Lottie’s life changed forever one night when her best friend is in a car accident and suffers major brain trauma. Now, two years later, Lottie is starting college and ready to move on when she realizes that not one but both of the brothers who were responsible for Lexie’s accident are attending the same college and living in the same building as her. Just when things were starting to improve, they get worse. She runs into Zan everywhere, he is, unfortunately, inescapable and though she wants to hate him, she can’t help but notice him. Zan has always regretted that night. Before then, he’d always had a crush on Lottie and now he knows nothing can ever come of it, especially if he tells her the truth about that fateful night.
I was on the fence about Lottie from the beginning and the same goes for Zan. With Lottie, I felt like she was placing blame where it didn’t belong. Zan may have been driving drunk, but the accident was just that, an accident. IF there was blame, I felt like it should have been firmly on Zach because he was the one who convinced Lexie to get into that car. I felt like everyone was ganging up on Zan where it might not have been warranted. Yes, he had been drinking, but a deer came out into the road and shit happened. I feel like his punishment didn’t match the crime. Yes, what happened to Lexie was a travesty, but had he been over 16 and sober, his punishment wouldn’t have been that bad.
Not that I was instantly team Zan. Initially he felt overly masculine to me. Have you ever read a book written via a male perspective by a female author and just felt like they were trying to hard? That is how he felt initially. Talking about sex and fucking girls and drugs and on and on, with random feminized moments pushed to lighten him up and make him more likeable. Luckily, this problem gets better as the book continues. We get to see more of the romantic side underneath and the overt guy-ness falls away. Once this starts, I liked him a lot more. Then we learn his big bad secret, which I personally thought made him an idiot. ****SPOILER****We learn that Zack was actually driving the night of the accident. Somehow, Zan thought this would make Lottie like him less which makes no sense. If he wasn’t driving, it was less of his fault, right? Stupid logic. What I really don’t get is why he took the fall for his brother. I mean, I get that Zack had a sports career and everything, but seriously, all the shit he got sentenced to for that, I would have came right out and told the truth, even if no one believed me.****END SPOILER****
Another peeve was it felt like paying homage to several novels that I wasn’t too fond of. If you haven’t already noticed, I don’t put much stock in classic literature. Yes, some of it is great and it has stood the test of time, but if I read one more novel that reads like a love letter to Wuthering Heights, I may break down and burn the damn thing. Seriously. Wuthering Heights isn’t in the forefront of this one (though it is mentioned), instead it focuses on To Kill A Mockingbird, which is a bit better, but still irritating. I did like, though, that it was clear that Lottie does actually spend time reading, unlike the heroines who claim to love books but never actually spend time reading. The cracks about the trashy romance novels had me smiling because I’m as guilty as anyone with those. Sometimes, don’t we all need a story where we know for certain that the guy will get the girl? Something that makes us believe in love despite the odds?
I had one more peeve and that was Zan’s social worker, Miss Carole. She seemed fake to me, like a greeting card company robot who just spouted random quotes or cliché words of wisdom. Granted, those things did help Zan out, but it still bugged me.
What really got me on this was the fact that despite all my pet peeves and the notion that this really should have went through at least one more editing process before it was released because there was a decent amount of grammatical errors and I had more than one moment where I wanted to explain what a thesaurus was and how to use it, I still really enjoyed this. The story was infectious and captivating and it shines through all the issues. Yes, the writing could have used a little work, but really we read for the story, right? Not to analyze and dissect everything thing that goes wrong (okay, so maybe I do like doing that too much sometimes), but to connect with characters and take something away from it all. On this front, this novel succeeds effortlessly. I had to keep going to make sure that Zan and Lottie got over there issues and got together, as well as to make sure Katie finally gets away from Zack and that Will and Audrey finally realize they are perfect for each other. I was unsure of Lottie and Zan in the beginning, but I loved all the side characters, especially Trish.
In the end, I loved the characters and the story and I’m definitely adding book 2 along with several other of Cameron’s works to be to-read list, so what more can I ask for?
****Thank you to All Night Reads for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****