by A. Meredith Walters
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Bully and victim.
Tormenter and tormented.
Villain and hero.
Ellie McCallum was a bully. No connection to anyone or anything. A sad and lonely existence for a young woman who had come to expect nothing more for herself. Her only happiness coming from making others miserable.
Particularly Freaky Flynn.
Flynn Hendrick lived a life completely disconnected even as he struggled to become something more than that boy with Asperger's. He was taunted and teased, bearing the brunt of systematic and calculated cruelty, ultimately culminating in a catastrophic turn of events that brought Ellie and Flynn’s worlds crashing down.
But then Flynn and Ellie grew up.
And moved on.
Until years later when their paths unexpectedly cross again and the bully and the freak are face to face once more.
▒ Buddy Read with my favorite Indy girl Chelsea ▒
I love reviewing books, I really do. Yet sometimes I come across a book which I don’t want to review at all. That can be because I’m too overwhelmed or pissed, annoyed or confused or underwhelmed. Why am I feeling it here? After having struggled to put my finger on what bothered me, I’ve come to the conclusion that my main problem with this book is the fact that although I did feel all these contradictory emotions through my read, I end feeling hollow in the end.
As you can guess, I don’t like this sensation at all.
#PlotLacking aka I’m not impressed that much
The story was going nowhere. I’m sorry but it’s true. That’s my truth, anyway. Of course we can argue that it’s a journey to forgiveness and acceptance – of course. Yet while the first half did a very good job at setting the scene and introducing these mostly awful characters, the second part lost me at some point. Perhaps I missed something, but in my opinion the story started to drag without real aim, except for waiting for the big revelation that we just KNEW would shatter everything. Don’t get me wrong, I was expecting the angst, I really was, but while I thought I was okay with it I realized pretty fast that it was the kind of angst I can’t stand : the “I-know-what-will-happen-and-I’m-dreading-it” kind of angst. I can’t help but loathe it, because in my opinion that’s the easiest kind of angst. The easiest way to make readers feel and to ensure the success of the book. Sorry but I’m not buying it, I’m just annoyed.
#IWantYouToRotInHell aka Why, hello, awful characters!
Now, I don’t think I’m picky with characters and I know that I have in me to love evil characters. Hell, I adored Jorg from The Broken Empire and he’s such a sick devil. So, nah, I wasn’t particularly worried before starting it. But damn, I didn’t expect to meet such DUMB SICK BASTARDS. I’ll keep it short because I’m feeling judgmental toward them but COME. ON. There’s only so many craps I can take, and when the characters make you feel the urge to SKIM whole parts of the book (I resisted), that’s problematic, right?
► Dania : You evil irresponsible BITCH. I can overtake a lot of things, but not only this girl is mean, manipulative, but she fucking continues to drink and take drug while she’s PREGNANT and that made me rage. Fucking RAGE because she’s so STUPID and SELFISH.
► Stu & Shane : What a bunch of selfish sick and disgusting bastards. I don’t even want to talk about them.
► Ellie : What can I say about our main character? Did I hate her? Oh yes I did. Yet I tried to understand her, I really tried, and I can’t deny that she managed to move me several times – But damn, it seemed that each time I was starting to warm a little to her she HAD to do something stupid or mean or selfish – not to mention the flashbacks that destroyed any pretention to like her I could have. Seeing her sick behavior through Flynn’s eyes made me often want to slap her and call her on a shit because what a COWARD. Seriously. Oh, excuse me, am I supposed to feel sorry for her? The truth is, I could have. Really. Because she was put into a considerable amount of shit in her life, I must admit. But despite her evolution, despite the cute moments, despite all that can be seen as beautiful in their story, in the end, I’m leaving her with a bitter aftertaste.
✘ I’m not sure what the story is supposed to teach us. That love overtakes everything? I hate this message. No, I don’t think serial-killers and dictators deserve to be loved, I’m mean like that. Therefore even though Ellie is far from being a serial-killer, I JUST CAN’T ROOT FOR HER AND FLYNN. I fucking can’t and I’m not sorry for it, because her bunch of friends and her aren’t anything but cowards, assholes, and BULLIES.
▨ Why would you want to read it? Well, for Flynn of course.
► Flynn : Meet this adorable, kind and smart man, whose utter and complete love for Ellie makes him forgive her for EVERYTHING and makes me want to shake him. To be frank, what bothered me the most is the fact that I can’t understand WHY Flynn wants to be Ellie’s friend in the first place, let alone LOVES her. Don’t get me wrong, I adored him (how couldn’t I?) yet a little part of me stays mad because HE DESERVES BETTER ← See? That was me being a judgmental bitch. And I’m not even sorry for that.
#BigMissOnMe aka Maybe this book isn’t for me
Finally, I can look at all the aspects of the problem, if I’m being frank, here’s what I think : if I was giving the choice to read it knowing how I would feel in the end, I wouldn’t read it.
▨ As for the ending?
Therefore I can’t decently give it a positive rating, even if I can’t deny that it was well-written. This being said, I can understand why people loved it, their reviews point really well why this book is beautiful – but all this touching beauty was completely lost on me and I can’t base my rating on what I am SUPPOSED to feel. Because even if there were some parts where I felt overwhelmed, most of the time it was just the opposite : underwhelming and disappointing.
✘Conclusion? This book wasn’t for me. Let me just forget it now.