Pretty awful, but I was only gonna rate 2 stars until I skimmed to the last two chapters and read them. What I learned there dropped this to a 1-star DNF.
Times I hit my head with this book: I stopped counting after 15 and I didn't even get to the half way mark
I've never felt more relief after I'd finally put the book down. The usual scenario is that I don’t even want it to end or I just feel very meh or very pissed off. Right now? I’m mad, furious, feel disturbed and disgusted that I’ve even read this, and I feel slapped over and over again. I blame my curiosity for wanting to read this and my fucking pride for not putting it down when I felt like I’m going to throw up. This book is so problematic and disturbing in not a good way and I honestly, honestly do not understand its appeal or its popularity.
I almost never do this but I need to write this review in parts because I don’t want to miss anything out. Hopefully, two parts will be enough and I’ll manage to wrap everything up in a pretty, little bow just like this book did. Oh man, here we go…
He has everything, right? He’s a bad boy, he’s tattooed, he’s so hot that everyone is falling on their feet, there are also dimples, he has muscles, he’s so, so hot oh my god, he’s perfect, he’s charming, he’ll go absolutely crazy for the girl/woman he loves, and oh, did I mention that he’s so, so hot? Except that he’s also a possessive, obsessive, beating-the-shit-out-of-people, controlling, tempered and abusive motherfucking psycho that needs to end up in prison as soon as possible. This is not how a normal guy would and should behave. This is not your perfect boyfriend. He’s absolutely terrifying in his behaviour and in his ‘show of love’. He treats women like trash, he has no respect to any other human being and especially females, he beats up people whenever they look or say something wrong to his ‘precious’ Abby, he’s sexist, possessive and everything of the above. You know what? I don’t care how hot the guy is, or how hard his muscles are, or how big his dick is (I’m not even going to apologize), this behaviour is not fucking normal. This is crossing every single invisible line there is and it’s horrible, absolutely fucking horrible, that this is accepted.
My mother dated, even married, a guy similar to him. He was hot and he was the one every woman wanted. He got his high school sweetheart pregnant, just to break up with her afterwards. My mother didn’t care for any of that because he was HE and nothing else mattered. At the day of her wedding she was crying. She couldn’t leave the house because, deep down, she knew it wouldn’t end up well. But she still married him. And do you want to know how she ended up? Being beat up, every day, by him or by his father. And then, after he’d beat her up, he’d fall on his knees and start crying and telling her how much he loves her and how he didn’t mean it. Does this means it’s okay? Were all those bruises she had afterwards worth his ‘I love you’ and ‘I didn’t mean it’? Tell me please, because if you think that yes, it was, please go get some help.
When the war hit our country, he went to the other side and imprisoned and killed his friends and family and my mum barely got away with my brother without him taking him from her. Now, he can never get back to our country because he’d be imprisoned the moment he’d step into it. I’m not making this up. This is my life – the life of my family. Abusive psycho that beats everyone that has a wrong look is a problem. It’s a problem because no love, no woman can cure him. He’ll always stay the same and he can only get worse. I’m glad I’ve never met that man my mother was with and I never wish for anyone to have to deal with someone like that.
Unfortunately, this book romanticizes everything and everything Travis does is forgiven. Everything is made to make perfect sense and everything is valid. It’s sickening, to see that, absolutely sickening. Because this book would’ve worked if this was actually showed as legit, dysfunctional and problematic relationship. Instead, we’re shown – or told – that this is normal. That this relationship is the one that works perfectly and every problem is resolvable. Travis is never at fault because he had a hard home life without the mother and with all those brothers. No, his behaviour is completely forgiven because he doesn’t know better. Right.
Also, the way he treats every other woman but Abby is sickening, as well. They don’t deserve to be fucked in his bed because they’re just little sluts who don’t deserve any care whatsoever. They all just want a piece of Travis Maddox so they’re whores and bitches and are just dumb and stupid. Wow. What a gentleman.
I would never, ever wish for Travis Maddox to be my boyfriend. I would never, ever wish to meet him. And nothing could prove me that he’s anything more than disgusting. There are actual, nice guys out there, one of them being my best friend, and they’re all being overshadowed by this. Unbelievable.
