This book was … a little bit difficult for me, to be honest. While I won’t say that it was bad, I will say that I don’t fully understand all the hype surrounding it. Between a hero who spent more time being a jerk for some honestly terrible reasons, a heroine who was painfully naive, and a so-called “best friend” who was so selfish I spent more time wanting to smack her than feeling any ounce of empathy, this book just … I don’t know. There were parts that were good, but for the most part, I found myself annoyed. This bums me out a bit because I was greatly looking forward to reading this one :/
Calling Crispin a hero is a huge stretch of the word. As much as I love assholes–and I know you guys know that I do–this guy pretty much had no redeeming qualities until way later. Not to mention, he started bullying this poor girl based on the word of the new actress who comes on set and tells him that he’s never going to end up with the girl he likes–the heroine, Tinsley–by being nice. Crispin and Tinsley were incredibly close while they were filming this teen drama together and they both had huge crushes on the other. Everything was going pretty well until this new actress shows up. Why Crispin felt the need to take her advice when she not only acted like the world revolved around her, but he knew her all of five minutes and she had no clue about their relationship, I will never understand. What the heck? That made no sense to me at all, and frankly, it seriously pissed me off. He’d known Tinsley much longer and she was obviously into him–and that was while he was still sweet and kind to her. Ugh, I don’t know. It just made no sense to me and I thought it was horrible.
Also, later on when you find out that Tinsley’s been ostracised for a year (I think that’s how long it was), the reason Crispin becomes even more of a dick is something that wasn’t even her fault. With them being eighteen, he should have at least been smart enough or mature enough to realize that her mother’s mistakes are not her own. And he refused to even discuss it with her, which would have been the reasonable thing to do.
I get that these bully books need drama–and trust me when I say there is plenty of it within the pages of this book–but some of it was so ridiculous, I just wanted to smack these characters silly.
Tinsley … dear, sweet, naive Tinsley.
I desperately wanted to like this girl. And honestly, for the most part, I did. I can relate to her onslaught of panic/anxiety attacks and I absolutely loved that she wanted to march to the beat of her own drum, but there were a few things I just couldn’t look over. First off–the snotty, thinks-the-world-revolves-around-her, gave-rotten-advice actress I mentioned before? Apparently, she’s now Tinsley’s “best friend.” I had a huge problem with this. This girl–Estella–treated Tinsley like shit all the way through the book and it took Tinsley way too long to wake up and realize that she was just a power-hungry, selfish bitch. And the whole dating Crispin thing was so infuriating. There’s no way she didn’t know that Tinsley had always been in love with Crispin, so if anyone had “stolen” anyone, Estella had stolen him from Tinsley (although technically speaking, nobody can be stolen without their consent, so I’ve always kind of taken issue with that phrase). In fact, Estella was a grade-A bitch and I truthfully have no idea how she and Tinsley became friends.
Tinsley was so painfully naive when it came to Estella, I cringed all the way through reading about their friendship. And then it took her quite a while to grow a backbone. The second part I understood–as someone who has severe anxiety and used to be ridiculously shy, I totally get not fully learning to stand up for yourself until way later. A lot of that comes with growing up, which Tinsley needs to do a lot of. The naivete she has regarding her “best friend” blew my mind though. At the very least, she should have been slightly suspicious of Estella’s intentions, but she just let that girl walk all over her and seemed to have no clue what was going on.
For the most part, I enjoyed a lot of the book and I was glad I read it by the time I’d finished it. By no means was this book bad. In fact, if you’re a fan of the bully romance subgenre, I would highly encourage you to check out this book. Don’t just take my opinions, make sure you look into it so you can make up your mind for yourself. That’s one of the greatest things about the book community–there is always something for someone, and just because one person doesn’t much care for a book doesn’t mean the next person won’t. I also think as this author gains more experience and grows in her craft, the content of her books will grow with her.
I’m still on the fence about whether or not I’ll continue with this series. The next book is apparently Estella’s story and I honestly don’t know if I could stomach reading an entire book focused on her and her dysfunctional relationship. I’m somewhat interested in her love interest, but other than that, I don’t know if I’ll be able to read it. Maybe one day I’ll have the mental capacity to deal with her and this weird love triangle she has going on, but it’s not something I can handle right now, lol.
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