I am Free

By Regina Bartley

427 ratings - 3.74* vote

A standalone novel about one girl's fight for freedom, and one boy's chance to stand out.The day that Grace turned eighteen, she was finally able to escape. She packed a bag, tiptoed out of her kitchen door, and ran away from her home, leaving behind a world of hurt. She was chasing the one thing that she'd dreamed about her whole life... Freedom. Jackson was a star. He wa A standalone novel about one girl's fight for freedom, and one boy's chance to stand out.The day that

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Book details

Paperback, 266 pages
November 4th 2015 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

(first published May 19th 2015)

Community Reviews

Helen Power

This book is different from other similar books, and it all comes down to Grace's outlook on life. She's lived a sheltered life, and her father was extremely abusive, but when she escapes and moves to live with her aunt, she's happy. She doesn't feel embarrassed at her lack of knowledge of how friendships and relationships are supposed to work, and she doesn't even want to change her wardrobe. Grace is optimistic and sweet, which was a refreshing perspective for this type of book.
That said, Jackson is your typical popular jock, which contrasted nicely with Grace's innocence. I do wish the book was longer, as I felt their relationship was somewhat rushed. We didn't get many scenes with them "getting to know each other" before the feelings started.
All in all, it's a sweet, quick read. 3 stars.

Nerdy Dirty & Flirty

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Regina Bartley starts Grace's story in a way that had me in tears, that's how you know your are heading into a great book. When the author has the power to pull you in from the very beginning, you just know you won't be putting this book down until you have read every page of it. This was my first book of Regina's and I plan to go get her other books asap and had them to my TBR.

Grace's story starts so sad and heartbreaking, but ends with a strong woman, who has something a lot of women don't ever have let alone at the age of 18, she loves herself, she loves who she is and even though she knows she is different from everyone else she has no plan to change who she is to please anyone else. She dresses different and is very innocent, due to the way she was raised. Her father had very strict rules, she was not allowed to wear pants or shorts, she could only wear long skirts, and collared shirts, no swimsuits, and never showing any skin, she had to dress very modestly and didn't have any friends outside of the families very tight circle of friends, but no real friend she could talk to or hang out with. She was also home schooled so she wasn't socially mature either. The day she turned 18 she knew that was her chance to get free, and she did everything she could to be free.

Jackson is the typical popular star athlete, only concerned about his reputation and what people think about him. That causes some problems though when he meets Grace for the first time, he wants to accept her but he knows his friends wouldn't, and they would make fun of him as well as her if he acknowledged they knew each other. They got close but only when not in public, he knew Grace was very innocent and knew that he couldn't lead her on when he knew he couldn't give her what she wanted in public. Grace had a lot of life to learn, and she was excited to learn everything she could. To experience the things she didn't have growing up. Jackson thought he had life figured out, knew how he was supposed to behave and how to keep friends and keep his popularity. What he didn't realize is how much growth he needed to achieve as well. How much of the real Jackson he was hiding behind his popularity.

Not only did I fall in love with the main characters but I loved the extra characters in this book, Kennedy who became Graces first best friend, was also Jackson's older brother. Kennedy is full of spirit and a good laugh, that helped Grace come out of her shell. Jackson and Kennedy also had another older brother, Tucker, who is a laugh, but is like a big brother to Grace in the end. I would love to see more books on these secondary characters, and get more of Jackson and Grace in the mix as well. If you are like me and have not experienced any of Regina's previous books, you will not regret this purchase, and I think you will fall in love just as quickly as I did. And if you have read Regina's other work you know you will not be disappointed in this new book. So GO get your copy today, do not wait any longer and put this at the top of your TBR list today.

Jae Lu

Parents who thinks punishing their kids until they're black and blue are heartless human beings. I am with disciplining kids but not when parents have no regards of how in pain they're kids, body mind and soul.

Melyssa Winchester

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Title: I Am Free
Author: Regina Bartley
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Rating: ★★★★★

Review

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After reading 15 Years to Life, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I needed to get my hands on whatever Regina Bartley put out next. And just like with that book, she did not disappoint.

I think what I enjoy most about her writing is that her characters are beautiful despite not being perfect and more than that, they’re incredibly real. I know that people use fiction as a means to escape, at least I know that I do, but when I enter into a book, I’m hoping for that real connection with the characters I’m reading about. It can be something small and insignificant, but I need to connect and I did that here, multiple times.

