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Ellen

A Read in Progress

I love any and all books that just let me escape, but predominantly fiction & feel-good romances. I'm also on GoodReads (for now) at: LN B

All Grown Up - Sadie Grubor,  Monica Black This book was just OK, at best. The premise is one of my favorites: best-friends-to-lovers, second-chance romance, all that jazz. But this was executed quite poorly, in my opinion.

The first 30% is all telling not showing, and frankly just seems to be a retelling of an itinerary of parties and gatherings, following a bunch of people around with no purpose or indication at all why we as the reader are invited to witness it all. There is no arc being developed, either character or plot-wise, so it's hard to see where this is going or why I should care about any of it.

It also reads quite choppily, as we are narrated to by a lot of different view points. I personally find this a very lazy new trend; I realize it's harder to tell from just one, but that's rather the point of writing a good book, no? Well, here we sometimes swap between FOUR different people, which is just messy and unnecessary. Moreover, even then we are somehow still not getting to see the good stuff, the stuff that would really bring us in and get us to care. For instance, we're meant to believe our two main characters are best friends, and we are told this because they "talk for hours." But that's as far as it goes, and we are never, in fact, privy to any if these conversations. We never get to see for ourselves that they're great together. Or individually, for that matter: we never learn what subject our hero studies, or what job he has after graduating. Or the nuances of who these people are -- what does her room look like, what was the weather like and how do they feel about it...

All in all, it's a case of immature characters and very flat, one-sided, inexperienced writing. For example, we see 3 different characters resort to throwing a pillow/pen/magazine etc. at each other in the span of 2 pages. Evidently every person on the planet also uses their feet to remove another person's pants... Characters should have distinguishable qualities, not all be written the same way. It's bland. Similarly, the parents are entirely unbelievable, having positions of authority in town but condoning underage drinking in their house. These people don't exist, and you never want anyone thinking that about a character.

Finally, there's some pretty bad editing issues, as well: in the middle of the book a character's name changes from Dom to Gio; the kid's middle name from Kenneth to Charles; the hero's eyes from hazel to green... though that last one might sadly have been intentional. Problematic either way, to be honest.

I made it to the end but pretty mediocre all-said-and-done, and something I personally might recommend only for passing an hour while waiting in the dentist's office or some such...