*I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review through Netgalley.*
Can I just start this off by saying I feel a bit hoodwinked. This book was not what I expected from the synopsis I read.
This review is going to basically be a list of things I didn't like about the book, because honestly these things overpowered the story, plot, tone, and writing. I couldn't get past these things and enjoy the book.
1. Tattoos - Yes, I love tattoos. The fact that we start the book out with her getting one (and having some already) made me think I was really going to like it. But then I find out that she's been getting them since she was 13 as a way to cope with the pain of losing (and seeing) her murdered parents. Basically, the tattoos are a 'safe' form of cutting/self-harm. Now I wouldn't have had issue with this if it wasn't suggested by a therapist (and really, what kid that age needs a tattoo!?) and would have been addressed at some point as self-harm. But no, it was just masked as something sweet she did to move past her parent's deaths.
2. Maddie - Maddie was the most frustrating girl! She is a very confused character - she likes tattoos but doesn't know what kinky means, she was sheltered by her aunt and uncle, but she parties every night she can. And her tattoos were probably the only thing I liked about her personality -- she was a very flat, one-dimensional character. Here we have a girl who witnessed her parent's murderers getting away with the crime. This could have been such a dynamic character. But no, she just sees the boy and has some mediocre tug-of-war in her brain, but really she just jumps to be with him the first chance she gets. Oh and there is the pact her and Kyle made when they were 10. Please tell me how many 10 year olds make pacts about sex.
3. Rape - So at the first party, Maddie leaves her roommate and heads back to her room alone. When she wakes up, the room mate basically says she was raped. And then... nothing. The book keeps going as if she told her she had just eaten cherry pie. I almost stopped reading the book when I realized this rape wasn't going to be discussed anymore. And then at the very next party, the girl put herself in almost the SAME position. Yes, I know date rape is high, especially on college campuses and most girls, like the roommate, feel like they put themselves in that position. But here was an opportunity to really do something with the issue of date rape, and yet it was passed by so we could talk about Maddie's new cell phone from the cute boy.
4. Kinky/Threesomes/Sex - This part was weird. Kyle is introduced to us as someone being invited to a three way with two lesbians. And then the next day we are supposed to believe that he is a swoon-worthy guy? Umm, no. I understand that he had a messed up life, but his character details clashed so violently, I just couldn't find him a believable character.
5. The Teacher, The Family, The Twist - The end was crazy. First of all, the plot twist was just rushed and rarely made me anxious or fearful for the characters. The teacher tells Maddie she slept with Kyle (and then that is never really explained) and the crazy cousin is just kind of allowed to be a jerk throughout the whole book. And Kyle really had no idea what was going on in his family? I don't buy it.
6. The Roommate... Again - Seriously, I have so much worry for this roommate who was raped and on drugs. And we NEVER find out what happens. I understand it is a series and things will probably come to light later down the road, but seriously we were just left with nothing to chew on. Again, another part of the story line that could have been done so much better.
7. College & Music - For a story about college, very little learning seemed to take place. And for someone on a music scholarship, very little music playing seemed to happen. Again, not something I'm inclined to believe if it won't even be alluded to.
This is the most I've ever ranted about a book, and the reason I'm even doing it is because I feel like it had SO MUCH potential to be so much better. I understand why people will like the book, but I couldn't overlook the things above.