BriefINK Review: ‘Third Degree’ by Julie Cross

Third Degree by Julie CrossIsabel Jenkins has breezed her way through her school career. Starting college at twelve and graduating from med school at eighteen, she is well on her way to following in her father’s footsteps in the world of medicine. On the day she is to find out where she will doing her residency program, she gets quite a shock. Instead of Johns Hopkins, she is going…nowhere. Isabel has failed the emotional readiness portion of her exam, and though she can retake it in six months, she is told that her lack of life experience (due to her home schooling and other factors) that she should be around people her own age for a while.

Enrolling in college, she wants to keep her real scholastic identity a secret. She wants to live the life of a “regular” college student, but it isn’t easy. Her lack of empathy for others and her need to be the smartest in the room get in the way almost immediately. Her resident advisor, Marsh (who just happened to have Izzy’s mom for biology in high school), is the only one who knows Izzy’s history. She feels an attraction to him, but determines that he is babysitting her so he doesn’t lose his position.

She can’t handle school. It’s too hard to read people, figure out what behavior is appropriate and what Marsh wants from her. On top of that, her parents, who adopted her at five, are getting a divorce. How can she stay connected if they can’t?

I read Third Degree for the first time last year (and I re-read it for this review). I never grew to like any of the characters, and while I realize that all of her issues make Izzy even more “real,” I just got more and more annoyed with her lack of a personality. This is what I will call typical YA/NA Romance fare – a hunky guy, a gorgeous girl (who doesn’t know it!), mixed signals, someone who is “broken,” a savior, a reinvention. Nothing wrong with any of those topics, but it’s just not revealed here in a new or interesting way.

Third Degree by Julie Cross was published March 25, 2014 by Flirt. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley.

Rating: 2

Genre: New Adult Fiction Contemporary Romance

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