Four years after her twin is murdered, Juliet Anderson still struggles with guilt, her parents, and her relationships. Two things keep her from falling into a deep, dark place — dancing and her best friend, Ben. So when Ben decides to play football for New Jersey University, Juliet doesn’t hesitate. She follows. Finally away from her past, there is nothing to stand in the way. Juliet will win Ben’s heart.
Then she meets Ben’s roommate, Chase.
On probation and hell-bent on adhering to a “new life plan,” aspiring artist Chase leaves his New York City home for New Jersey University and meets Juliet before even stepping foot on campus. For him, their connection is instant. She’s the most vibrant girl he’s ever seen. Her colors explode on his canvas, and he’s never been more inspired in his life.
Too bad she’s madly in love with his seemingly perfect, good guy roommate.
As it has been usual lately, I read this eARC as a buddy read with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much, you can check her review of this book HERE.
I have to be honest, I don’t even know where to start with this review… I had way too many problems with this book =/. I apologize before hand if some minor SPOILERS spill out, truly, but I might not be able to control myself.
I guess I’ll start by saying that I did like the writing style. It’s a simple, yet very visual and loud writing, and it somewhat fit in the theme of this book. I think that this writing, applied to any other story, might have made a great book.
The backbone of the story is simple enough. Juliet and Chase meet and are attracted to each other, but Juliet has her eyes set on her best friend, Ben, and is sure that she’ll finally get him. Despite some initial refusal, Ben gives in and he and Juliet start a relationship. In the meantime, Chase has to deal with his feelings for his roommate’s girlfriend, considering that she has the same kind of feelings for him. So, why aren’t they together? Because reasons! And Ben. And then more reason! They finally come to their senses, obviously, but it’s a long long road.
Somehow though, this doesn’t work. AT ALL. The book tries to cram all the difficulties and hurdles possible within 288 pages, without explaining or fully developing most of them. Let me make you a list of things that didn’t work for me, were a bit too much or that I simply don’t understand, ok? Warning again, there will probably be some spoilers below…
- This book has the fastest and biggest case of instalove that I’ve ever seen. After knowing Juliet for a couple of hours, Chase KNOWS she’ll change his life. After a week, he loves her…
- Juliet is CRAZY. Sorry, I don’t know how else to put it, but she follows her BFF of 4 years to college, determined to make something happen with him, when he has said “no” a few times before. Not only that, but she manages to score a room in the same residence as him, by playing the “dead sister” card… a dead sister that she never EVER talks about.
- Juliet also throws tantrums like she’s actually 6 yo…
- Ben decides he should give Juliet a shot out of nothing. It is never explained his change of heart. And we never actually get a sense of the both of them in a relationship.
- We know Chase’s parents died. Given the importance of that event in the story, I would have assumed we would find out how, right?
- Also, Chase is on probation. What did he do to get on probation? Having to go to rehab and so on? Your guess is as good as mine…
- We are introduced to an eclectic group of residents, the 12 characters live in the same hall. Most of these characters turn out one dimensional, and are used only as plot devices.
- There’s a mystical element to this book… it was way too much!
- Pooja is weird. She’s nice. But she’s weird. I also don’t understand how or why she has minions. Or why she has a wedding every few weeks to attend to.
- The friendships in this book are weird. They all meet and they’re instantly great friends. WEIRD!
- In this book there is: instalove, a love triangle, substance abuse problems, a crazy ex, kidnapping, murder, attempted murder, a shooting, attempted rape, sexual favours, dead parents, distant parents, a murdered sister, a lot of guilt, a love pentagon, an unnecessary protest, a sick grandmother and a parent’s related revelation. Ohhhh, almost forgot! And CHEATING!
- Chase mentions several times that he should be sober… lets just say that each time there’s is alcohol or anything else present, he takes it.
As you can see… a lot of problems. I disliked Juliet as a character way too much, and it was hard for me to connect to her at any level. I did feel sorry for her for what she went through with the death of her sister, but even that story wasn’t completely fleshed out, and the situation with her parents was left way open. I liked Chase a lot better, but it still wasn’t perfect. I did understand his stance a bit more – he wanted her and she wanted his friend, so he was down and all of that. Even though both main characters had problems, the best moments of the book still were when they were together. They had problems and sometimes said the stupidest things, but they had chemistry and they actually talked and bonded. Also, their scenes together were HOT.
Ultimatly this is a book I can’t recommend. I’m sure some people will like the angst and the action, and will be able to ignore the clichés and tropes and half done storylines and the multitude of plot holes (I’m still trying to figure out how Cameron got in…), but I couldn’t… 😦