I start hating Oliver just after his older brother Christian’s death. I drag him down a road of humiliation and pain to try to cope with what his brother did to me.
A few months after Christian’s passing, Oliver leaves town, and for the next two years, he is absent from my life. The demons claw their way back in, and I must learn to live with the secret that has destroyed me.
Now I’m starting a new life, away from Gargle and away from my past, but everything crashes when I see Oliver the first day at university. It’s clear that many things have changed since we’ve been apart. Now he is captain of the rugby team and the most popular bloke on campus.
Then he makes a bet and gives me an ultimatum: I leave Braxton forever and start somewhere else, or I stay and play his game… because he’s never forgotten that it was me who ruined his life two years ago.<
We cross the path walking towards the entrance. I switch my bag, as my arm starts to ache, and drag my main suitcase behind me. We both notice the group of students throwing the rugby ball to each other outside on the grass. Dora is already playing with her hair, pretending that she is struggling with her luggage, probably hoping that any of those blokes would give her a hand. I roll my eyes, ignoring her moans, and move ahead. For a brief moment I feel someone’s eyes on me, so I stop and turn around.
One of the guys who was throwing the ball is staring directly at me. His eyes squeeze shut and a fire spreads over my spine. He seems familiar, but I shake my head, knowing that I don’t know anyone in Braxton and the sudden blaze of heat is just in my imagination. Dora manages to get the attention of one of the guys and they start chatting away. This is just so typical of her.
“Pass the ball, Jacob,” someone shouts behind me. But I ignore that voice, which sounds so familiar, heating up the blood that runs through my body. I think about back home. Mum asked me to call her when we reach Braxton just to make sure that we arrived safely.
Then something hits me hard in the back of the head and I let go a loud “Owww!” and turn swiftly around. I spot the rugby ball on the grass and reach out to massage my head. I narrow my eyes, spotting the same guy who was staring at me a few second ago. He is smirking.
“What’s your problem?” I ask, my jaw tense with anger.
He doesn’t look sorry at all that he hit me with the ball. He is tall and muscular. His dark hair is cut close to his scalp. For some reason the “special forces” haircut suits him. He is too far ahead so I can’t see the color of his eyes, but his gaze is pulling me to him like he is made of a magnet. Jeans hang low on his hips and his white T-shirt is dirty, probably from rolling on the grass. I glance back at his friends who are staring at me, startled. Something isn’t right here—he obviously wanted to hit me on purpose.
“Well, who have we got here? Isn’t it the one and only, India Gretel?” he says loudly, like he wants to make sure that everyone hears him.
“Do I know you?” I ask with impatience, eyeing him from head to toe. A large whacky grin appears on his handsome face. Something in his eyes tells me that we already met. His eyes harden on me as he picks up the ball and closes the gap between us. He has a wide jaw and full beautiful lips.
“Don’t fucking tell me that you forgot about me already, Indi?” he asks, smirking. “Boys, let me introduce the biggest bitch that ever stepped in Braxton.”
I blink rapidly, staring at him, digging all my memories out or anything that could tell me if I’ve seen him before, but I get nothing.
“Oliver, who the hell is that?” asks one of the guys walking up towards him. Dora probably notices my little show because she approaches me, looking equally confused.
“India, who is that douchebag?” she asks, frowning.
Oliver. That name rolls in my head like a snooker ball. It curls my toes and increases my heartbeat. It’s like a poison that crawls into my pores and wrecks my body. His name brings on both good and bad within me. It’s the name that I have been trying to forget for the past two years.
All About You is a story of two teenagers who were both affected by an event that changed their lives forever. It is a story of two individuals who were dealt with a difficult situation and took different paths to cope up. One held on to bullying, the other put up with the bullying until he went to college.
The story is in India’s POV and it shows the present situation and the past that caused it.
India Gretel. She had been friends with the Markson brothers but because Christian had the courage to court her, she became his boyfriend. As the years went by, she became aware that what Christian shows everyone, is not who he really is. He started to become abusive – always becoming aggressive when he can’t contain his anger. She feared him. and the more he reveals himself, the more she started to realize that she wasn’t in love with the older Markson, but with the younger one.
Oliver Markson. He the awkward Markson. He’s a bit of a goth, and he always keeps his hair longer than it should be and is always tied in a ponytail. He was always living in the shadows of his brother. He’s secretly in love with India. I think that was the reason Christian approached her in the first place. When he found out that India feels the same way, he felt brave enough to decide that they both have to blow the whistle on his brother.
The Night. This was the moment that everything fell out of place. Christian turned into an unstoppable beast. This was the night that tainted India. She was violated. She was damaged goods. And as easy as it may seem, she doesn’t have it in her to expose what happened to her. That night, Christian met an accident, which killed him on the spot
I really think, Christian dying, did a number on India. If I would be in her shoes, I would think it unfair that he got to escape from his misdeeds. In a way, it certainly didn’t help India. Because while everyone thinks that she’s mourning her boyfriend’s death, she wants to jump and shout to the world that she’s finally free. They didn’t know the real Christian. She acted on her instinct, which she felt was right at that time. She wasn’t able to deal well with everything that was happening.
However, I’m not saying that I agree with how she coped up with the pain she’s holding in. I will never see BULLYING as an option. She turned Oliver’s high school’s life into hell. She resorted into offensive pranks, and even humiliated him in front of the school. She reduced him to an insecure kid.
All About You is not only a romance story. It also convenes a topic that has been a concern among the youth nowadays and has even caused an upheaval among the activist over the others who have been victimized through the years. It had caused death, trauma, and depression and sometimes, even the victims themselves turn into a bully.
Oliver vowed that everyone who bullied him will pay one day. That day came when India arrived in Braxton University – a school in which he rules. But this new India was just a shell of what she was before. Whatever pranks he pulled on her, she doesn’t react the way he knew she would.
The Bet. It is known to the school how much he hated her. He even betted that India will escape the university once he’s finished with his revenge. And when feelings got mixed up with the plan, even the mind will be in jumble. Will Oliver carry on with his plan? Will India be stupid enough to believe that Oliver is serious with her? Will she trust her intuition? Or will she give him a chance? Or will they let the past continue to dictate the present?
This is one of those books that left me agitated that I was compelled to send a message to the author. Oh well, I had my moments and it’s kind of funny if I think about it. I sent a message yesterday and was so happy that the author responded immediately. The sad news is, I’ll have to wait until September for the release of the next book but it’s also a happy news since I won’t have to wait until next year to know how it goes.
This is not exactly an HEA and is definitely not a standalone. If I were you, I’ll just wait until September for the book two to be released before I start reading it. Bur overall, I’m still happy I have been chosen to read the ARC for this book. It’s worth the frustration. LOL!
Joanna Mazurkiewicz was born in Poland. She moved to United Kingdom when she was only nineteen and just finished high school. She had aspired to be a writer upon completion of the Harry Potter series but also enjoyed reading books like ‘Gone with the Wind’, ’Animal Farm’ and ‘The doll’. She graduated from Swansea University with a bachelor degree in American Studies. While studying in the UK she made a decision to start writing fiction in English.
The “Whispers of the Sprite” is her first debut novel and she is currently working on other projects. Joanna lives in Cowbridge, a small town in South Wales near Cardiff with her boyfriend Bruce. She enjoys cycling around Welsh countryside some of which has become the settings in her first series.
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