I wanted to like this book. I really did. It deals with a lot of very deep issues that play a huge role in modern society: PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc. The main problem with this book is that it feels as if it’s using these issues simply to make readers feel bad. It’s as if integrating these issues in a book will excuse any bad behavior on the characters’ parts. No. Just no.
Kacey is so unlikeable. I feel bad for her, yes, but the author gives me absolutely no reason to like her. She is judgemental and hypocritical. Other people are bad for being strippers and sluts, yet she can have intimate encounters without the same stigma. Why? What makes her so special? Anyone who makes a move on Trent is a slut, and she constantly envisions hurting these people. She is broken, but the message I got from this book is that a woman needs a man to heal. What happened to being independent? How can you heal when you need someone to make you happy? I don’t want to think that a woman’s happiness depends solely on a man and that girls need guys to fix their problems for them, but that’s what I got from Kacey.
And the relationship with Trent is just wrong. No. Please just no. It is one of the most dysfunctional and messed up couple that I have ever had the displeasure of reading. Trent falls instantly in love with Kacey, and he constantly uses sexual blackmail to get her to open up. No. How is this romantic? A person must be willing to heal and get help. You can’t just make someone go to therapy on the grounds that you won’t sleep with them.
The writing itself is not bad, but there was just so many problems I had with the book overall. There is a lot of slutshaming. A person’s appearance doesn’t define who they are. It’s sad that I have to say that – that it’s not common sense by now. We are constantly reminded of people’s appearances in the novel. Kacey is hot. Livie is hot. Storm is hot. Trent is hot. Everyone’s hot. Geez.
The ending is so unrealistic. How can a book that promised a realistic premise with all of its issues end with such a clean ending? Everything is fixed. Everything is all good. They just work themselves out. What could have been a redeeming aspect for this novel is treated with such little care. We could have seen Kacey grow. We could have seen her heal without the help of Trent, but alas, we do not get this.
Overall, I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn’t. Everything just felt so melodramatic and unrealistic. I have had little interest in reading New Adult books, and this book has just made me even more wary of the genre.
Oh and one more thing. Stalking is in no way hot or sweet or charming. It just isn’t.