Lisa lives in sunny southern California with her wonderful husband and two teenage children. She works outside the home and between work and family, she squeezes in all the time she can to write.
Project Lexiby Lisa Survillas
Derek Fressen experiences one tragedy after another.
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Lexi Crandall's world is turned upside down her junior year of high school. Her confession tears her family apart and leaves them broken. Looking for an escape after graduation, she heads out of town for college. Wracked with guilt and shame, she keeps to herself, befriending only her roommate, Paige.
Derek Fressen experiences one tragedy after another. After learning to cope with being raised by a single mom, he and his sister, Tiffany, become closer than ever. When Tiffany escapes for college, Derek takes the opportunity to leave his past behind as well.
San Francisco State University is where Lexi and Derek find themselves junior year, thrown into the most uncomfortable situation possible, a group project that requires each to open up about their past. Their grade depends upon the ability to prove to the professor through a class presentation that they truly learned about one another.
Painful memories and terrifying tests of courage propel Lexi to learn how to take baby steps in the healing process, and give hope of one day feeling normal. Although he feels he's pretty well healed from the horrible events of his past, Derek is lonely and longing for a life of more.
Will Lexi and Derek be able to share enough of their lives with each other to pass the class? How much will Lexi let Derek help her in the process? Are their tragic pasts too much to overcome, or will love be in their future?
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Although a story of love, trust and healing, Project Lexi is NOT for those who cannot deal with the pain these characters have all gone through in their pasts or the torment they struggle with every day. Everyone else, grab a box of tissues for the tears and a bone to gnaw on for the anger and prepare to leave your comfort zone. Author Lisa Survilla is going to drag you through the dark side before allowing you to catch a few rays of sunshine and she is going to do it so well, that you won’t be able to put Project Lexi down. Two strangers, each having had to deal with pain and loss in their pasts, one lets the brutality of child abuse and the consequences that followed turn her inward into the twisted hell that is her mind. The other, hit by huge losses, one after another, tries to cope by becoming the cliched party boy, man whore. When college student Lexi is assigned a project with Derek, she fears her entire ugly past will spew forth, laying her bare to the pity and suspicions of the world. There is something about this emotionally battered young woman that strikes a chord in Derek’s heart as he finds himself slowly gaining her trust and watches her begin to slowly blossom into the person she was meant to be. There will be turmoil, backsliding and tears, but each step forward is like a precious gem in time. Will they each discover a way to heal one another? Lexi’s damage runs deep, she has had no support from family, only her best friend to help her along, but has Paige been more of an enabler than she realizes? Will Derek convince Lexi that love doesn’t have to hurt and even if it doesn’t last, she will go on? Will helping Lexi change something inside Derek, too? Lisa Survilla has created a powerful tale, relying heavily on emotionally hooking her readers, and she does it well. This journey to self-worth is incredible, and will leave you hoping each character will find their way. Ms. Survilla focuses on the main characters, as she wraps them in their own cocoon, allowing satellite players in only long enough to make maximum impact. If you’re looking for an intense read that will shred your heart then put it back together better than before? This tale feels real, raw and is amazing.
I don't write a lot of reviews, or at least not for every book. But I just had to write something about this book. I had to stop reading at chapter 10 because I'd already been on an emotional roller coaster. I knew I was going to have to put it down and pick it up later. It took 3 days for me to pick it back up. And I devoured the book once I started it again. The characters are so amazing. I loved Lexi and Derek. The things they have gone through in their lives is heartbreaking. But the fact that they help each other is beautiful. I know the next book will have twists and turns and I know it will be emotional but I can't wait to read more of their story.
