BOOK REVIEW ~ THE WEIGHT OF DESTINY BY NYRAE DAWN

When “crazy” runs in your family and your namesake is known for walking into a river with a pocket full of rocks, a girl kind of wants to avoid tempting fate at all costs. For Virginia Nichols, the only way to dodge that bullet is to be perfect at everything: school, student council, life. Too bad it’s all a lie, and underneath the perfection…Virginia is lost.
Ryder Blackstock knows a thing or two about being born into fate. The talents passed down from his father aren’t exactly normal; instead of learning how to throw a fastball, he was taught to hot-wire a car like a pro and pick any pocket in sight. He’s got criminal blood, just like his old man. And as soon as he turns eighteen, he’ll be living life on the run with his dad.
When Ryder and Virginia meet on the beach, it seems they couldn’t be more different. Soon they discover they’re both trapped in their lives—Virginia denying her fate, Ryder embracing his. Like the rocks in Virginia Woolf’s pockets, the weight of their destinies will pull them under. But being together brings out pieces of themselves they didn’t know existed—pieces that make them want to take fate into their own hands and rewrite their destinies…if it’s not too late.

4-4.5 stars!!
What a beautifully written YA romance. About a month ago I saw the blurb for this one and preordered it immediately because, well, I’m a sucker for bad boys. The real bad ones. And the hero in this one (even though he’s a teen) is pretty bad: he’s a criminal. The premise is one that’s overused but never fails to grab me. I love it when you have two characters from different social standings and they fall in love and tackle obstacles standing in their way. While this story was on the sweet and predictable side, nevertheless, the writing was beautiful and compelling enough to hold my attention throughout the entire book and the romance was dreamy to make any romantic sigh and aww over.
On the surface, Virginia Nichols is perfect and has the perfect life: she’s a straight A-student destined for greatness and comes from a wealthy background. Except she has a mother with DID (dissociative identity disorder) and when the other ‘personalities’ surface, Virginia is always the one there taking the brunt of her mother’s actions. On a day where things go too far, she becomes a daredevil and drives far away from her house to the beach to de-stress and contemplate her life, which is where she meets the hero Ryder.
Groomed into the role of an expert thief, Ryder Blackstock has never known love or kindness aside from his close group of friends. His dad’s a wanted criminal who loved that he could pickpocket or hotwire a car, not necessarily him, and his older brother left him behind and thinks little of him. When others see him, they don’t see a regular teenage boy just trying to fit in. They see a bad boy, a criminal, and automatically think the worse of him without really getting to know him. On the night he meets Virginia, he’s intrigued by her because she’s different in personality, life goals, and family background and though he knows a relationship between them isn’t the wisest idea, there is just a special something they see in each other they just can’t forget about and they both seek each other out. A tentative friendship blooms. Then a pure, tender romance develops.
I was surprised (but ecstatic) at how fast I fell for both of these characters. Virginia is a girl I can 100% relate to because when I was her age, I could be her replica. She’s a bit uptight and a total control freak but at the same time, when she lets loose, she’s wild and free. As for Ryder, well he’s a jerk, through and through. I would’ve liked to see more of his criminal side as that was the main reason I decided to pick this book up, but soon his soft and sweet side won me over. When bad boys have that heart of gold and are possessive and protective of their girl, it gives my heart a squeeze or two, and Ryder is the epitome of this kind of guy. But more importantly, I loved these characters because of how much they loved each other. They accept each other’s quirks and oddities and want to be together regardless of outside opinion.
As much as this story warmed my heart and gave me the case of the sniffles, there was one main thing that bothered me. I am a very logical reader despite loving being emotionally overwhelmed by stories and there was a character aspect that didn’t quite add up: Virginia’s mom’s DID. I feel like Virginia not knowing and not even bothering to look up DID in more depth until the very end when she needed to was weird, uncaring, and dismissive. For a girl who excels in her academics and always knows what’s going on and what to do, being ignorant of the basic aspects of DID (especially since her mother has the disorder) really bothered me.
Aside from that one aspect, the rest of the book was a winner for me. It’s a sweet, heartwarming book with two very relatable, likable characters and features strong, supporting side characters who I can’t wait to read more about.
The Weight of Destiny is the first book and a standalone in the Misfits series. It’s a YA romance so very low steam level but that was fine with me since any intimacy in the story had an emotional impact.
Rating: 4-4.5 stars!!