Published by Atria Books on July 1st 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance
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Fiercely independent Camille "Cami" Camlin gladly moved on from her childhood before it was over. She has held down a job since before she could drive, and moved into her own apartment after her freshman year of college. Now tending bar at The Red Door, Cami doesn’t have time for much else besides work and classes, until a trip to see her boyfriend is cancelled, leaving her with a first weekend off in almost a year.
Trenton Maddox was the king of Eastern State University, dating co-eds before he even graduated high school. His friends wanted to be him, and women wanted to tame him, but after a tragic accident turned his world upside down, Trenton leaves campus to come to grips with the crushing guilt.
Eighteen months later, Trenton is living at home with his widower father, and works full-time at a local tattoo parlor to help with the bills. Just when he thinks his life is returning to normal, he notices Cami sitting alone at a table at The Red.
As the baby sister of four rowdy brothers, Cami believes she’ll have no problem keeping her new friendship with Trenton Maddox strictly platonic. But when a Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever—even if she is the only reason their already broken family could fall apart.
After my terrible experience with this author’s book Beautiful Disaster (in which I DNF’d before getting to the halfway mark), I decided to give this one a try. I went into it trying not to dislike it, and the beginning turned out alright. The more I read it, however, the more I began to want to punch someone. I guess Jamie McGuire’s books are just not for me! Anyhow, I just had so many problems with the characters and story that the only thing keeping me going in the end was sheer determination and will.
I read New Adult books because I like feeling the fluffies. I like reading about the main couple falling in love despite all odds, and overcoming obstacles to get to that HEA. I like that warm feeling in my chest when I read about characters growth. And this book… simply left me cold. We start the book with Cami starting to talk to Trenton, who supposedly never knew she existed until that moment, even though they’ve known each other throughout school. Here’s the thing! She has a boyfriend, although he’s away for a business trip and thus can’t be with her. Then we start the whole “you’re-boyfriend’s-not-here-but-I-am” game with Cami and Trenton.
I do like how there isn’t really cheating in the book. It’s not a blatant relationship behind Mr. Business Trip’s back, but there is tension. Cami remains honest to the first guy while trying to stench her desire for Trenton. Or whatever. Either way, it was just so wishy-washy and I think I got whiplash from how many times they went back-and-forth about this piece of conflict. There’s this big, huge thing in the air hanging between the three people that make it so (for some reason) Cami would ruin everything. This quote is literally all you need to know:
‘But I know if you knew the whole story, Trenton, you would walk away from me and never look back.’
He leaned his head against his headrest, and then held his palm against my cheek. ‘I don’t want the whole story. I just want you.’
I shook my head, tears threatening to well in my eyes for the third time that day. ‘No. You deserve to know. Certain things in our lives are so fragile… and you and me, Trent? We could ruin it all.’
Congrats! You’ve read about 40% of the book. Then we see the characters each thinking the other doesn’t want them because of a dumb mistake they made. This whole book is literally drama. There aren’t that many cute scenes between Cami and Trenton, and even when there were, Cami still had a boyfriend at that time. I guess when they finally got together, I stopped caring.
My problems with the characters reflect my dislike of Beautiful Disaster: they had no substance. Cami was a vacillating cardboard-cut character that didn’t have any endearing moments. Trenton thought that everything could be solved with violence. I would probably recommend for these characters to get into therapy if they were real. The secondary characters were not better. Instead of a supportive best friend, we have someone who has as many problems as the main character. There’s also a family conflict with Cami that doesn’t get resolved by the end of the book. It’s inconclusive, and just shows how well fleshed-out the characters and conflict are. Which is, well, not very fleshed-out.
My breath caught, and I looked up as my eyes filled with tears.
‘I’m a huge asshole.’
I really would have to agree with Cami! Even after this declaration, she doesn’t change or grow as a character. I guess you could say she had good intentions with all the wishy-washiness, but all it did was cause a lot of unnecessary drama. The sudden choice that was made towards the end is anticlimactic. Don’t even get me started on the “certain thing” that could “ruin it all.” That bomb was dropped at the last possible second of the book and it was so underwhelming that it was laughable. Ain’t nobody got time for a book like this in their lives. Or, at least I don’t.
I really wouldn’t recommend this book! It epitomizes the reason that I dislike NA sometimes. If not for the absolutely boring writing, butt-load of unnecessary and redundant drama, one-dimensional characters, or nauseating dialogue, then because as a love story, this fails majorly. And I’m a huge romantic! So if this fails with me, then where are we at?
Rating: 1 out of 5