Reviewed by Stephanie on Goodreads.
This book was a solid 4.5 stars for me. I requested it for review through the Don’t Buy My Love program, and I’m really glad I did. Where to start…
First, don’t go into this book thinking it will be formulaic in the least. It’s a rough ride, in the most tantalizing of ways. I’m usually not much for stories that have tragedy in them that is supposed to be somehow uplifting and enlightening. I know that’s a valid plot line/tactic, and involves valid sentiments — it just usually isn’t a good emotional mix for me. And I’ll be honest, after reading a few chapters and the book’s blurb, I thought that was what this book was going to be. I pushed on, though, and I’m glad I did.
Second, the beginning third or so of the book feels long — lots of plot to hash out, details that seem excessive at first — but in thinking back on it, I’m not sure I could point out something that shouldn’t have been included. All in all, I thought this book was very well written, particularly with all the many balls to keep in the air with active juggling.
And third, as the plot picked up pace, and the many, many moving parts to the story started to mesh together in some unexpected ways, the story became very rich. It was moving, emotional, scary, trying, volatile, violent at times, and it was also loving and rewarding. Tenacity was the key word for the Drew and Dan. Their history and everything they came to understand about each other and their lives gave new meaning to “it’s complicated.” But the love they ended up stoking was hard won, and so complete.
If I have a criticism of this book, it is for the female characters, Sara and Chloe. I had a hard time with them. They were at times melodramatic, maybe even a little vapid, but then they would turn around and do something really competent and mature. I couldn’t get a handle on what made them tick, and Drew and Dan just seemed to play along (patronize?) with whatever the girls’ whims brought in the moment. But Dan and Drew’s characters were very well developed, to the point where even if I didn’t like the decisions they were making or the actions they were taking, I had a 100% understanding of why and how their characters were motivated to be doing such. This is a really good read. Pay attention to the trigger warnings, do not take them lightly, and be prepared to really think about what goes down in this book in order to get what I believe is the full effect.
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