Book Review April 26th
by: Erin McCarthy
★★★☆3.5 StarsWhen Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.
Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…
Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…
*ARC received from NETGalley for an honest review*
This book was just a ride on the awful train. Let me start by saying that the beginning was great, I was really into it and once the downhill journey began, this ship just kept sinking to the far recesses of the ocean. It’s rather angering because it had so much potential but in the long run was just not good.
There are parts where you can tell the author is trying so hard to fit into the NA genre that it loses itself. The whole typical college setting is present but after that everything is too cliché and unrealistic I was bored. I found myself wondering what I was reading…
”I figured every girl on the planet had found herself wishing she had a free pass inside a man’s mind at one point or another. Maybe it was self-preservation that we didn’t have such powers. It might be holy-crap creepy in there.”-Rory
I was completely thrown by the love-interest, Tyler, in the book. Granted, I did not read the synopsis before reading but still I was not expecting the guy who walks out of the back room after screwing her best friend to turn into the love interest. This whole situation was too much for me. I understand many and most times these guys are bad-boy man-whores but I’m kind of disgusted by this. It just didn’t feel right and laid more of a nasty tinge on the book for me. Especially when her friend pushes her to go after him because he’s ‘like so perfect for her.’ Ugh clearly not!!
Then comes the part on how Tyler even becomes interested in Rory to begin with. Let me backtrack a bit because at this point in. Can you believe that, 100 dollars. And let’s not even get started on how her friends thought this was a nice thing. “I wasn’t used to someone taking care of me, and the fact that it was a hot guy who was having sex with my roommate was just creepy.”-Rory
Fairly early on Rory learns of her friends and Tyler’s deception. But what happens??? Nothing, she barely cares and blows it off by claiming her friends are only looking out for her. Ugh, no, it’s like they sold her off at a cheap auction to someone they already knew intimately. I was really hoping that Rory would grow a backbone and maybe lose her shit, hit someone, something. But what happens??? Not a damn thing, she goes with it and tells no one she knows. All I could think about was how little self-worth she so clearly had. And her pride was non-existent.
And don't even get me started on the drug issue. The topic is very commonplace especially with young adults in this genre but I don’t think this was handled in a good way at all. Personal experiences aside, someone who lives with a drug addict and takes their medication away usually knows better than to sell or give it away to friends. I was sickened when her friends were partying thanks to something Tyler gave them. Big NO I mean way to promote what you're trying to stop. Yeah, he’s helping his mom but how in the world is he doing any good for his friends. (Hell, he’s not even charging for them). And hello! Being stupid enough to carry it on him, I don't get it. Maybe this plot point wasn’t fleshed out enough, but added to all the other wrongness that made up True this book was just a sad representation of good NA fiction.
About forty percent in and Rory was lost to me. Up until then I felt like I had some grasp into her character and an understanding of her thoughts and actions but suddenly all that shifted and I just couldn’t follow or enjoy her POV any longer. For someone so independent she was just a buzz kill. Always feeling depressed or as if she was letting someone down, it let me down. I thought her choice of career as a mortician was interesting and extremely different but she suddenly became as cold and inactive as a corpse. The minor character development that starts in the beginning gets completely lost somewhere and Rory is still the same, if even more so, annoying and whiney/need girl she was when we first met her. Something she claims to not want to be. By the end all I could think was how dumb Rory was for an actual genius.
The whole idea behind the title and Tyler’s tattoo was really sweet. But it did not save any part of the story for me and when Rory went out and got the tattoo herself I wanted to stab myself in the eyes repeatedly over how stupid she was. No more on the subject. Besides, who perpetuates the derogatory use of calling your brother “U” because your mom always says, “hey, you,” to him? I can understand incorporating that into the tattoo but it’s just all kinds of wrong.
The writing was well-done and not mirrored with errors but what started out as outrageous and interesting descriptions turned into wordy and skip-worthy sections. .
The End. As if the story could get worse. The inevitable break-up in the end happens, but the when is important. He dumps her on Christmas while on his way to jail. It sure leaves its mark, but I was blown away once again by the awfulness that made up this book. Then they get back together at his mothers’ funeral, morbid much. Like how the hell does this work. She’s walking away from him, like he wanted, he won’t explain his feelings and then bam, he chases her, apologies, they confess their love and they are back together then it’s over. All that happens within a few pages, not to mention there is no epilogue. It was like a slap in the face, as if everything we read until that point did not matter.
Considering how little I enjoyed this book I did finish. It had enough interesting points that I just had to know what happened, not that the ending made the rest of it any better, mind you. It makes me sad to say this because I love Erin McCarthy. I’ve read many of her other titles and I’ve enjoyed practically everyone. Perhaps sticking to adult fiction would be a safer road.
Overall I would not read this again. Too many disappointments from characters to plot points that I just wanted it to end. As for recommending it, I would say no. There are so many other NA novels out there that tackle the same issues but in a more respectable and understandable way. Personally I was just not connected with these characters and the life choices/decisions they made only pushed me further away.