Book: The Maverick
Author: Jennifer Valenti
Genre: Fiction / New Adult / Women's Fiction
Pages: 201 (Kindle)
Publisher: Hyde Park Press / Broken Arrow Books
Publication Date: 7th December 2020
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Trigger Warning: Sexual assault and PTSD.
*Disclaimer: I was given a free advanced reader copy (e-ARC) of Jennifer Valenti's book The Maverick by Mindbuck Media in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to both Jennifer and Mindbuck Media for this opportunity.
Jane Valiante had put so much of her life on hold to care for her father and little brother back in Florida since her mom died, that she’d all but forgotten she once had ambitions of her own. She had nearly resigned to a life of ordinary when the hottest tech company in the world offers to fly her to New York for the job of her dreams.
After what shapes up to be a whirlwind of an interview, Jane starts to feel overwhelmed and insecure about her chances. Feeling defeated, she’s surprised to receive an invitation to the holiday party from the CEO and Founder, Peter Wright, planned for that evening. Hoping this could be her opportunity to seal the deal, she happily accepts. That’s when everything in her world turns upside down as she finds herself back in her hotel room with Peter after the party. What started as a drunken misunderstanding leads to a brutal sexual assault that leaves Jane shattered.
Torn by the violence of what happened that night and the shocking choices she inevitably makes, Jane embarks on a precedent-setting journey to right the wrongs she has endured that could ultimately define the fate of a generation.
Synopsis provided by Jennifer and Mindbuck Media.
Set in modern day, The Maverick follows Jane Valiante's journey at her dream job in New York. After spending years caring for her father and brother after her mother died, Jane was close to giving up on her dreams. But when her dream role in a world-renowned tech company came up, she jumped at the opportunity.
After the interview, the CEO and Founder of the company Peter Wright invites her to the staff party. Seizing the opportunity to make an impression and meet her potentially future colleagues, she accepts. Yet, when a kind-hearted gesture towards Peter goes misunderstood, she finds herself victim to a brutal sexual assault. Conflicted between taking on her dream position, or staying within the comforts of home, Jane has a life-changing decision to make.
It can't go without mentioning that this book does include a brutal sexual assault / rape. It is descriptive and quite graphic, and explores both the short and long-term after affects. Jennifer reveals at the beginning of the book that it's based on her own experiences, so this book is clearly close to heart and provides an honest portrayal.
I liked Jennifer's way of introducing her characters, immediately portraying Jane as an independent woman who didn't allow stereotypes nor prejudices to affect her. Written in first person, it gave us an honest insight into Jane's thoughts and feelings, enabling the reader to easily connect with her. There's also a wonderful chemistry between Jane and her friend Carmen; I really liked how the two interacted and supported one another.
I enjoyed Jennifer's unique writing style, particularly how she focused on specific events. While some authors would breeze over everyday tasks, Jennifer took the reader on a journey so we could embrace Jane's experiences with her. For example, when Jane is working through tasks on her computer, Jennifer slowly takes us through each one in detail. This allowed the reader to experience that journey with her, and I appreciate these little touches that really help to bring the character to life. I also enjoyed reading about the 'Hackathon', which was an event where two teams compete against one other in rounds to achieve an ultimate goal. This really highlighted each character's strengths and personality, and their true colours shone through.
There's not too much that I can mention about the plot without revealing all of the twists and surprises! So you'll just have to give this one a go for yourself! I was gripped and engaged with the story throughout. There's so many different themes radiating throughout this book, including trauma and loss, strength and ambition yet largely the importance of friends and family.
This book went above and beyond my expectations, I didn't expect to read such an inspiring, heart-warming and empowering story of a strong, independent woman fighting the wrongs of the world. I also liked how this book concluded, and was delighted to hear that this is only the beginning! This book is the first of The Jane Valiante Series so there's more on the way!
Overall, I'd rate this book five out of five stars. A truly empowering story, with a strong focus on strength through adversity. As mentioned above, there are some elements of this book that some readers may find triggering or uncomfortable to read, i.e. sexual assault and PTSD.
The Maverick is available to buy today, you can find more details on Amazon and Goodreads. If you'd like to find out more about the author, click here. Thank you again to the author Jennifer Valenti and Mindbuck Media for this wonderful opportunity.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with or endorsed by any links in this blog post. I will not receive anything if you buy this book or use the above links.
Jennifer Valenti is a debut author with her first novel, The Maverick, launching in 2020. The Maverick is the first in a series of seven novels entitled “The Jane Valiante Series,” which crosses multiple themes within the women’s fiction genre, particularly focused on stories reminiscent of the "Me Too” movement. Miss Valenti is an Emmy award-winning technology executive whose most recent career success has been in the field of artificial intelligence. Prior to moving into technology, she had a successful career in film and television as a Producer and Assistant Director with credits such as The Waterboy, Men in Black II, and Dawson’s Creek.
Take care and stay safe,