I started to read this book with a lot of enthusiasm because I love YA books and I loved the story about this one. About half-way through the book I lost the enthusiasm because the book kept going nowhere, but repeating the same issue over and over. It was going in circles, I didn’t see the characters were dealing with issues but more like mired in them and getting nowhere. Also, the author included a lot about the musings and thoughts of the characters, and this is where most of the repetition occurs. It got to be a little tedious. At around 60% of the story, I started skimming so I could get to the end and be able to write a review.
Beth has a horrible breakup with Brian, she was just fifteen. The consequences were that she was struck in counseling and got very closely guarded by her mother and brother. Also, her father, a very well-known and prosperous lawyer, was an alcoholic that got into these drunken rages where he abused his wife and Beth’s older brother Sammy. Until one day, Sammy hit back and threw him out of the house. He left for five years, and the incredible part is that the character Beth explains this accusingly, like Sammy deprived her of her father’s love.
Fast-forward five years, and Beth is in University. From her childhood, David has been Sammy’s best friend, and one of her guardians. I don’t know why Sammy isn’t in University (suspect a previous book) but we know that Sammy entrusted David with guarding Beth, and he does that, very closely. He does the close guarding, using frat brothers to help. She’s rebelling against all this watching, but then things get complicated. Her ex appears and wants a second chance. A strange guy attends a psychology class with her and appears to be stalking her. And David seems to be getting too close.
David also has his demons because he had a bad relation with his father, who kept telling him he was no good. He’s adopted and his father kept the identity of his birth mother from him until he complied with several requests. He also broke contact with him when David pursued his choice of a career over his father’s. So, he feels he’s not good enough for Beth. Sammy also corroborated this when David expressed interest, in the aftermath of the Brian debacle. So Davis wants to keep to the brother code and keep his distance from Beth. All this becomes impossible once there is apparent danger to Beth.
This book would have been awesome if the plot had moved faster and the characters had evolved better in the book, not stayed mired in the issues for so long. Then all of a sudden, all plots and sub-plots get fixed in the last chapter and epilogue. The author uses the technique of flashbacks to the past to explain the present and it’s useful but the first few flashbacks were a little confusing. It was good but could have been much better, IMO