Project Lexi is not an easy read. It is based on the sensitive and emotional subjects of abuse and recovery from the betrayal of a family. The author did a great job at presenting the view from a survivor and letting us see all the emotions that linger after the crime is brought to some sort of light. While this is not a fluffy light read, I do think the author balanced the intensity more towards the gentle side which to me was not a cop out in this case but more of a showing of respect to everyone affected by such events. Lexi will forever live with the fact that doing the right thing is also the very thing that tore her family apart. She grew up with three siblings a mother and father but also a boat load of secrets and lies. When college starts she packs up and leaves to get as far away from the memories and people as possible. She begins her new life with one friend, her roommate and a heavy load of college courses to keep her busy. Only two people in that area know about her past, her roommate and her therapist and that is how Lexi wants to keep it. Plans don’t always go as she wishes when she is thrown into a project for a class with the assigned partner Derek. I will just admit it now I loved Derek. He is so focused on getting his education he won’t even live on campus and get involved with the party crowd. He went down that path for a bit earlier and his sister reminded him that he was who she looked up to so now his focus is on being the man his sister and mother can be proud of. He carries so much guilt and baggage regarding three important people in his life, but that guilt has also allowed him to see the pain in Lexi’s eyes and the need to protect her becomes stronger than any other emotion he has felt. He stays isolated most of the time, going to the gym, school and looking for a part time job so he is happy to have her come to his place to work on the project and making her dinner. Every moment he shares with her becomes a treasure to him and a way for him to get to know what is causing her so much fear and hurt. The class project requires them to communicate with each other about their lives. He can tell this is going to be hard for her so he takes each step slowly to make it as comfortable for her as possible. As the story goes on you see a lot of back and forth between them but Derek never loses his patience for her. Lexi doesn’t understand how he can care about her so soon, what does he want from her? The bigger question for her is what does she have left to give him? For some reason he just gets her and understands that she needs her personal space and the need to not be touched. He finally finds a way to show her that she isn’t the only one with skeletons in the closet, demons that invade their sleep and cause nightmares that last all day. She really isn’t alone in the pain she is feeling and that is what makes her see why he understands her so well. Slowly she lets down some of the walls and he appears to bull doze the rest until they are at the point that a relationship might be possible. Derek also has to deal with some surprising events from his mom that will push his acceptance and patience level up even higher. The book was emotional as I stated earlier but for me it lacked some character development that would have allowed me to invest more of my heart. The author used dual POV style in the book and that caused some repeating of events which made me feel the book dragged out a bit too much. Also for the first half of the book it was pretty much a lather, wash, repeat style with her getting closer, running, going to therapy, and repeat. Once she was able to cross the line into new territory I felt the story on her part picked up a bit. I would recommend this book to anyone who has the compassion to care and understand the level of pain Lexi was going through. It isn’t for someone who wants a quick solution to the angst and we have a happy ever after story. I believe the author kept this work of fiction as close to reality as possible and did a great job at expressing the exhausting emotions that are involved. Reviewed by Tbird for Crystal’s Many Reviewers *Copy provided for review*
I received this book from the author for an honest review. I am amazed how much I enjoyed this book. Lexi is a young woman who has been through a huge emotional damaging life changer when she was younger and still was healing from it even in her college years. Her only friend Paige has been there from the beginning and has been her emotional rock since the beginning. Derek is struggling with his own demons. He lost his father at a young age, then his grandparents. In high school, he experienced a tragedy by losing his girlfriend and his best friend in a drunk driving accident. Lexi and Derek are paired up for a project in one of the classes that they have together. Derek can tell that Lexi is healing from something, but she hasn't told him what happened. While working on this project they become close and Lexi tells him what damaged her so much. The author brings in a topic that is not easily discussed. Being sexually abused by a family member is horrible for anyone, but the author, Lisa Survillas described Lexi's situation with grace. I had to bring out the tissues during her discovery. Derek is developing serious feelings for Lexi. He wants to help her heal. Each day that they are together, Derek and Lexi are healing together. Both of them are souls that are just drawn together. I can't wait to see what the next book, Loving Lexi, brings to Lexi and Derek when its released in the fall of 2014.
Project Lexi was an emotionally powerful story that had me in tears. Both lead characters, Lexi and Derek, were forced to open up about their painful pasts and explore them together for a college class project. In the process they helped each other with their healing process, especially Lexi’s. While Lexi is confused, even scared of the love and intimacy growing between herself and Derek, Derek is surprisingly patient and understanding for one so young. This is a touching, heart-wrenching story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.