what I hope is that the reader will take this story in with an open mind and be able to walk away with a clearer view as to why they believe the way they do. Taking responsibility for your beliefs, being able to back them up and validate others who may not agree with you. I think that is what S. Walden wanted readers to do with the Good Series. I don’t feel she is wanting us to change the laws and permit relationships between teachers and students. I think she is wanting us to be more confident in why we make those laws, to be able to answer the questions of why those laws are in place. To be able to give our children a better answer than “because I said so”. To be responsible you must know why you believe what you believe. That is what I took away from this book.
About the Author
S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about it.
She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her blog at http://swaldenauthor.blogspot.com where you can get up-to-date information on her current projects.
twitter username @swaldenauthor
Facebook page www.facebook.com/swaldenauthor
Goodreads Book Link
She also happens to have the BEST editor. Period. If you want the best editor, too, email her at email@example.com.
Summer is giving out a bunch of FUN stuff for the tour (all pertaining to the book). Giveaways are:
- GRANDPRIZE includes: Signed paperback of Good, DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing… CD. the notes that Mark and Candace wrote to one another, Amazon Gift Card and an iTunes Gift Card (since music is a heavy theme in the novel)
- 2 winners will receive signed paperbacks of Good
Message from S. Walden
I thought I’d start a little thing called “Gift a Friend Friday.” I’m just gonna do it randomly where I put a book of mine on sale for $.99 and encourage fans to share with their friends. To end the tour, I thought it’d be fun to put Good at $.99 this Friday only.
Find Mark Connelly Book Cover Contest
Fans, I need your help! I cannot find a picture of the perfect Mark Connelly to go on my cover of BETTER. I’ve given up and am handing the matter over to you. Here’ the deal: find me a picture of Mark and you may win a signed copy of both GOOD and BETTER. Oh yeah, and you’ll be acknowledged on the copyright page of BETTER, too!
1. ONE submission per person. Email me THE LINK to your perfect pic at firstname.lastname@example.org (I gotta know where to purchase it)
2. The pic must be a stock photo with a model release (pics on sites like dreamstime.com and shutterstock.com have model releases. They actually say it.).
Contest will run from 9/30 – 10/21. Make sure you get your submissions in before 12 A. M. on 10/21.
He’s out there. I know it. Now someone find him for me!
Note: I reserve the right to cancel this contest at any time if I stumble across the perfect pic. I don’t think that’s gonna happen, though.
Good Blog Tour Schedule
September 30th – October 4th
Book Crush Review – Review and Excerpt
I Love Indie Books – Review and Playlist
Kindlehooked – Review and Excerpt
Literary Mania Reviews – Review
Love N Books – Review
Love Words and Books – Review
Novel Seduction – Review and Excerpt
Romantic Book Affairs – Review and Excerpt
Smut Whores and More Book Reviews – Review
Book Nerds Anonymous – Review and Playlist
Madison Says – Review and Author Interview
My Secret Romance – Review
Nicely Phrased Book Blog – Review and Author Interview
Sugar and Spice Book Reviews – Review
The Book Bellas – Review and Excerpt
Wine Relaxation and My Kindle – Review and Excerpt
Bookaholics Blog – Review
Fab Fun and Tantalizing Reads – Review and Character Interview
Rustys Reading – Review and Dream Cast
True Story Book Blog – Review and Alt POV
Whirlwind Book Reviews – Review
Winding Stairs Book Blog – Review
Stories and Swag Book Blog – Review
Addicted 2 Heroines – Review
All Romance Reviews – Review
Author Clairbel Contreras Blog – Review
Life Becomes Me – Review
Love Those Books – Review
YA Book Addict – Playlist and Promo
Book Reader Chronicles – Review and Guest Post
A Love Affair with Books – Revew and Guest Post
Becca the Bibliophile – Review and Excerpt
Book Addicts Not So Anonymous – Review and Excerpt
Rude Girl Book Blog – Review and Excerpt
Who You Callin a Book Whore – Review and Excerpt
Shh Moms Reading – Review and Book 2 Teaser
Cover Image URL