Review: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams

Emotional and heartbreaking with epic angst and intensity! This book had me stressed, smiling, crying, bawling and even angry! If there’s ever a book to incite extreme emotions, it’s certainly this one! I won’t soon forget Taking Chances!


  • Stars: 4 emotional stars!
  • Main Characters: Chase Grayson, Brandon Taylor and Harper Jackson
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance, Mature YA
  • What I ♥ The Most: The way I connected with the characters. Obviously I felt strongly about what happened in this book and I think that’s the mark of good writing!
  • If You Like This Try: I’ve heard multiple people say that this book is a mix between Beautiful Disaster and the Thoughtless series, but I honestly don’t think so. I get that it has the bad boy element of Beautiful Disaster and the stressful love triangle of the Thoughtless series, but I think the storyline is completely unique. I’m looking forward to reading more Molly McAdams to see if I continue to connect and care about her characters as much as I did in this book.

This book killed me. It left me emotionally bereft after my emotions raged in every direction while reading. There were times I was so stressed over who she should be with that I remembered why I don’t read books with love triangles. There were also times that made me so angry and heartbroken that I wanted to send Molly a nastygram for what she did! (I’m betting she got quite a few after Chapter 13!) I went from Team Chase to Team Brandon and back-and-forth until I really didn’t know how I felt and which ending I would have preferred. But I always say that the best books are the ones that evoke intensity of feeling and like I said above, this is certainly an unforgettable read.

I will also say there was a time where I wasn’t even sure I could finish, but the book does have a happy ending full of love and closure, so I’m glad I did press on. I also finally understood why my awesome Facebook followers kept sending me virtual hugs as I read this! 

So what is this book about? Eighteen-year-old Harper Jackson grew up on a Marine base with a strict father who barely paid attention to her and made her call him Sir at all times. She was sheltered and confined by the rules of her father, so when she arrived in San Diego, this became her opportunity to find herself and relish in her new freedom.


Her new roommate Breanna takes her to a party where she meets a blonde, tattooed gorgeous boy with startling blue eyes and who seems to always surrounded by women.

“Rugged surfer, with dirty blond shaggy hair, impossibly blue eyes, the most breathtaking smile you’ve ever seen and cover him in tattoos.”

team chase

They finally talk and a emotionally-charged banter ensues. He calls her Princess and she is so put off by him, despite the fact that she finds herself attracted to him.

“I almost didn’t recognize you without a tramp attached to you.”
“Would you like to change that? I’m not up to my limit tonight yet.”
“Oh I’m sorry, but I don’t have any STDs, I’m not your type.”

Well, as fate would have it, this bad boy is Chase Grayson, her roommate Bree’s brother. Chase Grayson is a study in contradictions. Passionate and deep, flawed and complicated. He thinks he is no good for her, but can’t seem to stay away from Harper.

“No, I don’t deserve you either. You need someone who will cherish you, protect you and take care of you. Someone that realizes they’d never be able to find another you in the world, no matter how hard they looked.”

Juxtaposed with Chase’s mercurial attitude, she meets kind and steady Brandon Taylor with warm grey eyes, “short, buzzed hair, warm smile and single dimple on his right cheek.”

team brandon

Muscled up and tattooed just like Chase, but sweet and considerate, Brandon wins round 1 and makes Harper his girlfriend. However, the stressful love triangle intensifies as she falls in love with Brandon, while her inexplicable attraction to Chase also strengthens and turns into love as well.

“I felt like Elena from Vampire Diaries. She had two insanely hot men who are in love with her and would do anything for her. One of which, she would give almost everything to be with, and the other she continues to push away, even though she can’t ever actually stay away, so she won’t have to admit she was in love with him too.”

There are moments she can’t seem to deny what her heart feels for Chase, but then she can’t stand his constantly vacillating personality.

“I never know which Chase I’m going to meet up with that day. Is it going to be the cold or the funny and caring Chase? Will it be the one that’s with four girls in one night, or the one that tells me how beautiful I am, does amazingly sweet things for me and notices stuff about me that no one else does.?”

