Remember, my reviews are My Opinion Only. I definitely am not speaking for anyone other than myself.
Warning: SPOILERS will be included
Lauren is unhappy in her "perfect" relationship.
Evan, a boy from her past, helps her figure out that she is holding herself back.
Now she makes a decision: perfect, secure boyfriend Dave, or Evan who she feels happy but reckless with?
My Expectations: I thought it would be really good, a well written, heartfelt contemporary novel that fans of Scott say is her specialty.
Delivery: uhm, no. Not good at all, fell very short of my expectations, not to mention it scored very low on my like-o-meter.
Put-down-ability: pretty high (because I got ticked off a lot) 8/10
You always know that when I start out saying, “Remember, this is My Opinion only” it’s not gonna be pretty. Sorry Elizabeth Scott fans.
I wanted to like this book. I wanted to have an Elizabeth Scott reading experience that would blow my mind, I really wished her novel, Bloom, would live up to all the positive hype surrounding it.
Not only did it fail to meet all of my hopes, it plummeted to the bottom of my book-liking list. Honestly, probably the worst book I’ve read this year. This review is full of rants, but remember, I definitely am not trying to trash the book, or the author, I’m just trying to express my personal opinions.
Okay, wanna start with the good things? Uhmm, I thought the writing was good. It wasn’t amazing, it didn’t really keep me engaged, but it was solid. To be perfectly honest, I really can’t pinpoint other things I liked about this book.
Things I didn’t like: Lauren, the plot, Lauren, the minor characters, Lauren, the writing, Lauren, and the ending.
The plot was agonizing. I had so much trouble trying to enjoy it at a primitive level, it was slow, over-detailed at times, extremely predictable and generally bland. It was the classic Love Triangle of Doom, camera focused on Lauren our darling protagonist who is torn between the mysterious boy from the past, and her blond-hair-blue-eyed perfect boyfriend.
Just reading the summary (either mine, or from goodreads), you can predict the book. I’m not kidding. However, it was very much a character-driven book, with the so-called “internal growth” of Lauren that went completely over my head. Since it is very character based, I can’t really say much about it.
The writing at times, like I mentioned, would be tedious by telling—not showing—everything Lauren does at home. She comes home, does this, washes clothes, eats, does that, thinks about Evan all the time, does this, feels guilty, feels scared, does homework, thinks about her dad, thinks about Dave, thinks about Evan. It got overwhelming because I frankly did not care. It could go on for a page or two of just the everyday things she did afterschool and it all felt completely unrelated unless the author was trying to tell us over and over that she's just a regular girl.
Now for the big reveal: the characters. First, let’s clear something up. I don’t think cheating on any level is at all tolerable in a committed relationship. Does anyone see my major problem with the novel now? I thought so many of Lauren’s actions were at times despicable, she constantly talked about how scared she was, but honestly to me, she was selfish. She wanted the best of everything, her perfect boyfriend and her part-time lover.
I wrote paragraphs and paragraphs about every single thing I disliked about the characters, but I think it’d be better if I just made a list about it. Everybody likes lists, right?
Why Audrey disliked this book:
1. Lauren was too boy-crazy. Every thought she had was Evan Evan Evan Dave Evan Evan Evan Evan. I get sick of the realllll fast. And the book is 231 pages of this nonstop…
2. She thought her relationship with Dave was ‘boring’ and ‘safe’ because Dave didn’t want to ‘take it to the next level’. Do some role reversing, does this sound right? And she kind threw her virginity in Evan’s direction… This whole sex debocle didn't sit right with me.
3. I don’t get how she could befriend Gail in the matter of days, and then spill all her dirty little secrets to her. That whole Gail-Lauren friendship didn’t work very well, Gail was only there when Lauren/the plot needed her, and then she disappeared into the backdrop.
“This is where I should say I break up with Dave. Or that I stop seeing Evan. But there’s nothing to say because I don’t do anything. I think about it, tell myself I will figure everything out. That I will do something.Gaahh, exactly. The quote like that explained perfectly why she made me want to tear my hair out. She doesn’t do anything! Just feels guilty but keeps doing what makes her happy.
But I don’t.”
5. She complained about how she doesn’t fit in with Dave’s friends, yet she only tried once or twice to extend her friendship. Then she was content to sit back and go on about how they’re not nice to her.
6. She constantly tells us how scared she is of everything. Grow a backbone and do something about it. Do anything. I found her to be a weak character.
7. Her cheating in general, and how it is portrayed in the book. Lauren just cheats and cheats, feels guilty, leads Dave on some more by trying to act perfect, then goes back to cheating because ‘Evan makes her happy’. Ughh. You know what? You can't have everything in life.
8. She was a terrible friend to Katie. Exception is the very end, but it shouldn't take you 220 pages to figure out Katie is your best friend for a reason.
9. She’s worried about turning into her mother, and hurting those around her. I don’t know what brand of rose-coloured glasses she is wearing, but does the thought cross her mind that the longer she cheats on Dave, the more hurt he will be?
10. The whole absent parent thing is over-glorified. Wow, are there no normal families? It’s either the picture perfect Dave family, the absentee parent Lauren family, or the dysfunctional/depressing Katie family. Way to not feed the stereotypes, guys.
11. Does Evan really not care at all about anyone but himself and Lauren? Isn’t there some guy-code where you.. uhm, lay off other guys’ girlfriends? Also, why the heck does he like Lauren? Is it because of the way-back-when story? I don't see the connection (apart from when Lauren goes on and on about how much she thinks about Evan...), nor much personality from Evan.
12. I'm curious why Lauren doesn't seem to care about what other people think of her. I'm a high-schooler, trust me, I know. Despite what you say, there's a part of you that is always concerned about what others will think of you. Lauren's actions, to most people at her school will probably calleed b*tchy and sl*tty, but she never mentions her fears of this (I find that unrealistic).
13. Minor characters in general were very flat. They had their own issues, but there wasn't any character growth. I like character growth.
14. The ending is too ideal, not to mention predictable. The heart-to-heart with daddy, the fact that fifteen minutes after breaking up with a very inconsolable Dave, she was holding hands and making out with Evan in the halls, the fact that she believed she had finally kinda ‘figured out who she was”… all very meh.
I know a lot of these are just things that affect me personally, not an actual bad thing in the novel. Hey, that's why I love blogging!
Okay, is that enough ranting? I’ll just cut to the chase. --Actually, I've got one last thing to say. Do I think Lauren is realistic? Somewhat, but honestly to me it doesn't matter how realistic and flawed a protagonist is, if he or she doesn't sit right with me, the books probably not going to be my favourite. It does take a talented author to make me this emotional about a book though :)
Parting Thoughts: next book please. I will be trying other Elizabeth Scott novels in the future though, her reputation demands it ;)
Book in HP terms: Dreadful (I'm sorry).
6/10 – because I did not like it at all. Lauren’s actions bugged me to no end, and the love triangle (especially because Lauren was actually in a relationship, not just undecided between boys) was annoying. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you like books about love triangles and affairs, I guess. A 6/10 is a C-.
And I'm sure so many of you will disagree. Feel free to say whatever you want, I'm ready :) Just remember, it's just my opinion (and I know I'm definitely in the minority here).