This sounds like lackluster praise. To the contrary, it is the best thing I can ever say about a book. You know how you read a book and you get aggravated by some little annoyance, or you feel something was left out or unexplained, or you start to feel differently towards the characters than you think you should? Or maybe you know how a turn of phrase or plot line can make you roll your eyes. All these things pull you from the story. It can still be a great book. You can still love it. But there are things wrong with it none the less. In my opinion, there is NOTHING wrong with this book. If there were any imperfections, it was so completely fantastically amazing that I didn't even notice. I was not pulled from the story once. I am still thinking about the characters now. It was all real. Funny, witty, heartbreaking. Let me repeat - funny (in case you missed it). Yes there is heartache and anguish. But there is humor and redemption, too. Just like life. This is my first Audible review. I liked it so much that I couldn't not rate it.
I liked this book. It was sweet and interesting. My only real complaint is that the main character, Logan, seems all angsty for the first little bit and then magically becomes un-angsty, and then we focus on Kit's angst. I don't know how to explain this without revealing a plot point. I don't really think it's a spoiler, since it happens so early in the book, but some folks are sensitive. So I will separate it into its own paragraph below.
Logan goes deaf when he's 13 (I think. Maybe 11. Anyway). Kids tease him about the way he talks. So he stops talking. To everyone. For 10 years (or something like that). Then, one day, he talks to Kit. No insecurity about it. No struggle. Nothing. This doesn't seem realistic. If you had the will power to stop talking for years, it must be a pretty big deal. So talking again ought to be a huge deal. But no. Weird, but not a deal breaker.
Didn't care for the narrator. But the story was sweet. I am thinking about picking up the second book. :)
This book was surprisingly good. It had real potential to be an eye rolling adventure. I'll be honest. I bought it because it was 4 bucks.
The characters are around 20, so there are some elements that lack maturity. But they are not too over the top. If I think back on being 20, none of this seems overly unreasonable.
What I really liked: The two main characters showed emotional growth that wasn't at the expense of the other person. In so many of these 'my past sucks' books, one person ends up being the victim of the other's past (whether it is purposely presented that way in the book or not). In this instance, the two main characters didn't 'save' each other, they helped each other grow. This I liked.
The stuff I didn't like was mostly YA behavior related, so I tried to let it go. If these characters had been 30 I would have been disappointed. Cheyenne's mother issues tested my patience at times.
But, al in all, pleasantly surprised.
I liked this book. I would give it 3.5 stars if I could. I've liked other Christopher Moore better (Lamb, Fool, Dirty Job). But I definitely liked it. It was very much a Chrisopher Moore take on vampires: sarcastic, unexpected at times, interesting characters, understated humor. What kept it from being a 4 star book for me is that I didn't have the urge to run out and get the second book in the series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but just wasn't invested.
Sigh. So, I don't really understand why this genre exists. The male love interest in this story is controlling and abusive. I don't find this 'swoon worthy'. I can only assume that those who do have not ever been in an abusive, controlling relationship. If you like this kind of thing, then it is a cute little story.
I will give you some examples below. May contain spoilers (no plot twists, just quotes and scenes).
The description makes it sound like Jocelyn is emotionally damaged and through his tenacity and devotion, Braden wins her trust and love. This is not so. He 'wins' her trust by demanding it, threatening her and playing emotional head games. Braden is constantly manhandling Jocelyn, physically manhandling. He is constantly ignoring her boundaries. In one scene, she gets angry at something he says and she gets up to leave. His response? 'You leave and I will tackle you'. This is not a joke. Jocelyn talks about being 'intimidated' constantly and tells him he is 'such a cave man'. She often says it lightheartedly, but it is not funny. Not to me. The Braden in the story is some kind of mythical man who has these traits but is actually loving and kind and no real threat. In real life, men like this are dangerous. She breaks up with him and he 'won't let her'. He tears up her plane ticket. He threatens bodily harm on other people if she flirts with them. He orders her around constantly. She acts all 'you can't treat me this way' but gives in immediately. He plays head games with a woman who already has severe emotional issues to manipulate her into getting what he wants. That is abuse. The have an 'arrangement' at the beginning of the book, but he never honors it. He begins their relationship by breaking trust and acting inappropriately. One of these traits could be a 'bad habit' a 'quirk'. But taken all together, this is not a man be with. I had to force myself to finish it.
