Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing
Released: April 29th 2011
My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
Ashlyn: A lonely society princess living in New York City.
Daddy hired you to be my bodyguard.
Colin: Childhood enemy, now her protector.
Daddy thought I’d be safe. He thought I’d never fall in love. He thought he could keep me forever.
Charles: obsessed with keeping her safe, keeping her his, he hires the one person he knows she could never fall in love with: Colin.
Daddy was wrong. (from Goodreads)
Ashlyn has live a sheltered life for almost eighteen years – she’s never allowed anywhere without a “companion” (read: bodyguard) and she’s sick of having no freedom to do what other girls her age are doing. After her bodyguard of three years is fired for being too attached to her, Ashyln thinks that maybe her father will finally realise that she’s old enough to take of herself. Wrong. Her father hires an old family friend – Colin, twenty-one and once an enemy of Ashlyn’s – to be her new bodyguard, hoping that this time, there will be no chance for either of them to get “too attached”. However, things don’t always go to plan, and soon Ashlyn is struggling to remember why she ever hated Colin in the first place.
Overprotected was a very interesting book, and I liked how it focussed on how parents could go too far when trying to protect their children. Ashlyn’s dad, Charles, was not only careful with his daughter, he was obsessive – Ashlyn was literally caged, not allowed to live a life of her own. He checked her phone on a regular basis, monitored all her friends, never let her out without doing check-ups on the places she was visiting, made sure her bodyguard was with her at all times – it was almost creepy, the lengths he went to in order to keep his daughter safe. I could see why Ashlyn was so frustrated and angry all the time. To tell you the truth, I didn’t really like Ashlyn very much when the novel started, because she seemed quite whiny and your typical “poor little rich girl”, but as the story when on and the extent of her father’s obsession was uncovered, I started to understand her a lot more, and with the influence of Colin, I felt she definitely became more likeable in the second half of the book.
I really liked Colin (though didn’t really understand why Ashlyn’s father, who was so fixated on protecting his daughter, would hire him to be her bodyguard when he had no previous experience in any such field). I think he was one of the only people that actually understood Ashlyn, and was the only one willing to stand up to people on her behalf. He wanted to protect her because he cared about her, but even he could see that Charles was going too far in trying to keep his daughter safe, and even spoke out to his employer on a few occasions. I really enjoyed his scenes with Ashlyn – it was obvious there was an attraction between them, but Colin could never act on it because he was an employee of Ashlyn’s father. I never really got why Ashlyn hated Colin so much anyway – he played a few childish tricks on her, but that was a long time ago – so I was glad when she started to realise that Colin had changed, and was a much kinder, sweeter person now.
One thing that stayed constant throughout the whole novel was Ashlyn’s passion for music, and I thought it was great how this was worked into the story, because it helped enhance Ashlyn’s character as well helping her feel free – this was the only thing she could control, and was the one thing she knew she wanted to pursue - it played an important role in her life. I really liked the chapters leading up to the ending and I think what happened needed to happen in order for Ashlyn and her family to understand what really was best for her. Even though things still weren’t perfect, I liked how everything worked out in the end – it was realistic and a good conclusion to the book.
Overall, Overprotected was an enjoyable read with a great concept, and I would definitely recommend it to fans of contemporary YA, or to anyone who has enjoyed Jennifer Laurens’ previous works (which you should definitely check out - the Heavenly series is one of my favourite angel series, it's awesome!).