When her parents announce their impending divorce, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting, or at least mildly upset. Then Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, hook up, leaving her feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward. She’d always imagined she would end up with Zach one day—in the version of her life that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of banter, pining, and meaningful looks.
Now everything has changed, and nothing is quite making sense. And then, an unexpected romance with Zach’s older brother comes along and shakes things up even further…
The premise of this book drew me in, and the ease of the narration was what kept me going. I’d say I enjoyed the first third or so of the book, as it was telling of how Natalie was dealing with her parents’ divorce while also trying to make changes in her own life to be more social. Her decision for being more social stemmed from her two best friends being a couple and her not wanting to be an awkward third-wheel all of the time.
However, as the book went on, the main character, Natalie, got to be a bit too much for me. It got to a point where she was always finding a way to bring up and complain about her bad skin/acne and how she felt no one would ever love her because of it. I get that she was meant to have bad self-esteem, but I think it was taken a bit to the extreme here.
She was also very vindictive about her parents divorcing and moving on with their love-lives. I totally am on Natalie’s side that her parents shouldn’t have waited ten months to tell her that they were separating/divorcing, but once they were, Natalie was such a brat about it in my opinion. Then again, it might’ve just been about them lying to her that caused her to act that way about it.
Now, onto the love interest. In a way, I was rooting for the Natalie/Alex pairing (mainly because Alex is her best friend, Zach’s, older brother), but when I step back and think about it, it seemed like it was too sudden of a thing. I mean, they have a moment at a party and then kiss when they’re all away with Zach’s family for the holiday… but before all that, there was no mention of any earlier attraction to Alex. In fact, Natalie was a little more attracted to Alex’s friend, Owen, who invited her to the party in the first place. Her attraction to Alex came out of nowhere and seemed more like a convenient plot device than character development.
I think that’s what bugged me the most with this book. There just wasn’t any real character development for Natalie… and I always like that better than plot. Natalie was just a very immature character for an eighteen year old and didn’t seem like she even wanted to change herself at all.
I will say that I did like Alex as a character, and had there been maybe a hint of Natalie pining for him prior to the story, I would’ve liked their relationship a little more. Alex was mature for being only nineteen, and was just very sweet, as well as honest. He felt some shame for his past with his ex, and didn’t try to hide it – he was open about it and took responsibility for being an idiot. Maybe if his side of the story had been told along with Natalie’s, I would’ve enjoyed this more.
So, I’m just going to stop here because I don’t want to keep putting down the book. I mean, I’m mainly putting down the main character, but… you know. Same thing and all, I suppose. I just had high hopes for this book and it didn’t live up to those expectations.
Rating: 2/5 stars