But, again, this is not the only book of its kind that I have read. It is apparently something that sells. So, if this is your cup of tea, then I think this is a nice story. But please, do no let young impressionable girls read this crap. Real live men who act like this are far from endearing.
The narrator was great. :)
Ok. So. I know I gave this book two stars, but I think there are some people who would really like this book. The story line was reasonably complex and sweet. But you need to read it without really thinking about any of it. If you can do that - you will definitely like the book. I just could not. I can overlook one or two, but as the number of these events increased, so did my frustration. I can't really give examples of what I mean without spoilers, so I will separate them into the next paragraph.
This author should not write about ptsd. You could tell that the author had respect for the problem and for military personnel, but her portrayal of it lacked depth and accuracy. It was problematic.
So, a big point of contention in this book is that Ceejay (this right here annoys me too. I am glad I listened and didn't read 'Ceejay' instead of CJ over and over again) take out her anger at Matt (the abandoner) on his brother and the rest of his family. While this is true, the book focuses on this too much. Even when Ceejay has valid reasons for being angry with the family, it is attributed to her angst. For example, the non-abandoning brother Noah lies to Ceejay in the beginning and she has no idea he is related to Matt. Then, after a couple months of getting to know eachother and kind of dating, he wants to adopt Ceejay's (and Matt's) little girl. I'm sorry, WHAT? She is supposed to give a person she has know for a couple months (an acquaintance that started with a lie) legal rights to her daughter? This is insanity. But her anger is presented as being wrapped up in her anger at Matt. Her feelings are not ridiculous and have nothing to do with past hurts. The suggestion is just nuts. Also, the father of Noah and Matt is an asshole. But her anger at him is mostly presented as being wrapped up with the whole Matt thing and not really addressed in its own right.
So, besides this 'justified anger being downplayed' issue, there is this whole other aspect of Ceejay being weak and whiney. She spends most of the book lamenting her small town and how every one knows her business and pities her. She also spends the whole book whining about how everyone leaves her. Now, I get that these are legitimate issues. But Ceejay is presented as having worked her way through nursing school as a single mother, clawing and scraping for everything she got. This Ceejay does not jive with whiney Ceejay. The contradictions become annoying. Her mother left her when she was 3, she didn't know her father and she had a boyfriend run out on her while she was pregnant. I get these are emotional obstacles, but they should not have been so insurmountable to her as they were presented in the book.
When she contacts her father, who had no idea she existed, she is devastated that he does not want her immediately and buy her a pony. I mean, WTF? The man asked for time (a mantra she repeated constantly throughout the book) but she was all pissed. Whatever. Stupid. I don't think the author should have put that in there at all. The way Ceejay gets over everyone abandoning her is to find out the never meant to abandoner her at all, not by any inner strength. Ugh.
Then there is the matter of the house Ceejay lives in. Her aunt's house, the ancestral home. The aunt was planning on leaving it to Ceejay. Ceejay doesn't want it. Aunt needs money and decides to sell. Ceejay freaks out, because of course she wants the house, and how is she going to afford a riverfront property. Ok, what? If her aunt was going to give her the property, why would she make her pay full market value for it? Who the hell would do that? And what kind of mortgage can they have on it? It's been in the family since the civil war. Ceejay should be able to buy it from her aunt for a reasonable sum. There should be no cause for the drama that ensued.
Also, Ceejay constantly harps on Noah about getting a job and finding a dream. This man had a dream. He wanted to be career military. Instead, he came home a COUPLE MONTHS AGO with ptsd and a stump. I feel like taking a little time to adjust and find a new dream is not asking too much. But is is for our heroine Ceejay, apparently. Annoying.
This is a little thing, but why the hell was her kid taking naps all the time? She was about to start kindergarten. I don't know any kids that are about to start kindergarten that take regular naps everyday. Even when my kid was in daycare, they made the kids relax and be quiet but none of them reliably slept every day. This kid was forever napping. It seemed weird.
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