Sunday, January 8, 2017

Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame | Rating: ★★★★☆

Forgiveness shouldn't be expected: It should be earned. 

There was just something deeply satisfying about the entire plot of this novel--it was just a fun read. Quick and to the point. It's one of those one-sitting reads; it keeps you drawn into the emotional folds of the story and you find yourself quite attached by its final pages.

Eden and Tyler are both incredibly different in tone and personality but at the end of the day there was this undeniable chemistry between the two. You knew what was going to happen before it did but that's okay because the path there isn't always what you'd expect.

I thought that Eden was a great fit for a narrator because she is very likable and full of life. I'd have liked to have gone deeper on her emotional health and the fall-out from her former friends back home, and thought it was a bit rushed in that sense and could have done with more details, but there's still two more books in the series so I have high hopes.

Seeing her thoughts in real time is what makes her attraction Tyler that much more layered. There's a lot of depth to be explored as the timeline progresses. I found her to be very thoughtful in comparison to her love interest and the kids she meets while living with her father. I liked that the characters were each a bit of every archetype without being complete caricatures. And with Tyler, his development could have gone horrible due to all his problems; his scenes with Eden, however, are just as refreshing and hopeful as they are angst prone.

Something about it blends perfectly. Those polar opposites that somehow are destined to fall into each other. A real connection. There are many moments of high tension between the two which makes a great build-up. A lot of the way in which they grow into a romance could have gone horribly wrong but the way the story is written is organic and true to life.

As for their build-up? I'd describe it between lust and respect, with a dash of hesitance, a hint of conflicting mindsets. A series of traits that don't often tangle within the same circle but somehow work for this particular connection. I'm marveling at how well it was put together because, for me, it had that extra something that often lacks in relationships.

For a story about secrets and that spark of forbidden romance, it was really upfront and I loved that. It was an honest story about, well, dishonesty and playing with fire. Now, I don't think for a moment that this will be for everyone; the topic of step-siblings falling for each other, the cliché bad boy and good girl pairing, the secrets, cheating and lies. It definitely won't be.

But, but, but, it's a solid, romantic, feel good romp that is smarter than it'll ever get credit for and really, really beautifully written. Especially when you consider the author's age and its origins as a Wattpad novel.

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