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
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Damn. I've only read one of Jamie's books but I struggled getting through it too… I feel like I'm just gonna pass up searching out her others from now on. Save me some time.
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GAH, this sounds awful. I have heard a lot of mixed things about this book, but you highlighted basically every single thing I hate in a book, so I KNOW this is not for me. At all. Pointless drama is probably one of the top three things I hate MOST in books, so yeah, not a good fit. And I HATE when the "big secret" is so underwhelming! Like come on, if you build up the WHOLE BOOK to it, it had better be a doozy! Great review, sorry that you didn't like it, but great job finishing! Now you know for sure that this author is probably just not for you!
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I've been reading a lot of posts lately that have expressed that even though the rest of the blogging community lOVED book, that particular blogger HATED the book and couldn't get into it, no matter what they did! SO I definitely know how it feels! I still think I want to try this book out though! <3 I've just heard too many good things about this series and this author. gah!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us A! <3
Yikes! This one has been sitting on my shelf since all the hype about it was too much to resist. I have put it off for a long time, but I'm still not sure now. Sorry this one sucked for you.
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Oh, Aila! We are totally opposite. I love McGuire's Beautiful Disaster. Great honest review tho! <3
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I with you on this. What annoyed the crap out of me, though, was there was no absolutely no reason to hide who her boyfriend was. He family knew, her friends knew, even her co-workers knew! So wft? Then tried to make t like she was keeping his secret safe, but his secret was still safe even when Trent found out. And all those other people who knew who he was didn't know his secret, so wtf was she protecting.? It was all so pointless. I could rant more, but … I'll stop. lol.
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I'm not much of a NA fan in the first place so I wasn't going to read this in the first place to be completely honest, but I'm sorry to hear this was so disappointing. 🙁 But I can definitely see where you're coming from though – flat characters, cheesy dialogue, and a boring love story aren't my cup of tea either. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3 Hopefully your next read is better. xx
To be honest, I think she's only made a name for herself because she seems to be the first author who made new adult popular with her possessive asshole characters who treat women like playthings to use. But readers have loved her for it too, so it's spanned so many other NA releases that follow the same format. Sadly it doesn't sound like she's taken the criticism on board and created any substance to her storylines. It reminds me a little of Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover. As soon as you're emotionally involved with someone else, that's cheating to me. It's funny how authors justify that line as being once a couple becomes physical as being the line that's crossed.
I feel your rage Aila and couldn't agree more about this being absolutely crap and readers deserve more and should demand more. Brilliant review! <3
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Ugh. I hated her first book so much. I can't bring myself to read anything by her. Nereyda read this one and she told me the whole plot and haha, nope, I can't do it. The MC sounds terrible and the book seems to have everything that I don't like in NA.
If you want good NA recs, try out Elle Kennedy, Jen Frederick, Kristen Callihan for feel-good romances and all the fluff. I promise you they will be better than this shit.
Sorry this was so disappointing, Aila!
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Thanks Nick. 😛 I should've known better, but now I do!
Omg, I love Elle Kennedy's books! Definitely a feel-good romance that I always look forward to rereading. I will have to check out Jen Frederick and Kristen Callihan's books too – thanks so much for the rec 🙂
Nope, not touching this series and the other one with a ten foot pole. Gah!
Congratulations are in order for sure. I hope you've learned your lesson
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THANKS GIRL. :'D My lesson is definitely learned – I will not be going over this author's works again lol.
I'm a huge fan of new adult and even I knew these books wouldn't be for me lol. I remember when I first read the synopsis to Beautiful Disaster, I immediately felt the story was going to be cliche, which is what you'll find in NA if you don't dig deep. The premise was the same as a bunch of other books I've already read, so I decided to skip it altogether. This review lets me know I didn't make any mistakes! Trenton sounds annoying as hell! While I love the whole bad boy vibe, it's a bit over-done in some cases.
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Tika you are LUCKY you didn't pick this book up. Reading the latter half made me feel like I was going through tortureeee. Not just the cliches, but the characters just made me want to scoop my eyeballs out. I won't be going near this author's works anymore haha.
I liked BD and this one. I don't know. To each to their own, I suppose. But I can see why you wouldn't enjoy her books (as many others).
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I DNF BD too, so I think I'm just not a fan of this author's works haha. But I'm so glad you like her books! Give them the love that I can't. 😛
Good on you for finishing this one, because it sounds really painful! I'm glad there isn't actual cheating, but Cami is still messing around you know?
I TOTALLY FEEL JEANN. She's such an idiot; the guys are idiots; the whole plot twist was idiotic. Ack I want to spend as little time as I can thinking of this book lol.
Oh man, major props for being able to finish this haha. It sounds terrible. It's such a shame that so many NA books fall into this category. It'd be great to see one that focuses on actual issues 18-20–somethings go through. Brilliant, honest review 🙂
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Thanks so much Lauren! And yeah, reading through the last half was almost like torture for me :')
NA really needs to get their crap together and deliver more realistic books!