Review : Preppy : The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, PART ONE

December 9, 2016


  Bowtie...'till I DIE.

Samuel Clearwater, A.K.A Preppy, likes bowties, pancakes, suspenders, good friends, good times, good drugs, and a good f*ck.

He’s worked his way out from beneath a hellish childhood and is living the life he’s always imagined for himself. When he meets a girl, a junkie on the verge of ending it all, he’s torn between his feelings for her and the crippling fear that she could be the one to end the life he loves.

Andrea ‘Dre’ Capulet is strung out and tired.

Tired of living for her next fix. Tired of doing things that make her stomach turn. Tired of looking in the mirror at the reflection of the person she’s become. Just when she decides to end it all, she meets a man who will change the course of both their lives forever.

And their deaths.

For most people, death is the end of their story.
For Preppy and Dre, it was only the beginning…

4 Bow Ties

Was there ever really a question of whether I was going to love this book or not? I have been a Preppy super fan ever since I first read about him in King. I was trying to wait to read this book until at least the second part came out. It's obvious I failed at that, and I am so glad I did!

I am going to do my best to make this review spoiler free, because I don't want to give away too much for anyone that either hasn't read all the previous books in the series or hasn't read this book. Believe it or not, those people actually do exist. I should know, I was one of them up until recently. Thankfully, I finally decided to take the plunge, because this series has been one of my favorites of 2016.

This story is told by Preppy and Dre in dual point of view. It begins at the time when King is first locked up, and Preppy is trying to help get his kid back from the state. During the book, we also flash forward several times to the present. I liked the way the author did this, and how everything came together in the end. There is a cliffhanger, but it isn't as bad as I thought I would be. However, it did leave me dying to read the next book!

My favorite thing about every installment of this series has always been the fantastic cast of characters. This book is no exception. The author excels at making lovable characters out of men you might normally see as anything but. She also manages to throw in some pretty awesome females along the way.

Before I read this, I wondered about the type of girl that would be the perfect match for Preppy. Preppy would definitely need a woman that is a little messed up herself, that would sympathize with him instead of judge him, who wouldn't be scared off by all of his many peculiarities, not to mention, someone that would be turned on instead of repulsed by his particular sexual tastes. Andrea "Dre" Capulet, a recovering drug addict, is most certainly that woman. She was the perfect love interest for Preppy. I am so glad I didn't hate her! Lol I only want the best for my favorite morally gray hero in this series. I think that's what I got with Dre.

“The first stirring of any kind of desire in over a year comes courtesy of the devil in a bow tie.
Man, I was really fucked up.”

As far as Preppy goes, with his bow ties, tattoos, suspenders, and foul mouth, what's not to love? I had no doubt that this book would only endear him to me further, and that's exactly what it did. Preppy always brought humor and light to any scene every time he appeared in the previous books. We get all of his usual charm in this book, but also a glimpse of something more.

"My strength had always been in my amazing ability to be completely and brutally honest. Of course, the gift of honesty was in addition to my sense of humor, wit, charm, character, striking good looks, phenomenal – yet classic sense of style, and last but not least, the tribungus slab of man meat dangling between my legs. But I motherfucking digress.”

You know what they say, the ones with the biggest smiles hide the most pain. In Preppy's case, truer words have never been spoken. I was so glad that in this book we finally get to see him break down, and be vulnerable. That's not weird is it? Lol I felt like for the first time I was seeing all of him, not just what was on the surface. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that the way he acts normally is phony at all. It is actually quite impressive. He really is grateful for everything and everyone he has in his life now, and doesn't want to dwell on the bad shit in the past all the time.

“Listen, life isn’t about what happened to you in your past, it’s about where you are now and where you’re going. Onward and upward and all that jazz.”

We bare witness to him doing something really disturbing and messed up in this book. One of the things I love about T.M. Frazier is that she isn't afraid to go there. A lot of authors make sure not to go too far with their broken or morally challenged heroes. They don't make them cross the line and do anything too disgusting or infuriating that might upset us or make us stop loving them. In other words, they play it safe. This author looks right at that line of safety, and then leaps right the hell over it! What Preppy does when he brings Dre back to Mirna's house is pretty freaking creepy and despicable. The thing is, Preppy is not just a "bad boy." He is a messed up, broken individual. We have been told time and time again about what a deviant he is, and we have seen him do or say some unsettling things in the past; but this showed us that behavior in a way we haven't witnessed before. We really get to see him, warts and all. In the end, I still can't help but love him. He was made into the man he is today by his demented stepfather, and he was failed and abandoned by his own mother that should have protected and cared for him.

Bear made a few appearances in this book. He's the same old Bear that we all know and love, but there is one scene with him that you may find particularly interesting toward the end of the book, if you can get over being angry at Preppy or upset about the whole situation. The other standout secondary character for me was Mirna. She is such an awesome lady, and my heart broke for her. I think T.M. Frazier must have one kick ass grandma or great aunt or something, because she writes some of the most amazing old women I have ever read about.

Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part One was another spectacular addition to the King series. The story was alluring, illuminating, gritty, and heartbreaking. The characters are raw and complex. The writing is captivating, expressive, and as always, will make you FEEL above all else. I highly recommend it to fans of the series, and readers that don't mind a little darkness in their romance. If you haven't started this series and you think it might be something you would like, please rectify that immediately!

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