5 Hearts · New Adult Contemporary · YA Contemporary

Pepped Up Forever by Ali Dean 

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This is the fifth and final book in the Pepper Jones series, and it’s one you don’t want to miss.Pepper Jones is ready to start breaking some records. She’ll be a junior in college, and if she wants to run professionally when she graduates, it’s time to step things up a notch. This time around, she knows it won’t be accomplished by ramping up her training. While Pepper’s hoping for a race day breakthrough, she wonders if there’s a mental barrier holding her back, and if so, how is she supposed to confront it?

Meanwhile, Jace Wilder wants Pepper back any way he can have her, but he’s reluctant to bulldoze his way into her life having already crushed her once (okay, probably a few more times than that) before. More scenes from Jace’s point of view in the book shed a new perspective into the character Pepper fans love to hate, and hate to love, delving into those layers he’s only given glimpses of in the past.
The Brockton crew is growing up. Zoe and Wes. Jenny and Rollie. Lexi and Brax. Bunny and Wallace. Pepper and ??? It’s time to find out what Pepper’s happily ever after will be.

Reviwer’s Disclaimer: This Book should be in NEW ADULT tab. The series begins as a Young Adult Novel and evolved into a NA when the characters entered college. I wanted to keep all 5 books together. This is why I left it in YA. I will still put a Parental Info at the bottom. 

 

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WOW! That is how I must begin because it is bitter sweet. I am so sad the series is over, but I am very happy with the way it ended.

Pepper Jones. Bad Ass! That is what she has become. She is strong and determined not to take people’s crap. We end Pep Talks with her and Jace no longer together. He broke her heart because of his own issues. When he apologized to her, she accepted the apology but wouldn’t take him back. So now flash forward to junior year of cross country at UC. That is where our story begins.

One thing that you will love about this book compared to the other ones in the series is that it is dual POV. We have Jace and Pepper both narrating each chapter. Book 1-3 was only Pepper. Book 4 we have a little bit of Jace mixed in, but it was majority Pepper. It is great to read the way Jace sees things. He is NOT the same Jace from book one. Totally different. This guy hit rock bought when Annie (his so-called Mother) left him AGAIN. I love this quote from Jace.

“Mr Friends used to try to figure me out; they always knew Pepper was special to me, but lately I was being more transparent, and I wasn’t eve fighting it. I didn’t realize how exhausting it was holding a wall up between me and the world until I started taking it down. Knowing my friends saw me and felt for me, it wasn’t scary as I thought it would be. Actually, it felt pretty good. I wasn’t invincible. Why pretend otherwise? Especially when it came to one girl in particular. If I ever thought it was Annie who had the capability to bring me to my knew, I was wrong. It was pepper who stripped e bare and exposed me for who I had been. had been, because I wasn’t going back there.”  – Jace Wilder Chapter 5

 Like come on, who cannot feel the pain and anguish the poor guy is going through. If you love to hate, and hate to love Jace Wilder then in book 5, he is going to make you Love to LOVE HIM! He redeems himself in every way. He is determined to win Pepper back, and he doesn’t care how long it will take. Does the guy still have issues, yes who wouldn’t but it is a tortured soul. He has become my Byronic Hero.

Ahead Contains Spoilers Proceed with Caution

So, I got side tracked talking about the Oh so Hot Jace Wilder. Let us go back to Miss. Pepper Jones.“You’re bolder and more confident. You’ve always known who you are, but now, you’re just rocking it.[…] You don’t second-guess yourself.[…] You’re even more direct. Like that – you wanted to know, so you just asked… but your harder to read, for me, at least. Jace Wilder talking to Pepper Jones.

This girl has had so much thrown at her the last few years, I cannot even believe it. Let us recap.

 – Dated high school titled winning Men’s National Cross Country Runner, Ryan
– Discovered Best friend was doing and selling drugs
– Faints at a Regional Cross Country Met.
– Wins High School Women’s National Cross Country Title.
– Had numerous outfits ruined because of petty girls.
– Picture of her and former boyfriend sent viral to make it look like she was cheating on current boyfriend.
– Saw a Video of current boyfriend getting a BJ from another girl.
–  Get physically assaulted at a party by current boyfriend former druggie guys.
– Boyfriend goes to college.
– Gets a calf fracture during senior year and is unable to race in majority for the season.
– Gets drugged while at College Recruiter weekend.
– Almost gets ran over by a crazy stalker girl.
– Loses virginity.
– Begins college.
– Boyfriend and Her are ALL happy. Until boyfriend has family problems. He shuts her out and the breaks up with her. 

I mean can the girl get a break. In this book she has just as much drama and I feel bad for her, but what is a good book without obstacle.
Those of you that were hard core Ryan fans from book 1 & 2, don’t worry. He is still there, just not a prominent character this round.

But our love triangle is brought back with not another girl, but a guy. None other than Clayton Dennison. He is now playing major league baseball in Denver for the Rockies. Somehow though he still seeks out Pepper. He even ask her on a date. She ends up going out with him on one date, but doesn’t know how to break it to him.

Now. Bunny, Bunny, Bunny – that women is comic relief. She is so funny. Just picture it. College party. Old lady comes and ends up talking to some Baseball Players from the Rockies. Tells them she can do a Keg stand; AND proceeds to do it for 4 seconds. Man, you go granny!

Heads up: Someone asked someone to get married; there is a wedding scene. The
engagement and wedding are NOT by the same couple. Let me tell you there are many couples in this book so don’t go thinking I spoiled it already. Pepper may or may not win some of her races. Jace may be enter into NFL draft. Then we have a crazy person (AGAIN) who has been planning on sabotaging one of our favorite people.

YES you need to read this book.
I am not saying you can or you should. No you NEED TO!
Why, because you will love it.
You will love to hate and hate to
love ALL the characters.
You will laugh, cry,
root-on, and
smile with joy through
the entire series.

YES you must start with book one. This is NOT a standalone book. Read Pepped Up, then move forward from there. If you don’t fall in love with this series after the first book, then I am saw there is no hope for you with the YA Contemporary Sports genre. Picture

Purchase on Amazon Here

Parental Info: Active Language, Active Drinking, Active sex (nothing graphic), kidnapping, physical violence

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