Hi All! Just me, here with another book review.
FYI: I purchased this book, and this review was not requested by the author. Regardless, as always, this review is in depth.
By Nazarea Andrews
My Amazon rating: 3 of 5 stars for this tale of forbidden love.
As a reminder, my reviews are my views on a book and its characters. I try to avoid spoilers and will forewarn of them. I do not synopsis a book like many reviewers do, which to me is superfluous.
I’ll start at the cover…Fine and lovely work by Melissa Stevens, The Illustrated Author.
There was mention in another review(s) that Avery calling her father “Daddy” is immature. Personally, I realized that this story takes place in the South. I am from Texas. I have 45 year-old, highly educated, female friends still calling their fathers, Daddy. To clarify, it’s often a southern thing. I do understand that maybe the author could have recognized she was writing for a national, if not an international, audience and should have avoided that term. But where’s the originality in that? Where’s the reality of culture?
In books similar to this that I’ve read before, it’s always the woman who’s whining about the man not showing her love or saying I love you, or not wanting to stick it out, and how he doesn’t want to give up everything for her. Some reviewers must like this old redundant theme. For me, in this book, it was the other way around. It’s Avery who unselfishly didn’t want to see Atticus give up his life for her though the whole idea of losing him hurt her deeply. And she was afraid to mess up her own life too. Doesn’t that show consideration and ambition? I don’t see it as being weak or selfish, but being strong and level headed. I don’t know if this was the author’s intention or if the characters just wrote it that way, but it’s refreshing.
Atticus’ willingness to give up his life, move on to another job just to give this relationship a try is something we see very little of in reality or in books. I would call it uplifting; gallant, even. He’s not a shallow ass-chaser where Avery’s concerned. And unfortunately, we still see a lot of male chauvinistic behaviors in romance or erotic novels. Come on…Overdone. I like it better the Nazarea Andrews way.
The age difference between the two characters didn’t matter to me. I mean, this book is about a relationship that is taboo. In actuality, this is how it would be between a professor and a student who’s a senior in college. That’s where the illicit relationship comes in. Don’t we still believe that art imitates life? What I would’ve liked to have seen, however, was more near misses during the relationship. In truth, I would’ve enjoyed seeing them – a time or two – trying to hide from Atticus’ colleagues in a restaurant or her classmates at the mall in effort not to be caught. There are no cliff hangers, no hold-your breath-moments as far as action and intrigue. This story had the potential to be longer.
The characters seem to be developed enough for this first book in the series, but they could be more rounded. I think Atticus is definitely a hottie, but out of the appearing characters, Dane was my choice for most appealing. I’m always looking for a deviant underdog. By that I mean, I’m looking for someone to prove to me they are better a person than I first thought them to be. It’s early on in this series, but I’m looking to Dane for that role.
My hopes for future UB books: I wish the author will develop Avery’s character more if she is still to play a big role. Who is she, really? I can see the author’s not afraid to be original, so she should be more daring as well. This Love needed more tension – but not of the sexual kind, and a couple of “Oh, no. Run!” moments.
There are some details I did not like about the book and they are my personal reasons for not giving it 4 stars and have nothing to do with the story in general. While I absolutely love a First Person narrative, I did not like the “present tense” the book is written in. This is my opinion and has no bearing on the author or her work, but I think it caused a few of the lines of prose to be delivered awkwardly. I feel it limited the book as far as delivery and description. My brain had a hard time wrapping itself around the present tense narrative. That being said, I still must give kudos to the author for writing in this format. It is different.
Next, usually when we open to a chapter and there’s a heading such as “Chicago” or “April 2010”, we know that the following passage is about that subject. So when I opened to chapter one of This Love and read “Avery”, I assumed the passage was about Avery. I did not right off realize it was a cue to her speaking…or that the title meant that the passage was written from her point of view. So it took me a bit to realize that Avery was the one talking. In fact, it took me to the middle of next section titled “Atticus” for me to realize what was going on.
Also, while I have no problem with sex in a book, this one was a bit overboard. I’d like to see Atticus and Avery doing more than sex and drinking coffee. While sex can sell a book, it cannot sell a relationship to an audience. The ending was a bit hurried. As I said earlier, I feel this book could have been longer. I’d love to see this author really let loose. I’d like to see more obstacles and tension. Maybe Nik should’ve set Atticus’ car on fire for revenge.
I enjoy young adult and new adult books, but usually go for action, fantasy, mystery, or paranormal so the romance side of those genres is new to me. Overall This Love is a good summer read, especially for young adults. Although there seems to be no plot (but a lot of books do not have one) its succession seems to be finely planned out, and This Love is well written. I did run across a few over looked editing issues but nothing that takes away from the story. This series has great potential.
I am also interested in the Scout character and was pleasantly surprised to read the Epilogue to find that the next book, Beautiful Broken, is about Dane and Scout. I’ll be reading that one as I’m sure Dane won’t disappoint me. *wink* I’m sure it’s a 4-star read!