This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: New Adult Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on May 6, 2014
I just finished p.76 for this story, but I’m setting it aside as a DNF for now. I might come back later. Not sure. I’m pretty mad and frustrated.
I picked up this book because I liked the idea of a second chance at romance for a young couple who seemed to have gotten things wrong about each other three years before. They are trapped in an elevator and have to hash it all out. Sounded good plus it had the added bonus of being a new to me author.
I was barely one page in when the heroine’s Queen B attitude smacked me in the face. The story is told in flips between past and present day from the heroine’s perspective. It begins in the present day. Brittni Mitchell has to be begged to come to her college best friend’s wedding activities because her ex, who blames her for their break-up- and it sounded like she even admitted that she had a big role in it- will be present because he’s the groom’s best friend so she’s in a mood. Then the story starts to explain why by dipping back into the past to when it all began.
Brittni Mitchell came to Washington State from a small town in Maine for college to both get away from a busybody mom who is the town gossip and to see something outside her town. She keeps to herself and keeps herself buttoned down with all these self-made rules. She is a people-watcher and prides herself in her powers of observation (modern day Elizabeth Bennet) so when she catches sight of a hot guy in piercings and tats having fun with two bouncing, giggling co-eds, she starts snapping out conclusions at the speed of light. Her derisive attitude is spotted by the guy so he tries to make nice. And yeah, she gives him a taste of her snarling, judgmental attitude. Later they meet again and she is confronted by evidence that she was wrong. Does this change her attitude? Nope. They go on a beautiful date that she grudgingly goes on not even bothering to have an open mind and grudgingly drags her feet through, but it is all fun, enjoyable and shows Justin all to the good as he is a gentleman and patiently coaxes her along. Does she change her attitude? Nope. She has a one-date rule that a guy has to prove himself (yep, she’s a Madam ‘I know people by one date and that’s all it takes’). She had a blast on the date, but goes into denial mode. Then she gets hearsay about Justin from a gal notorious for never speaking in whole truth and believes it with no fact finding. She blows off Justin for their next date with lies. And that’s as far as I could tolerate/stomach Miss Brittni Mitchell.
See, her arrogance, judging and hypocrisy was making me sick. She calls him a player, but based on her one-date rule and all the guys that didn”t pass from a strictly objective, ‘keen’ (sarcasm here) observer like herself she would have given herself that label. She admitted that she was big on her secrets because her mom was a busybody and she didn’t want to have her mom up in her business or be anything like her mom which yes, I laughed at because it is patently obvious that what she did/is doing to Justin and the others before him is far worse. And then taking truth from a liar and then using lies to push Justin away…I was done. Nothing- even a horrendous past- justifies this behavior toward other people. And its not just Justin, she has a superior attitude about her roommate too who has been nothing, but kind, open and welcoming to her.
I could tell by just the short snippets of the present day meet up that it was all this type of stuff that caused the break-up. I just wasn’t interested in reading on for the reconciliation since at the point in the present day, she wasn’t copping to her judgmental attitude and hadn’t grown from the past at all. I didn’t see in her someone worth Justin even trying for a chance with. To give fair due, Justin probably had a hand in the break-up too, but honestly it doesn’t matter because I didn’t find her likeable enough to want to see a romance rekindle.
I want to slap a low rating on the book right now, but I won’t because that wouldn’t be fair. I didn’t finish the whole book and it’s very possible that three years later Brittni grows past all that. I want to believe that she grows. Besides, this book doesn’t deserve a low rating because there are many good things going on in the story too. For instance, the author’s writing is definitely a plus. Her style, pacing and plotting, character and backdrop descriptions, etc. are all good. I would definitely read other stuff she wrote.
I guess I’ll just conclude that this book is not for me, but may work for others just fine. New Adult genre lovers might want to try it.
My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this story in exchange for an honest review.