Gracie’s life isn’t easy. In fact, it’s brutal. She’s living an existence that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. So, what does she do? She makes a plan to get out. A plan to start over, but more than that a plan to be free. Given a place to be by her aunt and saving every bit of the money that had been given to her over the years on birthday’s etc, she sets out on this plan to be free.

And she succeeds, but not without gaining a few things along the way that deep down I don’t believe she ever thought she was worthy of having based on the way her own family had treated her over the years and how their treatment had engrained itself into not only her mind but her heart as well.

Gracie gained a family. A true family. She gained her freedom. Ability to make her own choices and become the person that I just know deep down she was always meant to become and last, but not least, she gained Jackson.

She also wasn’t your typical heroine and I think that may have been what I loved most about her apart from everything else. She honestly didn’t care what people thought of the way she dressed, the simple way she was. She was just happy to be able to finally be her and from the moment she got out to the moment she was finally free, I was pretty damn happy that she was able to be her too.

Jackson in a lot of ways could be explained away as typical college playboy. He’s got his basketball, he’s got access to girls and parties, a good home life and money. He’s even got the typical piece of work girlfriend. But much like Gracie when we meet her, he doesn’t have what he truly deserves or what he’s actually worthy of.

Jackson, like Gracie is so much more than what he looks like on paper. So much more than the details and even though it took quite a bit of time here for him to screw his head on straight on what he did deserve, the type of guy he really was (the one that Gracie could see easily) and what the right thing to do is, when he did realize it, it was a beautiful thing to witness.

I enjoyed seeing them both come into their own almost as much as I did watching the two of them fall in love. It was gradual, not forced on the reader, but spun in such a way that you weren’t driven crazy by the wait. I would venture to say that the amount of time that it took for them to work through their own things and get together in the way I wanted them too was masterfully paced and done.

But I can’t review this story without mentioning the parts that aside from the romance really stood out to me. And there were a lot.

First, Jackson’s family. They weren’t typical at all in terms of the way that people from wealth are depicted. This was a home where love was more paramount than money and each family member brought their own unique part to it, but I have to admit that while I did enjoy Kennedy and Jackson’s mother Claire, it was Nick and Tucker that stood out the most. They made me laugh, they made me cry but more than that, both of them in certain instances made me feel, just as much if not more at times than Jackson himself did.

Aunt Darcy. What an incredible character. What she did for her niece and continued to do even after she’d gotten Grace away from the abuse was inspiring and amazing. Every child in the world deserves to have at least one family member like her, and I enjoyed learning in the end that just like everyone else seemed to end happily, so did she.

Grace coming into her own was by far the most moving experience for me though, apart from the romance. I saw this girl start out buried in this shell and the more time that went on, little by little she really did break free. Making the title of this book perfect for the story within its pages. It was a beautiful thing to witness and something I am so glad I got to witness.

Regina Bartley, you have outdone yourself with this book, in a million different ways and it was such a pleasure to experience not only Grace’s story, but Jackson and the rest of the gang’s as well. You wrote one hell of a set of characters and it’s my hope that somewhere down the line we can see more of them in the future.

An incredibly moving, emotional and sometimes downright funny and real story and one that I’m so overjoyed that I took the chance on. It hit every mark, every time. I Am Free is a must read for everyone.

JadeShea

I Am Free has a really amazing heroine. I adored her strength and courage. The only bad thing was once this story it a little over halfway it felt like it went very fast. So fast, that I missed the true connection between the hero and heroine. Other than that, I liked it.

Shelby (Book Lovers Have More Fun)

5 stars!!!

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Grace was raised in a very strict and sheltered household. Her father would become abusive to her whenever she would disobey him. As soon as she turned eighteen she ran away to stay with her aunt. Her aunt from then on protected her by keeping her whereabouts a secret from her parents and giving her the love she had always deserved. On Grace's first day on her new job at a library she meets her future best friend, Kennedy. Kennedy proves that she's beautiful on the inside and out by accepting Grace for who she is. One day after work when Kennedy's brother, Jackson, shows up to pick her up that when things really start to happen. Jackson is a basketball star with a girlfriend. As soon as sees Grace's face he's mesmerized by her innocent beauty. He then becomes hot and cold to her. He starts to really like her, but he cares about his popularity and what people think of him more than actually being with her. I actually felt this was very similar to A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks in those aspects. While Jackson and Grace struggle with their feelings towards each other, Grace also worries about being found by her dad.

