Giving It Up - Amber Lin So wow. Probably closer to 4.5 stars, because it wasn't perfect, but it was darn good. This turned out to be different than I thought it would be, but not in a bad way, just different.

We have Allie, who was raped by the guy who had been her best friend since third grade. But what happened after the rape was maybe even worse. We don't really know about that until towards the end. I have to agree with Detective Cameron... Allie's life is one of the saddest stories I've read. But at the same time, it's empowering to know that she never gave up on life in general, probably because of the daughter who resulted from that rape. I mean, she gave it up once a month to pick up random guys and get rough, anonymous sex, because that's all she felt she deserved. Which is honestly sad. She also had no respect for or confidence in men. They hadn't done right by her and had given her no reason to trust them. Seriously.

Until Colin. Who wouldn't settle for anonymous. Or being a one-time-only deal. He was extremely heavy-handed about how he handled Allie, but everything he did was ultimately in her best interest. He was more of a gray knight than a white knight, and I didn't like that he was so closed off much of the time, but I sort of understood it as well. He was keeping his activities to himself in an effort to shield Allie. And when everything went down, he believed Allie once she explained everything. And then he left. I couldn't believe that. My heart was breaking. But I loved how Allie worked it all out. She forced his hand the only way she knew how and it paid off in spades. I also liked that she finally realized near the end that she no longer needed to settle, that she had a purpose in life and she deserved to live a good one.

I have to say that while there was sex, this was not sensual sex. There were a couple of episodes where it skated on sensual because of Colin and Allie's growing relationship, but there was still this edge to it.

I really wish we'd learned more about Colin's background. That he might have confessed to her, as she had to him, everything that had happened to him, everything that made him the way he was. Allie just accepted Colin, but it would have been nice to know what made Colin tick. I'd also like to know if Colin's brother and sister are ultimately OK. Even though Philip did some despicable things based on his misplaced prejudgment of Allie, I think he's probably a good guy deep down. I also really wish Stacey had ended up with her cop. They both seemed miserable at the end.