This book could have been really good. The premise sounded great…right up my alley…exactly my type of book. I love NA books and the description of this book screamed at me. I couldn’t wait to start it.
Unfortunately, that was the end of my excitement. The book started out ok. But I quickly found I had some issues. According to my kindle, this book has 833 pages. Now, I’m not scared of long books. I actually prefer long books to shorter books that have cliffhangers or abrupt endings and sequels. I would rather get the WHOLE story in one book. However, that wasn’t to be the case with this book. For the record. I gave this a good shot. I read 161 pages. That’s 11 chapters (plus the last chapter to find out how it ended). That was 30% of the book (not counting the last chapter). I gave this a shot. It just wasn’t the book for me.
Lordy lordy, this book was wordy! This wouldn’t have been a huge issue if the book hadn’t been so long. But it was long and consequently the wordiness was overwhelmingly obvious. Here’s an example: Josh Harding, Tyler Irwin and their two roommates live in a four-bedroom house with a large deck. Its centrally located – just blocks from State Street. State Street is the main street in Santa Barbara’s downtown. It’s filled with popular bars, restaurants, and shops – including Spyder Surf.
That’s just one paragraph to show what I’m talking about. Just reading that paragraph, I felt like I went from reading a novel to reading a travel brochure. Now, just in case it was me, imagining things, I ran this paragraph by a writer friend of mine. She agreed with me and said it could easily be cut down to “Josh Harding, Tyler Irwin, and their two roommates live in a four-bedroom house just blocks from State Street in Santa Barbara's downtown." And honestly, I didn’t need Josh and Tyler’s last names. I couldn’t help feeling like this book would have benefited from more editing. Or, this author comes from a research background and did what I would do in a research paper and cover my bases with details so that the reader didn’t have any unanswered questions. But in the end (or 30% rather), I was wading through a sea of excess words and I barely scratched the surface of the story.
Another complaint (related to the wordiness) was the songs. Don’t get me wrong. I love how songs and books can go together. And I love it when songs are quoted in books (when done right) but there were so many in this book, that they lost the impact on me. I think the full song quotes combined with the wordiness led to me skipping & skimming, especially the song lyrics.
Bryn…Emilia’s best friend. At first, I liked her. Then Emilia made a point of saying Bryn was maternal toward her…multiple times. And after that, she sounded more like a mom than a friend. And in some cases that mix is fine, but it didn’t work for me here. She sounded older and more of a mother lecturing her child than well-meaning friend expressing concern for her bff. I just got turned off when Bryn entered any scene.
I have to address the ending. Even though I didn’t make it through the book, I did read the ending. And I hated it. The biggest reason…IT HAS A CLIFFHANGER.
I really hate cliffhangers. And this was bad because the author spent 800+ pages getting them together and then at the very end (literally the last page) they break up. And I have a real problem with that.
In reality, the story wasn’t bad. And the writing was pretty good. I just couldn’t get through the sea of words to get to the story.