At a freshman party she doesn’t remember, Jess Jordan was almost raped.

…Almost. Very nearly. Not quite. Three years later, Jess has managed to make everyone believe she’s better. Over it. Because she is.

…Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.

Unfortunately, until Jess proves she’s back to normal activities, her parents won’t discuss college. So, she lands a summer internship and strikes a deal with hockey jock, Gray Porter: He gets $8,000. She gets a fake boyfriend and a social life.

Jess has no idea Gray signed on for reasons other than money. She also never expects to fall in love. But Gray’s amazingly hot, holds her hand all the time, and makes her forget that he’s simply doing his job. It’s like having a real boyfriend.

…Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.

Gray Porter is hiding secrets of his own. About Jess Jordan. About why he’s driven to protect her, why he won’t cash her checks, or deny her anything she asks.

Almost is a story like none other that I have read. Anne Eliot is telling the story of a girl that, well, nothing happened to. So what the hell is wrong with her?

Why is she unable to sleep?

Why when she falls asleep does she have nightmares that make her wake screaming?

Why do her parents have her wrapped in cotton wool?

Why can’t she socialise?

Why can’t she go off to college? Live the life she was meant to live?

Why has she got no friends?

When nothing happened to her.

But it almost did. And sometimes when something almost happens its worse than when it actually happens. Why? Because then you have a reason to have panic attacks. There is something keeping you awake at night that then terrorises you when you finally fall asleep. Gives you a reason to be afraid of people and lends purpose to keeping yourself hidden from the world. If something had happened to her she would have been able to tell people what it was, talk about it and people would understand. When it’s only almost well then it didn’t really happen. Jess though doesn’t feel quite like that. Read Almost and you will see why.

You will see why Gray Porter has such a huge impact on her life. Why is he so protective of her and why does it matter to him whether or not she is fixed. Most importantly, why can he not let himself fall for her?

Well now, Anne Eliot almost finished me off with this story. I was choked up reading it. When I wasn’t choked up then that was because I was crying. Like I said before sometimes when something almost happens it is worse than when it does. Almost is beautifully written, a story wonderfully told. It is deep and at times it is sorrowful. However at times it is happy and fun and you get glimpses at how Jess could enjoy living if only she could step away from her past. I spent the book hoping that she could just do that and at the same time wondering whether or not Gray Porter was going to make her or break her.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. Anyone who has read it has come back and told me how much they loved it and how emotional it made them.

I was actually reminded of it the other day. I have been using the tagline “Boys in books are better”, I knew I read it somewhere but I couldn’t remember where. My friend said “Oh I totally loved that book” to which I replied “What book?” When she said Almost the penny dropped. So Anne Eliot thank you for introducing me to the phrase and I am sorry I stole it 😉

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