Let’s begin with an embarrassing story.
I have seen this book all over the bookstagram world. It was touted as a thriller, but the front cover has a wedding dress. Purely judging a book by its cover, I decided it wasn’t worth it.
Trying to make new friends on instagram once I created @stacks_and_snacks, I commented on a picture of someone who liked it and said “I had heard of this and felt (totally judging based on nothing) that it would be meh. But I’ve seen nothing but good reviews – I have to check it out!” Little did I know, the author was tagged in the picture, and she commented back “Really hope its better than meh for you!”
So I had to see what it was about.
My Synopsis: Emily is ecstatic to be engaged to the love of her life. Her soon to be mother in law doesn’t quite feel the same.
Pairs best with: These peanut butter protein balls I saw on every wedding blog when I was getting married. I’m sure Emily scoped out a few wedding blogs since she had a wedding to plan in such a short period of time! This was the first time I made them, and honestly, they’re so easy and so delicious (2/3 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup oats, 1/2 cup ground flax seeds, 2 tablespoons honey. Mix everything up, fridge for 20 minutes, roll them into balls. Then they can stay in the fridge for up to week).
This book. The entire time, it was a solid 2 stars. The end saved it, brought it up to a 3 because it wasn’t as predictable as I thought it was going to be.
What really bugged me is that Emily and Adams love story wasn’t built up enough. He kept doing shitty things, but nothing happened before to make me understand why she stayed with him. I hate weak protagonists when it comes to men, it makes it hard for me to get through a book.
I also wouldn’t characterize this as a thriller.
Overall, 3 stars, because the end twist was good, but getting there took a bit.
Extended Review: *SPOILERS AHEAD*
Midway through reading this, I took out a notebook to write down some things that were bugging me so I could remember to rant to you about them. So buckle up. *Cracks knuckles*
Like I said in my brief review above, I really can’t stand weak female protagonists. Emily was the definition of THAT girl (tied with Lucy from The Light We Lost, but I digress). This wasn’t entirely Emilys fault. The love story between Emily and Adam wasn’t developed enough that I could understand why she was still with him. Every time he did something shitty, she had to stay with him because she loved him. But why?? Why did she love him?? I couldn’t get behind that. Give me some reasonable doubt – fine! But there was nothing.
The whole love story plot with James made no sense throughout the book. By the end it gets kind of wrapped up, but throughout the whole book I was so confused why James was flirting with her. It also made no sense that she was feeling guilty about it. Having a crush on your boyfriends brother is weird, I get that, but she went to dinner/lunch/coffee (or whatever it was) twice with her future brother in law. Is that really so weird to feel THAT guilty about? No.
Okay, this is just a bone to pick in general with the last approximately 8 books that I read. WHYYYY oh why oh why do authors throw in a surprise baby and think “oh baby (pun), what a twist!” Seriously. It’s at the point where someone in a book has sex, and I automatically think “well, now they’re pregnant.” And I’m usually right. Guess what, thats not how it happens! Well, technically it is, but you know what I mean.
While we’re on the topic of her pregnancy, she woke up projectile vomiting for an entire day and thought “I must be pregnant.” Then at 2 months, she was feeling well enough to go out at night with her friends. This was just too convenient. You don’t have one day of throwing up to alert you to your pregnancy. Either you’re REALLY sick for at least 10 – 12 weeks, or you’re not projectile vomiting for a day straight. Obviously everyone has different experiences, but take it from this 26 week pregnant mama-to-be, thats not the most realistic take on this.
The second thing that I wrote down when plotting annoying points was “Adam sometimes agrees with his mom, especially on Seb, and its annoying. He sucks.” So I won’t say I predicted the ending (I didn’t figure it out until they wanted you to, I thought the end was a good twist), but I can see where the hints were!
The end did save the book. About 10 pages before the reveal, I thought “oh, the mom was doing it to protect Emily,” and she was. It was still effing weird, there are better ways to protect her, but whatever. It was a twist I didn’t see coming. I thought the mom killed Rebecca and that was that. But I always do enjoy a good twist.
Did the twist make it worth it? Maybe, maybe not. About halfway through I wanted to give up. I started to read this thinking it was a THRILLER and being really tired of the weak protagonists I’d been reading about in romance stories. But… this had the same situation. I wouldn’t consider this a thriller. As my best friend (and fellow bookstagrammer – @skyflyreads – follow her!) noted, sometimes the classifications of books can make or break. I was expecting a thriller. And while the end was unexpected, I didn’t spend the whole book needing to know who did it.
So if you want to read this book – go for it! Just don’t expect a thriller, or any strong female characters.