The following ratings are out of 5:
World building: 🌎🌍🌏🌏
Character development: 🧐😕😍😗
The heroine: Tatum – her best friend from childhood changed at some point and became her worst enemy. He bullied her in school, humiliated her in many different ways, was downright cruel at times, he deterred other guys from dating her and more. She goes away for her junior year to school in France and returns with more self-esteem and the ability to stand up for herself and push back against her bully.
The Hero(s): Jared – Tate’s next door neighbor and former best friend. He seemed to completely change his personality after the summer he went to stay with his Dad when he was 14. He is often spiteful and malicious in what he does to Tate, but he sees a change in her after she returns from Europe.
The Story: This is the classic bully romance. Jared is one of the hottest guys in the school, and he has it in for Tate but she finally has the fortitude to stand up for herself. It is no secret that I love the bully romance trope, and I gave this one 4 stars on my my first read in 2017. Though I liked it a bit less this time, I still give it 4 stars overall.
I am not sure if it was the narration or the fact that I have read deeper characters and storylines since then. I can sort of understand Jared’s reasons for not continuing the friendship with Tate, but it just doesn’t stand up as a reason he turned into such a big bully to her.
The narration was done by Abbie Cradon and though she did a fine job as Tate, there is just something about her cadence that I didn’t really like. When she did the voice of Tate’s best friend K.C. she sounded like a whiny and petulant child which really grated on my nerves.
Overall I liked the book, the supporting characters, especially Maddox, and the relationship between Jared and Tate as children and once they finally start talking to each other.
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