The Goal (Off-Campus #4)
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publication: September 26th, 2016
Publisher: Elle Kennedy
Format: Kindle Edition, 350 pages
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Read: October 2016
She’s good at achieving her goals…
College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.
But the game just got a whole lot more complicated
Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.
Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed reading this book, specially since I was anticipating it for so long before starting it. It was funny and heartfelt and sweet. It had it’s heavy moments which I enjoyed because it made it feel real and honest. The plot was really emotional, sexy and just downright entertaining. I loved the ending, it was great to end the series.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style for this series is really fun and engaging. It’s so easy to read and addictive, I can read these books in one sitting. This one in particular is written a lot more maturely considering how the story revolves around an unplanned pregnancy. But it has really sweet undertones and I really like that it’s distinct between characters.
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve been looking forward to getting to this book for a really long time. The two main characters in this book have been around for awhile. We know of them but they didn’t have the biggest presence in the other books so I was really excited to know more about them. Sabrina is really closed off. She’s very independent and used to having to fend for herself. She’s had a rough life so she tends to be self-deprecating and really, really frustrating to read at times. Honestly, I had the urge to shake her quite a few times throughout the book. Tucker on the other hand is such a sweetheart. I absolutely loved him and his attitude in this book. He’s always been the quietest out of the group of friend highlighted in this series so it was amazing to see inside his personality and emotions in this book. He’s really charming and funny. He’s also very determined and insistent with Sabrina but not in the way where he’s pushing his desires on her but in a way where he challenges her to see herself in a better light and to see them as something positive. It’s a really hard road but I think it turns into a really beautiful relationship between the two of them. It was super duper great to see all of the old characters show up in this book. I missed them so much and to see some of the older scenes from other points of views as well as seeing how they react to Tucker’s news was really interesting. I also really loved Sabrina’s friends. I love that she had her own little support system outside the regular gang we’ve been used to seeing and they were very kind and very encouraging of her and I loved that!
I was super excited to read this book and though its not my favorite, I think overall it was a great ending to the series overall.
The plot is a bit more serious than the rest of the series. We go back some time to see the development of Tucker and Sabrina’s relationship as well as how they deal with the unexpected pregnancy. While the first books in this series are more lighthearted, this one is more serious and mature considering there’s a baby involved. There’s a lot more to deal with than just two people falling in love and getting together. They have a much more complicated relationship than the rest of the cast of this series. There are a lot of serious and I guess you can say intense situations in this book and while it definitely changed the dynamic of the series, I think it gave it a much more realistic and honest edge. However, it still had it’s funny and entertaining moments. The gang shows up so obviously there’s a lot of banter and messing around which is always a fun time. Tucker and Sabrina had a lot of great lines of banter and Sabrina’s friends were also very comical and fun to read about. I really enjoyed how Tucker and Sabrina’s relationship developed slowly. They jumped into something and came out with a pretty big consequence so I loved that the author didn’t try to make their relationship have a similar rhythm. Yet it almost got to the point where it went too slowly and it was so frustrating to read! I just wanted them to be together and happy already though I completely understand why it didn’t happen the way that I wanted to. Again, it was great to have the old characters join in this book. They are all in different stages in their lives and not in one place anymore, but they still support Tucker and his life and it was great to see. Sabrina’s friends were amazing and I almost wish for some books in their perspectives. They were an amazing source of support for her and it was really beautiful to see.
Sabrina really frustrated me as a character and I think that’s because she reminds me a lot of me. I loved her tenacity and determination. She’s making it on her own and going for her goals with a single minded focus. She’s smart and beautiful and just a great representation of a contemporary badass female character. Btu she constantly sabotaged her own happiness because of fear. I relate to that so hard and yet seeing it reflected back at me was immensely frustrating. I wanted to shake her and yell at her, to tell her that her happiness was right in front of her and all she had to do was open her eyes and accept it. Obviously it’s super hypocritical because I don’t even do that myself but while it made for a very particular reading experience, I’m gonna process the feelings her attitude brought up in me and hopefully be able to overcome that obstacle myself as she finally did.
I want a guy like Tucker, like really badly. I’ve always said that Dean is the kind of guy that I would want to myself, but I think that Tucker is the one that I’d need. He is just so amazing to Sabrina. He’s kind and patient. He’s sweet and really funny and supportive of her. But at the same time, he’s insistent. He doesn’t push her beyond her boundaries but he encourages her to step out of them herself. He makes his feelings and intentions known and doesn’t hide them for her comfort. He’s just always there for her in any capacity, and I loved how their relationship developed slowly but surely.
Overall, I think this was a great ending to the series. It wasn’t my favorite by any means but I think it wrapped up the collective story well as well as this individual story which developed slowly and beautifully. It’s a lot more mature and intense than the previous ones and deals with more “grown up” choices and situations. Sabrina reminded me a lot of myself which is both good and bad but I enjoyed her journey in this book. Tucker is a sweetheart and I love him so much and the ending is just so hopeful and beautiful that it warmed my heart.
So that’s it for this post! I would love to know if you guys have read the Off-Campus series yet. I’ve been recommending it left, right and all over the place so you should definitely consider picking it up soon. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!