In the meanwhile, Brandon has given her everything. All the love and patience and support a girl could ask for… even giving her the space she needs for them to be intimate together… her first time. Then one weekend, she finds herself alone with Chase and it’s perfect. Days spent together with love and desire and kindness, with words filled with promise for the future. Chase gives her time to make a decision and when Brandon returns, she realizes she just can’t hurt him. Plus she is terrified that Chase will leave her one day, so she tells him she chooses her boyfriend.

“A part of me will probably always love you too, but I can’t take chances with you Chase. You’ll leave me one day, and it will kill me when you do.”

I was absolutely Team Brandon in the beginning, he is absolutely and completely wonderful and perfect and I just wanted Harper to get it together and devote herself to him. And then she spends that time with Chase and I kept thinking that you just can’t deny true love (crosses over line to Team Chase)… and then a whole shitstorm happens (huge plot twist #1) that has you tormented and stressed. Fully onboard Team Chase at this point, Harper is now with Chase and their future is bright.

“Are we done torturing each other by staying apart?”

This is the part of the book that I feel good and happy, despite some lingering guilt for Brandon who has been nothing but perfect. And then Molly writes chapter 13 (MAJOR plot twist #2) and literally breaks my heart in two, throwing the pieces to the ground and stomping on it to where I was crying so much my eyes were blurring the words on the page. I honestly thought I couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t imagine ANY ending that would made me feel happy. My little facebook support group urged me to continue and in the end I was glad I did.

I cannot say anything else from a plot standpoint now, but I will tell you that I was content in the end. I’m still not sure what I would have preferred, but I’ve definitely solidified the fact that I am not the best reader of books with love triangles. My heart gets way too confused and tormented! The last 20% of the book felt a little long to me, but truthfully, I was so exhausted from the emotional turmoil that I think that played into how I felt. I also understand there were some other parts of the book that needed closure at that point.

All in all, this is a really powerful book that has you submerged in raw and real feeling. If you haven’t read it yet, just prepare yourself that this isn’t your typical read and you will have dueling emotions at all times. I haven’t read Molly’s other books yet, but hope to do so. I especially can’t wait for Forgiving Lies, which comes out October 29th! Also, Stealing Harper, the companion book for Taking Chances, comes out June 4th. This will be Chase’s POV.

taking chances

Taking Chances: Buy for Kindle / Nook / Add To Goodreads
Stealing Harper: Pre-order for Kindle / Nook / Add To Goodreads

If you LOVE books that make you cry, check these out too!

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  1. Nikki S said:

    I feel like the second book from chase’s perspective will just kill me over again. I know I HAVE to read it, but omg… Not looking forward to that emotional hell again!


  2. Zandalee said:

    I’m so with you on this review! This is a book that evoked so many emotions from me. I mean I was ugly crying for hours and I had to take a break after that chapter to gather myself. This was a tough triangle; it was difficult to choose a side. Though for me, I think Chase will always be in the lead by a bit. xx


  3. banphrionsa said:

    Thanks for this review – I’ve had this book ready to read for a little while and just haven’t gotten round to it. Now I’ll definitely pick it up – I love the emotional rollercoaster!!!


    1. Vilma's Book Blog said:

      Definitely read it … Just be ready for it! 🙂


  4. Isabel Moreira said:

    One of my favorite books. Fantastic review girl 😀


  5. Ilse said:

    I just started reading book#1 and OMG, I am hooked!! Quick question, who is the hotty you chose as Brandon above cause he is very yummy!!


    1. VBB Post author said:

      Ah!!! Need to try and remember his name. I will get back to you! lol


    2. VBB Post author said:

      I need to try and remember his name!!! lol Let me get back to you on that!


      1. Ilse said:

        No worries. Well it is now Sunday night, 22:49, here in SA and I just read Chapter 13… Needless to say, I feel like slapping someone really hard! Not sure if I should go to sleep or continue reading and end up being a zombie at work tomorrow. Hehe


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