When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what she’s letting herself in for. Eden’s parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she’s about to meet three new step-brothers. The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego. Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler’s group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can’t understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn’t – her step-brother.
Throw in Tyler’s clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there’s secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler?
Did I Mention I Love You is the first book in the phenomenal DIMILY trilogy, following the lives of Eden Munro and Tyler Bruce as they try to find their way in an increasingly confusing world.
This book took me a bit by surprise. I was expecting a fluff contemporary, with just a hint of a few taboos, but it turned out to be much deeper than that, with incredible difficult and hard subjects.
Full disclaimer: This book includes underage drinking, drug use, bullying, blackmail, as well as a relationship between step-siblings and even some cheating. So, if you’re not at all comfortable with these topics, you probably won’t be able to enjoy the book.
But even with what I just said above, this book is totally worth reading. The writing is amazing, so amazing in fact that I was on the edge of my seat and with my heart breaking at some moments on this book.
I liked the characters for most of the book, but by the end I realized that I actually love Eden and Tyler.
For the most part of the book, Eden is kind of week, she’s so starved for acceptance that she ends up tagging along and doing all this crazy stuff that she would not have done otherwise. But even making some awful decisions, she ends up growing because of it, and finding real friends. I thought this was exactly how a 16 yo would react given her situation.
Tyler was obnoxious at first, but I’ve met some kids who acted just like him in my life… still, I was intrigued, because it was so clear that there was a world of hurt inside of him, and when it came out, OMG!!! He felt so lost, and he was so lost, and I actually had a pain i my chest when he told Eden what really was going on.
The rest of the characters are weirdly fun, and not that much of stereotypical. Apart from a couple of people in their circle of friends, the other ones are pretty nice, even if they sometimes (every week) get drunk like crazy. The drinking was a bit much for me, but the overall theme has been repeated in any teenager tv show based in LA, so I’m thinking that maybe there’s a bit of truth behind it. I ended up really liking Rachel and Dean, though for totally different reasons, and I hope they have some time in the next book.
Now, let’s get on with the TABOO theme: Eden and Tyler’s relationship! I felt it was so so natural, it didn’t shock me one bit. They had never met before, and they never saw each-other as siblings – which they aren’t – and I felt that their connection was so strong, that it made total sense. I even, secretly, wanted them to get caught, so they could be together without limitations.
The other HUGE thing about this book: the CHEATING. Yeah people, there is cheating involved. When Tyler is with Eden, he’s still in a relationship with Tiffani. I don’t like cheating – I’m sure none of us do – but I don’t oppose it as a theme, because, like it or not, it happens. But the thing is, here, I was more sorry for Eden feeling as guilty as she felt about it, than actually about the person they were cheating on. And if you read this book, you’ll get why. It’s no excuse, but it kind of is… read it, seriously, even if you don’t like cheating in books, don’t let the fact that it happens stir you away from this book, ok?
Now, there are even heavier topics discussed in this book, and I think that they were well introduced and well dealt with.
Now, I’ll give you a small SPOILER, but not really, because it’s written in the next book’s synopsis. The scene when Eden breaks up with Tyler totally tore me apart, even if I knew it was coming, because there was no other way it could be done. Their feelings for each other really moved me. And I like that he was able to start rebuilding his life, not because he fell in love with her, but because he was able to finally start talking about the events of his past.
I really really loved this book, much more than I was thinking possible in the beginning, and I’m trying to control myself, because I do need the next book soon. I’m curious to see where they’ll go from here, if Tyler’s dad will be introduced, if Eden and her own father can get past the stupidity of his actions. And I want them together… bad! Oh, and that last scene of the epilogue… oh my… it’s so wrong, but it felt so right! And also, I was a bit sad that “hey, did I mention I love you?” never escaped her lips…
That’s it, I highly recommend this book!