Abby is exactly the kind of a person I hate. She’s snobby, selfish, manipulative, batshit crazy, slut-shames all the girls right and left, thinks that having a boyfriend and break-up are the worst thing in the world, and doesn’t see the difference between a reality and a delusion. Most of the reviews mention Travis and his abnormal behaviour and, as said above, I absolutely agree, but can we talk about Abby for a minute? Because Abby Abernathy is just as bad. Abby is not a victim. Oh man, she’s as far from the victim as it gets. She’s the bitchiest heroine to the date, and not in a good way. She’s one manipulative person that will take and never give back. She’s also perfect and every fucking guy wants her. She has no shame. She plays with both guys at once, cheats on the one with the other and feels good about it. She doesn’t care about people’s feelings – except for Travis’ of course. She thinks her best friend is a bitch and a slut and the other way around, too. She slut-shames the girls who have sex, or any other girl for that matter. Everyone is a whore. Even the girl, Kara, she’s a roommates with, is a bitch and a dumb idiot. Not to only say that Kara is probably one of the only normal characters in this book, but she’s also done nothing wrong. I’d slap Abby a long time ago if I were Kara.
I’ve never felt any remorse for Abby. I did not care for her problems with her shitty father or her problems with Travis, when there were ones. Maybe this will sound harsh, but fuck it, she deserves what she got. She was always the one to leave everyone hanging when Travis were in question. She did not care for Parker’s feelings at all. All she cared about was Travis, sex, Travis, sex. If she hurt someone in the process, who the fuck cares? Because she’s always right and nobody else who tell her differently have a point. She loves Travis so fuck them all, right?
Her friends are also of no help. America (America, seriously??) is just there patting her on the back and saying she’s right every time or pushing her to get with Travis or whatever the hell. She’s as annoying as Abby, maybe even more. I’d never want her in my fucking life. Abby and she both come off as shallow and stupid – exactly the way they’re describing all the other girls. Reality check, you’re no better than them. Finch is just your stereotypical gay character who’s just there to be there. He’s as pointless as a statue.
All of the other characters are pretty fucking useless. They are there to be there and there’s no depth to them whatsoever. Actually, all of the characters lack any real depth and trying to connect to them was impossible.
Serious situations are also done badly. Like Abby and her past. There is not an actual mention of how dangerous the poker or Vegas, for that matter, is and that way it can actually affect the person’s life and things it can do to a person. It’s all just wrapped up in a nice little bow and Abby is even more perfect than she was before. I can’t take that seriously. I can’t take Travis lusting after her even more than before when he finds out who her father is. No, just no. That’s nothing to be lusting after and it’s absolutely disgusting. Abby and Travis… you’re just so fucked up it’s not even funny.
You know, the more I think about it, the more I think they’re perfect for each other. They’re both crazy and manipulative and controlling. Perfect couple, right?
I’ve already spent more than enough time on this book so I’m finishing up here. If I forgot something, I truly am sorry. I’m just really disturbed and really pissed off. I think I’ve learned a lesson from this though and that is – never read something just out of pure curiosity because it can end deadly. Almost.
SO MUCH RAGE.
Let me explain something. At 10% I was ready to give this book 4 stars. Somewhere around 40% it fell down to 3. Then, not even 5% later, it was down to 2 stars. But when I reached 90% and unnecessary plot twist that made no sense happened and I got so so so pissed, I couldn't give it more than 1 star. From the blurb, I really really thought I'd like this. I liked the idea, I thought it'll be great bullying book. But no. This book doesn't come close to digging deeper into bullying subject than just having someone who hates MC but secretly wants to shag her. It's full of sexual tension and nothing more. As being a victim of bullying, I couldn't take this seriously. It seemed as bullying subject was only there just to try to make it more interesting. It failed. It was handled poorly and I guess we should've only cared about main characters fucking.
The thing is, I never get so pissed at the book that I'm screaming so loudly that I'm sure my neighbours can hear me. This book managed to change that, too. If I could've, I'd burn it, but I have it on my Kindle so that was out of question. My phone is still too precious to me. I felt as this book should've been finished before it actually was and I was getting sick of it after the said 90%. Then it became even more dramatic and I hated it so much I barely managed to finish it. I do not, in any way, understand how this book has so many five-star ratings, but it looks like that's the case with every NA novel, even if it's horrible (and most of them are, to be honest).
To the top of that, add sexism, slut-shaming, annoying, unbearable main character and her even more annoying best friend and a "perfect" guy and there you have it! A perfect book, isn't it? Stay away. For life. You don't want to read this. I'd never want anyone to go through this. There are so many problems with this book and with its characters that I was cringing more than I was keeping a straight face. Moreover, I should've probably counted how many times the author wrote "Ugh!" or "Agh!" and added unnecessary exclamation marks. Writing style was annoying more times than it wasn't and I'd laugh out loud at some words that were used.
This seems nothing different than any NA book, even if I haven't read many. Blurbs are almost enough. I feel proud of myself that I even finished this because I usually can't. But I made myself and I succeeded. Four for me!All things considered, this book is utter crap. Don't even bother with it if you care for your mental health. If you decide to read it though, I hope you like it more than me!