I wanted to love this book. I really did. The intention was there in full. The writing was good enough that I was roped in within the first few pages and found myself reading nice long stretches at a time. The first third and the last third of the book held my attention magically. I would forget the time, ignore whatever I had to do. I skipped meals.
But somewhere in the middle of the book, things got fuzzy and I kept wondering where the author was going with a lot of seemingly unnecessary information. You ever read one of those books where the main character is doing so many awesome book-type things that you wonder when they do any real-people things, like go to the bathroom? This is not a book where you wonder about that. There was a long bathroom scene where I was just kind of staring at the page, with my head cocked to the side, looking like a puppy and wondering: what’s happening here? Why is this important?
I was rooting for the main character, but I had a couple of issues with her. I’m almost sure this next bit contains some spoilers, so….highlight to read, and all that jazz 🙂
First off, at the beginning of the book, we’re made to feel sorry for her, but really, she’s supposed to be caring for her husband who’s dying of cancer slowly, and at the point where we meet her in the book he can still do everything for himself. We are never shown a scene where she actively takes on the hard, ugly, messy part of taking care of Grey, her husband, and instead we are left with all of the mopey ramblings in her head. She has to deal with the fact that he’s dying and will leave her. She has to deal with the fact that her sexuality is changing. She has to deal with falling in love with someone else…and that someone else is a woman. And she has to do it all with the most supportive and understanding group of people around her that I’ve ever read about! Poor, sad, Alison.
Then, she has the nerve to fall in love with Darcy, listen to Dary’s problems, coach Darcy on what’s happening in her life, but she never tells Darcy anything about her husband’s condition or the truth about what’s going on with her and why she’s still with him even as she’s falling in love with someone else. I don’t begrudge her the love that she finds with Darcy, but I have a serious problem with her griping over the age difference and how much younger Darcy is than she is, and yet she just isn’t mature enough to even let the woman in? She flies off the handle at minor misunderstandings (She does this twice. Once with Darcy, and another with her best friend, Jazz and so this leads me to believe that this is part of her character make-up). And getting Alison back after she’s gone on of those assumption binges seems to be next to impossible.
Okay, okay, out with the bad. In with the good…
I loved some of the beat by beat moments in this book. It felt like watching people fall in love in real time. There was a constant tension even through the bit of “love at first sight”. The author took the idea and the utopian notion (one which I kind of believe in) of Love at First Sight and put a twist on it. Kept the characters separate for a while, tried to see what would happen to them when real life intervened in their story. That much, I loved.
I wanted to get down and dirty into Alison’s character more. For the main character, in a first person narrative, I felt like she could have been more messy. Not simply dysfunctional with loads of trust issues that she still held other people accountable for when they fell into her traps. I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with our dear, sweet main character.
The end of the book brings some freshness and for a bit the author switches up and gives us more than one first person view. I won’t give much away about that, but I loved it. Even though the author spoke about the alternate endings at the beginning of the book, they still caught me off guard when they came. I am so not the decisive person who should be choosing these people’s fates. I enjoyed seeing all of the possibilities. But somehow having all of the possibilities laid out left me with more questions than less. I never felt like Alison learned quite enough. She just always seemed righteously indignant about her situation, even when she knew that most of the time she got what she deserved.
All in all, funny enough, I would recommend this book. I need more opinions. I need to see if anyone else felt like I did. Or even strongly disagreed. Show me something different. Maybe something I missed. I enjoyed the premise of the book. I just wished the ride wasn’t always with the main character. I wanted to get out of her head and shake her up a little. if I had to give it a number of stars, or hearts, or candy canes, or even little rainbows and unicorns, I guess I’d go mid road and give it three out of five.
Some parts I loved, some parts made me groan in frustration, some parts made me scratch my head, but I was hardly ever bored. And that, kiddos is the point. So, go! Someone, everyone, please read this book and tell me what you think. I’ve already polled the friends in my head.
Okay, okay, rant over.
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