Jake Undone by Penelope Ward is one of those books that I really loved, and yet I had a few things that I really didn't care for. It was a really great story, and I couldn't put it down. But it also had me on an emotional roller coaster the entire way through, and there were a lot of ups and downs. I really loved these characters, but they also drove me nuts at times.
Nina Kennedy and Jake Green have both been living in their own private hells. Nina lost her brother and ever since has been suffering from phobias and irrational fears of small enclosed spaces and large crowds. Jake doesn't allow many to get close to him, and he never shares what he is really going through. On the surface he is a bit rough around the edges with his tattoos and piercing, but he is also extremely smart and is dealing with more than most people his age. When Nina moves in with her friend and gets Jake as another roommate, there is an instant spark between them. When Nina struggles with a math course for nursing school, Jake agrees to help her. If she gets As then he will let her be, but if she doesn't she has to participate in whatever activity he arranges to help her face her fears. But as Nina and Jake grow closer together, they both begin to feel more than friendship. But Jake's secret is one that their growing feelings might not be able to survive.
I liked Nina and Jake, but as I mentioned before they both drove me nuts at times. I can understand some of why Jake kept such a huge secret, but as he grew closer to Nina I really wish he would have told her. He kept pushing her away only to pull her back in, and the mixed signals were really confusing for Nina. I thought that he should have explained himself sooner and a lot would have been different. But I really loved how he was so much more than just what you saw on the outside. He was super sweet and thoughtful, and I absolutely loved his little bat notes for Nina. Nina was struggling so much, and Jake was exactly what she needed. He forced her out of her comfort zone, and was so supportive and encouraging. These two had such a strong connection and chemistry, that I knew they were meant for one another. I loved seeing them get to know one another and it was fun to see how their relationship developed.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. My biggest complaint was the amount of drama and angst that Jake and Nina had to face. I really felt like they had so many obstacles in their way, and not all of them seemed necessary. I kept waiting for these two to catch a break and even when things would go well for them, something would come up to try and mess things up. I felt that while the story ended well, things were still a bit bittersweet because of some things that happened. Without spoiling anything, there were some things that would forever be a part of Jake and Nina's life that would be difficult for most people to accept and I am not sure that I could have been as understanding as Nina was. I still really loved these two and I thought that they were a great couple. They were perfect for one another, and I liked that we got both of their POVs. I would recommend this book, but be prepared for some angst and drama. I look forward to reading more from Penelope Ward in the future.