This book was AMAZING!!! I've been a fan of Regina Bartley for awhile now. In fact my favorite that she wrote has always been Moonshine. I'm thinking that this book has now surpassed it and is now my absolute favorite of hers. I loved everything about the book, I just wish it didn't have to end. Grace was such an inspiring character. She went through hell growing up only to not let any of the abuse and restrictions deter her at all. She knows that she doesn't dress or act like everyone else and she's okay with that. She doesn't let anyone get her down. She has such a positive outlook on her life that people can look up to her when they need some encouragement. I really enjoyed the other characters in this book as well such as her aunt and her best friend Kennedy along with her family. At first I didn't really like her love interest Jackson since he was kind of an egotistical jock, but he became different when he got to know Grace. She made him be the best that he could be. Grace left a horrible family only to gain an amazing one that was mostly non-blood related.

This story was told in first person through Grace's and Jackson's POV.

Lindy Lu Reviews

All Grace wants is to be free! Free from all the abuse and control she grew up with, so at the first chance of freedom she jumped. Now she is in the real world no longer sheltered and she has to try to fit in but what if she doesn't want to?

I love Regina Bartley's books! She does a great job in telling a fabulous story. I loved this one because it was so sweet and it showed strength how she overcame her horrible situation. Did not like her dad! He was so terrible, and mean && evil.

I loved Grace! She was such an awesome character strong and courageous. She was different and wasn't going to change, either you liked her or you didn't. If you didn't she did not care, she just walked with her head held high. She befriends Kennedy and then meets Kennedy's super hot basketball star brother, Jackson. But Jackson was so full of himself and even though he was attracted to the beautiful Grace her differences made him ashamed to be seen with her in public.

I loved Jackson too even though he was hot and cold it showed how he needed to be free too. Even though he wasn't abused, he was under the bondage of popularity, having to keep up his image just so people don't talk about him. Being with Grace wasn't an option, he had this image to keep so her nonchalant perspective on life didn't fit with his hottie persona. Will Jackson stick with the status quo or will he give into his feelings and go with his heart.

Emmi

What a wonderful touching book – I love everything about „I am free“.
The prologue made my heart hurt so much for Grace and with every page I fell in love with this strong and amazing girl more and more. She is definitely one of my fav book characters.
I think what I loved the most about her is, that she didn't run away and changed completely, she just added little things like the red lipstick. She had learned to love who she is and this is just a beautiful message to all girls.
„I love me, all of me. I love my shoes that have laces and my plain white socks. I love my skirts and my sweaters. (...)“

I love the friendship between Grace and Kennedy and I love Jackson – yes he struggled but it only made him more real and when he did finally get his head straight, he was just...awww <3
The writing was great, I really like Regina Bartley's „flow“, her books are always hard to put down and I loved the dual POV and the epilogue!

I'm so happy that Grace has found such a great family and I wouldn't mind if Kennedy would get her own book so I'd get to read more about these characters sometime in the future ;)
This emotional story is one of my fav reads 2015 and one I need to add to my little paperback collection.

Sandy

This is the first book I've read by author Regina Bartley and I was given the opportunity to experience her writing style and creativity with the offer of an ARC for an honest review. For the many who would not know; I only share extremely high quality books on my FB book blog page as a review. I will be sharing a review about this book!

She had me from the first sentence and never once lost me! It sucked me in and didn't allow me a minute to escape back into reality because it is that good! This is not a book for you if all you want is hot sex, look somewhere else. This is a book of heart, emotional conflict, strong wills, and a female character that is true to who she and will fight to live her life her way.

This won't be the last book of Regina's I read. I am going to go look and see some of her other books and pick a new read to enjoy! This is a solid 5 star read! It is an Oh My Goodnes! May I have my breathe back please book.

Jenna Brooklyn

Regina always knows how to capture my heart with her words. Grace is such a beautiful character inside and out. She can move past her rough childhood and be a good person. She has truly learned from her hardships. Grace and Jackson are two people you will want to get to know. The "goody-two shoes" and the "sports Jock". A pair you would not think would meld well. Yet, they both learn so much from one another and learn to be their true selves. I would HIGHLY suggest this book to anyone and everyone.

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