I remembers tidbits of 'Ruin', but I still read my review on 'Ruin' after I wrote the draft for my review. The things I loved from that novel, were also portrayed in this one. Problem? ... This is a completely different story, characters and scenarios. Not every one likes dark and twisty, nor am I asking for dark and twisty, but the approach felt all kinds of wrong and just didn't mesh for me. This was a bad management of issues.
This story held a juvenile undertone, that at times, had nothing to with Princess. There were many epic points, moments and facts within the story line, but their development and delivery left much to be desired. I wasn't bored, but I also wasn't into this story as much. I took quite a few breaks because my interest waned. A few of the Saylor/Gabe decisions of this novel could use a re-write.
Rachel Van Dyken strength comes in writing factual occurrences. She is really good at taking true events to make a stellar novel! The problem with this novel, is when she tries to incorporate the fiction with real world experiences. Sometimes it just didn't come together.
The issues of this story were controversial, scandalous and is sure to give you an opinion. There was never any right way to approach the main issue, but I was not feeling the results of this attempt. Even though, he would have been perceived as wrong, any way it ended. Problem is, he was.
I applaud Gabe's level of commitment to Princess. This is surely what fairy tales are made of, even if his was propelled by insurmountable guilt. The end actions of Saylor and Gabe, did not match up to the issues at hand. On the day of the funeral, I was a little resentful of them as a couple. I also believe there is more to be had from this story. There were many elements omitted. A little more time could have been spent in the past and Saylor's introduction seemed like the worse time possible in the life of Gabe.
If given enough time or set in another time, I could have appreciated and understand Gabe and Saylor as a couple. As is, I felt an allegiance to Kimmy and in turn felt that not enough time had turned over for Saylor and Gabe to have a chance. I needed four more years for Kimmy. Brain damage or not, she was still Kimmy.
Even if you exclude my loyalty to Kimmy, I also never got at what point these two really began dating or when they even fell in love. I could of sworn they were still trying to work out the dynamics of stop behaving like they hate each other. I didn't believe the depth of their relationship and that major curve ball, on the day of a funeral at that, had me gawking!
I understand Gabe and I was wrong. He's surely not gay. He did a full 360 in this book once we were aware of his secret though. Conscious change? ... I don't know. He moved from manwhore/possibly gay Gabe to 'Most likely to cry all day every day'. It's safe to say he moved from an Alpha to a Beta. o.O
I am frustrated with this story, because I know it could have been better. I was left confused and hoping for more. Better structure, delivery and depth were needed. This is a good and original plot, I just wanted a better resolution of issues
I don't know much about Saylor. It's was Gabe and Kimmy's book, as they both took the spotlight. I know Saylor's major, goals and the basics of her family, but I would have loved more alone time with her. I especially wanted to spend more time with Eric. Though brief, I enjoyed the time spent with him. It was the first stripped look into Saylor's life.
Surprisingly, Wes annoyed the hell out of me at times! He was all sage and perfect and I was like, "This is not the time to be perfect Wes". Plus side, still hilarious. He helped to give us some of the levity within this dark time.
I loved the quotes and reflection from Wes, Gabe and Saylor. I found some to be inspirational and I am glad that concept from 'Ruin', was transferred to this story. Sometimes I wanna know what's really going through the minds of the characters and these quotes did just that.
I loved 'Ruin' and even though, Gabe and Saylor as a couple, didn't do much for me, I don't think I would abandon this series. It was written well enough with a few grammatical errors. Unfortunately, the issues came off as too much for the years and wisdom of this group and the delivery became jumbled and unbelievable as it relates to Gabe and Saylor. I felt a fierce loyalty and bond with Kimmy, so Gabe came off as all kinds of wrong and his relationship with Saylor didn't do enough for me to use and justify the end.
Irrespective, I already have my copy of 'Fearless' and can't wait for the release of Lisa's story in 'Shame'. As always, I believe this series to have good, solid issues, I just hoped for a better, clear, believable and in no way disrespectful delivery.
*** R.I.P. to the real Uncle JoeBob ***