Also, I spoil things, so back away quickly if you don’t want this one to be ruined for you.
My glaring 1 Star in a sea of 5s probably makes it pretty clear that I detested this book, but please refrain from fetching your torches and pitchforks for a moment and take note that not only did I just 5 Star a CoHo Story two weeks ago (as well as shoved it down everyone’s throats I possibly could), but also I want to make all of the sexuals with Miles Archer and will fight anyone for dibs on his imaginary lurv making. I didn’t pick this up in order to hate on it. I’m one of you . . . . sometimes. Definitely not this time, but lots of times. And this is why I don’t ever give up on Hoover novels. I never know how I’m going to react.
Allow me to explain what went wrong for me with this one . . .
Let’s start with the obvious annoyances that seem to be in nearly every NA book that drive me batshit before getting to the real nitty gritty. First, the character names. Ryle, Lily Bloom and Atlas???????
Is it against the law to not use absolutely ridiculous (™Ron2.0) names in these books???? And second . . . .
“Your lips. I love how they’re as red as your hair.”
According to Google (all hail Google) less than 2% of the world’s population has red hair, and yet 99.998% of all NA leading ladies do. Just stahp.
Third, non-existent chemistry. In this story Lily and Ryle meet by chance on a rooftop after experiencing respective miserable days. In a matter of minutes Lily goes from worrying the stranger on the roof could be a psycho killer/rapist to getting into his super sexy (NOT) pick-up lines . . .
“If you wouldn’t sleep with someone you just met . . .” His eyes meet mine again. “Exactly how far would you go?”
Ewww. She already said thanks but no thanks freakshow so STFU.
Now let’s move on to the real big issue. I took a gander at my friends’ reviews before I started typing this and noticed my buddy Chelsea was the only other naysayer in the batch. She summed it up perfectly when she talked about the massive amounts of emotional manipulation that was forced down the readers’ throats in order to make them feel all the things.
It’s a running joke with my friends/family/co-workers that I have a robot heart. And for the majority of the time it’s true. I generally experience two emotions – happiness and annoyance. But even a robot like me can be manipulated into having a feeling/crying the ugly tears like a Kardashian once in a blue moon (*cough Me Before You cough*). This time, though? It was like a flashing neon sign . . . .
To begin with, our first leading male Atlas is a homeless teenager who Lily befriends/eventually loses her virginity. In case you don’t get the writing on the wall, Atlas is being set up as the most perfect perfection that ever perfected. He’s also the way to getting the “raised in an abusive household” plotline uncovered. Like in all NA stories, Atlas and Lily are torn apart. Lily moves on with her life, graduates college, yada yada, and, as mentioned above, meet-cutes
It wasn’t too hard to see where the story was going to go (and no, I hadn’t been spoiled because I didn’t read any reviews or the synopsis, I just auto-request everything by Hoover from both NetGalley and the library). Basically this was a story about domestic abuse and making excuses not only the first time he knocks your ass down “on accident” but also the second time when you wake up after “falling” down the stairs and hearing his sob story about a superbadawful that effed him up as a kid and then agreeing on a policy where “When you’re upset, just walk away. And I’ll walk away” (because THAT’S going to fucking work) and then saying “It’s okay, Ryle. It’s okay. You were angry, it’s okay” and making sure even when you’re bleeding profusely out of your fucking skull and are concussed and have quite possibly just been raped by your own damn husband that you get taken to an emergency room in a hospital other than the one where your bastard abuser works in order to protect his ass as well as explaining “sometimes the reason women go back is simply because they’re in love” and in case all that wasn’t e-fucking-nough you add in a whoopsie baby (another NA per usual) to serve as the wake-up call that maybe it’d be a good idea to ditch this zero and eventually find you a hero, buuuuuuuuuuuut you just come to an agreement regarding visitation and whathaveyou rather than involving the court and much needed supervised interaction because you know he wouldn’t hurt the baby because it’s obvious he loves her . . . .
I’m well aware I’m going against the grain here. I give zero fucks. Don’t bother trolling me to tell me how stupid I am (especially if you’re a teenager who has lived a privileged lifestyle and never experienced anything contained in this book for yourself). I went to the wholesale club yesterday and stocked up on big ol’ batch of . . . .
I will be using it freely.
Many thanks to the library for having nearly every book I ever want to read – especially books like these that are only approved to fangirling 5 Star reviewers prior to publication.