Title: Win Some, Lose Some
For Matthew Rohan, every day is a struggle. Each task others complete without thinking is a challenge for him. Recently orphaned, he has to finish the last few months of high school and take care of his disabled sister on his own.
When Mayra comes into his life, his comfortable routines implode. Matthew can’t handle change, but Mayra is unrelenting in her quest to understand him, to show him acceptance and maybe even love. When she breaks through his shell, Matthew’s world will never be the same again.
An awkward boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, a persistent girl who pulls him out of his isolated existence, and a lottery ticket that will change their lives forever.
This book is waaay too short. Okay. I’m joking. I need to book to be longer and go on forever because I just cannot get enough of these characters. I need more of Matthew and Mayra. Okay, I need them to be in my head glued in all the time. This book is just out of this world. I have never read any high school contemporary romance book as great as this one.
The characters in this book are just out of this world. Savage does an excellent job making her characters have great personalities with many redeeming qualities. First, let’s start with Matthew. Matthew Rohan is an 18 year old boy with Asperger’s syndrome. He is on the brink of graduation and his parents have both recently died. He works to take care of his severe autistic older sister and lives in his parents house by himself. When I met Matthew in the first page, I knew I would instantly love him. This boy struggles with a lot of things. He has panic attacks, struggles to socially interact, and is quiet often bullied in school. Everyday life is a struggle for him. However, despite these struggles, he still goes on. Matthew is just a sweet heart. He loves his sister and takes care of the people around him. I also love that he is strong internally. He pushes through and constantly tries to go through day by day. One of the biggest issues I find with reading books about characters with mental illness is that they shut out the world and just ramble on and on about how difficult their life is. Matthew does not do that. He appreciates life.
Now, Matthew as the best (so far!) high school book boyfriend. Matthew’s love for Mayra, the heroine, has unfathomable bounds. Mayra is everything for him. When he starts falling for Mayra, you can see that he has a panic attack. But it is not because Mayra, it is mere thought of not being able to spend time with her. He says,
“You…what you’ve done for me…you…you’re…you’re everything to me. Everything good in my life is about you. You make me want to try harder and do things I never would have considered before, and I know even if I fail, you’ll still be there to help me get back up afterwards.”
OMG! I swooned right then and there. He is sweet and considerate to her. He believes in her and has full trust. Many heroes wouldn’t even do that. Instead, they would shut her out. And what is even more awesome is that Matthew never puts himself down for not being worthy of Mayra. He might have doubted it, but it did not become annoying that he would spend so many pages pushing her and rejecting her.
Okay. More Matthew. Matthew’s growth in the entire book was just amazing. I love how he used his love for Mayra and her love for him to grow. He had less panic attacks and he started healing. He became a better person. And the change in him is monumental and almost tangible.
Now, on to Mayra. Mayra is like the best heroine you can get out there. She is sweet, caring, and doesn’t take a crap. Mayra is such good person at heart. I love how she stands up to Travis for show that she clearly cares for Matthew. Also, she treating him to cake and doing the small things to comfort him is wonderful. Mayra is the exact person Matthew needs in his life. She shows her love for him through her patience.
When Matthew and Mayra first meet, both of them are wary of each other. However, when Matthew finally opens up to her she starts showing him physical affection and introduces him to it without pushing him. When she gives him his first hug, I knew that right there that Mayra was meant for Matthew. She was so sweet to him. She is many of Matthews firsts as she is to him, but the way she coaxes him and never pushes him is amazing. What happens very often is that if the heroine is horny, she goes beserk. Mayra does not do that.
The last trait I love about Mayra is that she does not take any crap. She makes Matthew say what is on his mind. She makes him go straight to the point without making him freak out. She takes no bull and that trait does not make her a doormat, but a strong person in her own accordance.
Okay. I just go to stop blabbering about the main characters. Now on to the romance. The romance between Mayra and Matthew is sweet, steamy, and most definetly beautiful. There is tons of steam between them. It is very sexy and I won’t spoil it for you, but when they kiss and take their relationship to the next step I almost com bust with them. The steaminess is a little more than the average YA book and what makes it kind of border it on NA, but it really shows how deeply bonded these two characters are. The sweetness in this romance makes the steaminess and all the other aspects combined incredibly beautiful. I am a sucker for a love story where a girl has belief in a redeemable hero that he is worth it and strong. That is what Mayra’s and Matthew’s love story is. Mayra is patient and is like an angel. Matthew is considerate and shows Mayra a whole different way of viewing the world. The relationship between the characters makes them better. It is not forced or pushes.
The entire plot line is amazing. Savage does a great job with the pacing. The romance was paced well. It was slow and sensible. The external drama is also not much. There is no unnecessary drama. Savage placed the secondary characters in their rightful spots. Matthew’s uncle and aunt are just amazing people. I’m glad they are there for him and care for him. They were not annoying even though Travis at times was over bearing.
The writing in this novel is wonderful. The writing did its job. It is narrated through Matthew’s voice. Matthew has an amazing voice. I won’t spoil why I love it (Psst.).
I can go on and on about how great this book is. But I got to stop. This is going to be one of my all time favorite novels. I will highly recommend everyone reads this lovable novel. It has everything a great YA novel will have that is not cliche. Savage has become one of my all time favorite authors and I can’t wait to read more of her books.