Release Day Review: Chasing Harlow by Jay McLean


What started as a bet can only end in heartache.

Moving to the middle of nowhere right before my senior year wasn’t ideal.
Then again, neither was my brother dying.
The move was supposed to be a fresh start.
A new town, a new school, a new mindset.
Too bad my past indiscretions followed me.
Enter Jace Rivera, the literal boy next door.
Jace is loved by the town. Admired by his peers. Worshipped by his teammates.
On the basketball court, he’s a god amongst men.
Off the court, he’s… nothing at all like I expected.
He’s profound and pure and… devastatingly tortured.
Yet somehow, he offers me light while I offer him hope.
In the end, we’ll either hurt or heal each other.
There’s no in between.
“Pain is the price we pay for love,” he once told me.
And a broken heart is the consequence of it.

**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review**

Jay McLean's Chasing Harlow is a touching and intense story about love, pain, and healing. Harlow moves to a new town after her brother's death, hoping for a fresh start. Instead, she meets Jace Rivera, the popular basketball star next door, who is dealing with his own heavy issues.

McLean excels at creating characters that feel real and relatable. Harlow’s journey involves a lot of self-sabotage, making some decisions that can be frustrating but also understandable. Jace, despite being the town's Golden Boy, is surprisingly deep and vulnerable.

"He smiles. And it’s in this moment that I fall. Hard. Deep. In the company of darkness, Jace Rivera becomes my light."

The connection between Harlow and Jace is strong, filled with both angst and tender moments as they help each other through their traumas. McLean balances their romance with emotional intensity, making the story both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

This book is packed with emotion, and there were times I found myself tearing up alongside the characters. Harlow’s choices might be questionable, but they make sense given her pain and need for self-protection, adding depth to her character.

"You and me—we’re just victims of loving the right people through the wrong times, all with the hope that there’s light at the end of the darkness."

Overall, Chasing Harlow is a beautifully written, emotionally charged story about young love and resilience. Jay McLean’s knack for creating relatable characters and delivering an emotional punch makes this book a must-read.


Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult and Young Adult romance, and skilled procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her three little boys, investing way too much time on True Crime Documentaries and binge-watching reality TV.

She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.

Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in her dream home where music is loud and laughter is louder.



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