Book Review - July 28, 2013
Title: Notice Me
by: Rebecca Turley
4 Stars ★★★★
*ARC provided by Author for Honest Review*
Had you asked me what my thoughts were on this book at different points while reading, my answers would be all over the place. One minute your excited and giddy like a fat kid with cake and at another moment you may feel gut punched and unsure of what you think is the truth. Honestly now that I have finished Notice Me, my thoughts are a million times less jumbled and I am so happy to have stumbled upon Notice Me, this is truly an undiscovered gem. This book is definitely emotion educing, as you will feel them all at certain points throughout.
Romance plays a huge role in the story. In fact so much so that the main character Shannon begins to receive love notes from some anonymous source always signed Notice Me. Shannon has no clue why a nobody like her would ever receive that kind of attention, especially when she is best friends with Megan Field, eldest daughter of the renowned and absurdly rich Field family who is model beautiful and hounded by the press constantly. The entire Fields family are a bit obsessed with money and surely have a hard time accepting those from outside their circle. Shannon prefers to hide in the shadows and observe her friend while she eats up all the attention but somehow she feels connected to her and her family in a way she never has with anyone else.
“I was Megan Field’s best friend. Men only showed an interest in me because of Megan. It felt strange that someone even wanted to notice me. I was nothing special.” – Shannon
I really loved Shannon. She was a great character and following along in her POV was never dull and pulled me in. Enough so that the extremely small font size from the PDF on my kindle with was so ridiculously small that I practically had to hold my kindle up to my face and the small pain in my arms and shoulders was barely noticeable. I do wish we got more background on Shannon’s background throughout the story, most times she alludes to having a bad childhood and being shifted from foster to foster home after her parents death. But this too is something that becomes more understandable with the end of the story. (And a word of advice, be sure to have book #2 Embrace Me readily available because though it ends on a happy note, the late 2AM hour did not stop me from immediately switching over and getting a few chapters in.)
To say Shannon has anxiety is like saying birds fly. But even with her harrowing panic attacks she perseveres. She relies heavily on her friend Megan but does not realize how strong she is in her own right. One thing that threw me was Shannon’s quick reaction in relationships and intimacy. She may have anxiety issues and feel unsure of herself because of her past and allowing people to see the real her but the physical relationships Shannon develops take no time at all. And I’m not judging trust me. Instead this brings up one issue that I was confounded by and that was the lack of sex. Sure there are tons of lead-ins and few insinuations but sadly there are no raunchy, dirty or even sweaty sex scenes to steam your glasses. In many ways this makes Notice Me more generic romance but for me (someone who loves the dirty, nasty, hide the book from co-worker sex scenes) Notice Me was a wonderful read without them.
I refuse to give anything away because there is what I consider to be a twist in the story. Shannon remains unsure of the letter writers’ identity and the mystery continues to grow as she develops feelings for Megan’s brother Will, who may or may not be the letter’s writer.
There are quite a few characters throughout the story and each one is interesting in their own right. But just like the letter writer’s identity, everyone is not who they appear to be and the Shannon learns the hard way that friends sometimes need to come and go. Now let me be clear, there is more than one twist, at least in my eyes. The majorities begin taking form about half way in the story and they will throw you for a loop. Like Sharon you will realize that everyone has secrets and sometimes the people you thought you could trust the most are actually the ones doing all they can to ruin your life. I am honestly thankful for a somewhat predictable plot that still managed to befuddle me and leave me guessing when I thought I had all the answers.
As for complaints about Notice Me, I don’t have many. One thing that stuck out for me was how little the characters actually sounded like they were from London. They seemed to talk more like Londonites once they were in New York and even then it was only apparent by them referring their moms as Mum and the subway as the tube. There are few spelling and grammar mistakes but not nearly enough to distract from the story.
“It goes beyond love… what I feel for you.” – Mr. Notice Me AKA Mr. Anonymous
As for the mystery writer’s identity, I can’t say how I felt throughout. At the very end I was extremely happy but while reading every time I thought, ‘it could be him,’ it was mixed with a ‘please don’t be him,’ but again, once the truth and all the secrets were uncovered my opinions changed. Even when the truth was revealed I was not okay with the outcome. It took me some time. I was hoping the writer would not be who I thought because of the circumstances, yet the end is like a huge reveal and let’s say things become a bit more easily acceptable at that point. But the big question is, will Shannon’s feelings change when she knows the truth? She feels connected to this mystery man and has more feelings towards him than the actual people in her life. I won’t say more, so go read it, you won’t be disappointed. Also if it helps there is no cliff-hanger and even without book #2 Embrace Me, the book ends on a happy note.
Notice Me seems even more romantic in my eyes after writing this review. I can’t help but feel for Shannon and the hell her life becomes. Everything is questionable and even when she thinks she is doing the right thing, circumstances are just out and beyond her control. She was an amazing female lead and I was never bored with her or even too flustered by her personal choices. The drama is high and often unexpected making Notice Me really stand out and deserve a lot more attention and recognition. Again it does fit the New Adult category but it is devoid of all the usual sex scenes. That being said, I did not feel jipped (use your imagination) and highly recommend Notice Me as a great contemporary NA romance that will leave you with a smile on your face.