The first book in Tracy Wolff’s Extreme Risk series, Shredded introduces the story of four best friends, Z, Ash, Luc and Cam. Shredded tells Z’s story.
From the very first page of Shredded, I was hooked. I’ve avoided New Adult novels like the plague but Tracy’s writing is a real treat and pulls you right in. And I love the character names, totally reflective of who they are. The four have been best friends since they were kids and pretty much learned to snowboard together. Their bond is unconditional and solid. Theirs is a friendship we should all be lucky to have.
Ranked in the top ten in the extreme sport of snowboarding, the guys, Z, Ash and Luc are quite popular with the ladies. Cam, the sole girl in the group is equally adept on the mountains and is uber-protective of the boys especially Z, who she’s been crushing on forever. As Z’s story unfolds, you know this guy has some deep-dark secrets that have influenced his rash behavior. He is reckless and has little regard for his life but then he meets Ophelia and suddenly, things get all too real for Z as he tries to contend with his past and the feelings he develops for Ophelia.
Ophelia (love the name!) has recently moved to Park City. A girl with her own secrets, she isn’t looking to get into another relationship, especially not with an adrenalin junkie like Z. But these two are magnets, unable to deny the attraction that sparks between them.
If you believe in destiny, Z and Ophelia are meant to be together, completing each other and their love must endure many a litmus test before there is a happily ever after for this pair.
Their relationship ebbs and flows throughout the book just like a solid relationship should. I appreciate the reality of the challenges they face and how hard they have to work to overcome the insecurity they each feel as they work through problems. It made me forget just how young they were (19 and 21?) with the type of maturity exhibited in their characters to handle the reality of their lives – the good, bad and the extreme ugly.
What I loved about Shredded:
1. Cast of Characters. I adored how well these friends fit together – like the pieces of a puzzle. Don’t get me wrong, each character has their positives and their flaws. They know how to navigate around each other. I love the authentic nature of their friendship sans competition. They cheer each other on refuse to give up on one another no matter the stakes.
2. The Storyline: Unique. I love that Wolff has used the world of snowboarding as the backdrop for the story of these four friends. I’ve shied away from New Adult because of the same old storylines i.e. rock stars, motorcycle clubs, mobsters, etc. but Wolff really brings it with a twist on a sport I actually enjoy and still manages to give us tortured characters and plenty of romance. Love it!
3. Writing: Fast-paced, intense and fluid, I love Wolff’s writing style. She weaves action and adventure with emotional turmoil rather copiously that makes the reading entertaining, engaging and the book hard to put down.
What I didn’t love about Shredded.
1. It ended and that too on such a downer. I downloaded Shattered (Extreme Risk, Book #2) immediately and now am going through withdrawal waiting for Slashed.
I wish I could get my hands on an Advanced Reader Copy of Slashed (Extreme Risk, Book #3) because my curiosity is about to murder me.
My rating: 5 stars. I first gave the book 4 stars but seeing as I read the first two books in the series within 24 hours, I think that speaks to what the kind of ride a good series can take you on. Tracy – if you read this review, please let me know where to get the ARC for Slashed!