SUMMARY: 16-year old Eden Munro travels from Portland, Oregon to San Diego to spend the summer with her estranged father and his new family, her stepfamily. Eden now has three stepbrothers. One of those stepbrothers is Tyler, a foul-mouthed, drug-addicted high school senior. At first, Eden can hardly stand to be around Tyler, but as she gets to know him, she falls hard.
REVIEW: I'm going to sound like a big ol' prude here, but I really hope teens reading this review listen to the voice of reason here. I am 40 years old. I've been where you are. Trust me, toxic relationships are TOXIC. This book glorifies that, and while I give the author kudos for publishing a series at a young age, I can tell she is a very young author.
I know there are plenty of high school and college girls who just love this book. I am not one of those girls. There is just something inherently wrong in this quote from Eden, which pretty much sums up Eden and Tyler's entire relationship:
"He tastes like beer and tobacco, but there's something enthralling about it. It's so familiar because it's so him, his permanent taste." (312)
Just YUCK. This boy has so many problems, and while I'm glad Tyler eventually gets the help he desperately needs, he in no way needs the complications of a relationship with go-along-with-the-pack Eden. For a very long time. He needs time to heal. I do not understand for the life of me what Eden sees in him. He is an absolute mess. If he weren't so hawt, if he looked more like Bill Gates than Brad Pitt, trust me, Eden wouldn't have given him a second glance. This boy is big-time toxic, and she is only 16 years old. Bad plan, girlie.
I did not like one single character. They are all either special snowflakes (Eden) or unremarkable (the little brothers) or party girls (Rachel and her gaggle of drunken friends) or sluts (Tiffani) or ignorant parents (all parents in the book).
I also hate the message of this book. That a girl can save a drug-addicted boy if she just loves him enough. That's not real. But, hey, he's so hawt! And she lurrvvvesss him! No. Go home, Eden. Finish high school and go on to your college in Chicago. There are loads of boys there, boys who are motivated and aren't your stepbrother and have never been addicts. Tyler does not need the drama you will bring; he needs years of intense therapy.
And I'm just done. Happy to be moving on from this one.
THE BOTTOM LINE: No. If you love New Adult (I'm growing tired of it myself), try Abbi Glines or Jessica Sorensen. Or even Miranda Kenneally or Katie McGarry.
STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: Not gonna happen.
- Overall: 1/5
- Creativity: 1/5
- Characters: 1/5
- Engrossing: 1/5
- Writing: 1/5
- Appeal to teens: 2/5
- Appropriate length to tell the story: 1/5
- Language: extreme--40+ F-bombs; 30+ sh**; damn, hell, bitch
- Sexuality: high--kissing, making out, sex in public places, second base, third base, loss of virginity, discussion of pregnancy
- Violence: mild--previous child abuse, not detailed
- Drugs/Alcohol: high--teens party often, get drunk, smoke cigarettes, marijuana, do cocaine
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