Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published on: February 9, 2017
Rating: 3 STARS
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This book is quite popular, loved, and highly recommended by readers and bloggers on Goodreads. I was intrigued after reading the synopsis and the reactions that many reviewers expressed about it, particularly, how emotional they were after reading it. Some even said that this was one of their best reads of 2017. So, I had high expectation on it.
Before I explain my thoughts, let me tell you what this story is about. It follows a teenage couple, Elliot and Wade, who was very in love. Yes, Elliot is a girl (it is her real name). They had a plan set that after she graduated from high school, they would be married since Wade would join the army. However, the plan was changed when Wade then proposed to her one year before she graduated where she was only 17 because he wanted they were married before his first deployment. Although she was first terrified about the plan, she agreed. She then asked her family (his father and sisters) for permission, but his father was against her decision since she was too young. She then begged Wade to wait a year to get married but his reactions were heartbreaking.
Her dark eyes searched mine. “What if we went back to the old plan? What if … what if we just have a long engagement? I’ll finish high school, and then I’ll be free.
He saw her decision as a betrayal of their love.
Betrayal was all I felt, slipping over me like a storm. “I can’t believe you’re actually considering this. After last night, after everything…”
“I don’t want to leave, go to war, live,” (Die) “without you. I can’t. While I exist in this universe, I want you tied to me in a way that’s unbreakable. Undeniable. And I know what you want — you told me last night. I know you want me, want this, just as much as I do. So just make the choice. It’s easy.”
But she kept begging him to understand.
“You keep saying that, but it’s not.” Her voice quivered, her eyes flashing with the hurt and betrayal I felt. “Nothing is easy. Nothing is simple. I’m seventeen, and you’re asking me to commit to walking away from my family for my whole life without considering what it will mean for me.”
“There are consequences, consequences that will last my entire life. I’m just asking for time, that’s all,” she begged.
So, they broke up, or to be specific, he broke up with her and left her to join the army. Seven years later they met again under a heartbreaking situation when he had to come back home for his dying father. Unfortunately, he was not the boy she once knew. He didn’t hide his hatreds toward her and even made it clear in front of everyone.
“I had to keep her away. I had to keep my heart away from her, because when she was near, when it came to life, the sensation was too much, too painful.”
So, what do I think about this story? As much as it pains me to write this, I have a commitment to always keep my honesty and voice it freely in each review I write. This story might have been a huge favorite by many, but unfortunately, it is not for me. I was trying to think the best way to say it without sounding too negative but I think the best way is by being 100% honest. Honestly, I struggled to finish this book. Since I cannot explain it without any spoilers, please don’t read the following if you don’t want them.
The factor that made me struggle is because of the hero, Wade. I think that he is one of the most selfish and immature characters I’ve ever read so far. The words “selfish” and “immature” were even an understatement when it comes to describing his character, but I cannot find a stronger word to replace it. The only reason why both of them broke up, being separated and miserable for 7 years had been because of him. He forced her to marry him while she was still in high school, and all she asked and begged was for him to give her a little more time–only one year–until she graduated.
I could not understand how he processed things, to be honest. On top of being immature and selfish, I thought he was an insecure boy who wanted her to do whatever he wanted and was broken when things did not work the way he planned. Even after 7 years, he could not forgive her for whatever her faults were in his eyes (rolling my eyes). The point is I didn’t see the strong reason on why they shouldn’t have been together. Not a thing. Reading his point of view was extremely hard.
I never mind how many years the main characters are being apart in a story as long as there are logical and strong reasons behind it. If it is just a number thrown for the sake of good drama, I won’t usually buy it. In fact, I usually can’t stand it.
The other thing that really bothered me was the fact that none of Elliot’s family confronted him about his decision to leave Elliot in the first place, and Elliot kept blaming herself for their separation. Yep, he did apologize at the end to Elliot and his family on how badly he treated them but it didn’t make me connect with him despite the fact that I’d been waiting that moment for the entire story. How he would redeem himself, to connect with him. His reasoning was immature and, to be honest, very confusing.
In addition to Wade’s stupid, immature drama, Elliot’s family drama was felt something that was thrown just for the sake of adding another drama. I didn’t see the real connection with the main conflict portrayed in this story. What I meant is the drama doesn’t directly affect her relationship with Wade. So, the bottom line is there are no any strong, convincing reasons at all for their separation and not being together.
I don’t write this to prevent anyone from reading this book. This is just my honest opinion. I hope you understand and appreciate my honesty.