Oh. My. God. No.
When it comes to rating a book, I always have the hardest time picking ones and fives. This book might have gotten a higher rating had I not read the story twice before from the same author in this same series. If you’ve read the story of Abby Abernathy and Travis Maddox, you’ve already read the story of Cami Camlin and Trenton Maddox. Not only do both stories involve siblings (both the Maddox and Camlin families in this book) and “heroines” with cringe-worthy alliterative names, they also involve the same timeline. When I say the same timeline, I mean that literally. The book might involve Cami and Trenton’s relationship, but it revolves around the events in the lives of Travis and Abby. And some scenes are yanked from the first two books.
In addition to plagiarizing her previous books, McGuire also did a copypasta job within this book. She would repeat phrases multiple times within the book. I don’t know if she didn’t realize that some people actually try to pay attention to details or what. I just know that it was very annoying to read the same thing over and over again.
The writing on this book was awful. I’ve read worse from other (less known) authors, but McGuire has become a pretty well known New Adult author, so more should be expected from her. Between the references to saffron skin (no, there weren’t any Oompa Loompa cameos), having “small D cups” and subtle curves, and russet eyes (they can happen, but they’re extremely rare), the descriptors were absolutely awful. It was like she decided to go a little hog-wild with the Thesaurus. If you’ve ever seen the episode of Friends where Joey writes the letter to the adoption agency, then you probably will understand how bad it was. Actually, this was worse because sometimes the descriptors verged on racist,
The book had no plot. Aside from getting Cami and Trenton together, there was no real advancing of the story. Even with them, it was seriously lacking. Like I mentioned already, the timeline revolved around Travis and Abby. This limited the actually telling of Cami and Trenton’s story. There were cute moments (i.e. ones that involved Olive) and funny moments, but there just wasn’t enough to justify this being a novel in its own right.
Oh, and the big reveal at the end? It wasn’t worth all over the melodrama. It could have been revealed much earlier. It might have worked better if this book had had a plot, but since it didn’t, it just fell flat.
Now, of course, since it’s another Maddox family book, there are issues with violence, hair-trigger tempers, emotional abuse, and a lack of boundaries. I almost felt like I was reading a case study on dysfunctional relationships. If you add in the abuse that is actually acknowledged from Cami’s family, then this book might be a little too triggering for people who have been in abusive situations.
I hope that if McGuire continues to write books about the Maddox family that she actually takes the time to develop a new story. She might have the potential to be a good writer, but she hasn’t really shown that so far. Yeah, she successful at what she does, but that doesn’t mean that her books are worth reading. This book was definitely not worth reading.