by Penny Reid
Published September 2019
About the Book:
Beard With Me’ is the origin story of Billy Winston and Scarlet St. Claire (aka Claire McClure) and is just the beginning of their epic love story.
No one is better at surviving than Scarlet St. Claire and making the best out of circumstances beyond her control is Scarlet’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, she’d be the last person on earth, hermitting like a pro, singing along to her CD Walkman, and dancing like no one is watching.
Scarlet is clever, Scarlet is careful, and Scarlet is smart . . . except when it comes to Billy Winston.
No one is better at fighting than Billy Winston and raging against his circumstances—because nothing is beyond his control—is Billy’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, he’d be the first person on earth to lead others to safety, overcome catastrophe, or die trying.
Billy is fearless, Billy is disciplined, and Billy is honorable . . . except when it comes to Scarlet St. Claire.
You know when you finish a book and IMMEDIATELY want to start the whole thing over? Not because you think you missed something or read too fast, but because of the way it made you feel things and want things to be different, even though you know they'll be the same the next time you read it - and you also know it can't happen any different way, and it breaks your heart but you still want to go back to page one and live it all over again?
Penny Reid is a master at tugging your heart strings. She fills her books with both laughter and emotions so strong you feel them for days afterward. I love her Knitting in the City series, about 6 strong women friends in Chicago finding love, and have recommended it to anyone who will listen to me. But I think I may love this series more. It's more subtle in how it sneaks up on you and invades your thoughts, making you care, making you think, and making me crazy that this book ends the way it did!
This book is completely set in high school, but it is in no way a Young Adult book.
I know the author says this is an origin story, and * technically * you could probably read it without reading any of the other stories.... but as a devoted reader of this series, I firmly believe you should read them in numbered order - and that this book will seem overly bleak without a solid base of who those Winston boys are. In the same way that book one of the series starts 4 months after their mother, Bethany Winston, succumbs to cancer and you don't get to truly meet her until Beauty and the Mustache, which is book 0.5 in the series, but didn't come out first... and Ashley is a crossover character to the Knitting in the City series, so it's better if you've read those books too.... but as the author says, each book is technically a standalone. She gives you all the information you need from each characters perspective (all books are told in first person, alternating POVs between the two leads) so that you can start anywhere. Start anywhere.
I digress. If you've read the series, GET THIS BOOK NOW.
If you haven't read the series, WHY NOT?
Beard With Me is available on AMAZON ~ as is the REST OF THE SERIES
I'm not sure I can leave a typical review since I want all of you reading this to go buy book one and live through the series like I did.