I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Did I Mention I Love You was a book that gave me many mixed feelings. I’m still not sure about the rating. On the one hand, once I got far enough into the book, it was difficult to put down. On the other hand, the characters were a mess. They made some dumb choices with reasons that were just not good enough, in my opinion. I did enjoy reading the story, but in the end the bad outweighed the good.
The Romance: It was slow to build and the sparks were flying! I like that in a romance, especially when YA romances are known for insta-love. Tyler and Eden made a great couple, despite that they both had character flaws I did not always enjoy.
The Snark: This book was somewhat of an emotional wringer, so it was nice being able to chuckle over the characters’ witty retorts. I felt like the author gave us a good balance of humor and heartbreak.
“You’ve got to learn to mind your own business, kid.”
“Stop calling me kid,” I warn. “You’re only a year older than me, and you’ve got fewer brain cells.”
The Taboo: I actually didn’t have a problem with the romance between step siblings. It would be rather hypocritical of me to say it’s wrong when I firmly believe that people should be allowed to love who they love. I felt that Maskme realistically portrayed the angst and heartbreak that comes from falling in love with a step-sibling.
The Writing: I had a hard time getting into Did I Mention I Love You, because it felt like the book started out wordy and repetitive. Not only that, but there were a few times where I though, “Hmmm, this is awkward.” There was a disconnect between the writing and the author’s voice and I had a difficult time moving past it.
Thankfully, I was able to move past the writing issues, but it was a struggle there for a while.
The Characters: I have a lot to say about the characters of Did I Mention I Love You and not a lot of is kind.
Eden Monro is spending the summer in California with her estranged father and brand new step-family. She is not a happy girl and it is clear from the first chapter. She knew she would hate California the moment she arrived, and she spent the first part of the book nit-picky and negative about everything that has to do with her new family on the west coast.
A lot of her anger and resentment is justified — I would be angry too if my dad walked out on my mother and I and never tried to contact me for three years. And her shiny new family is definitely not perfect. It was not easy to like her, even though I felt sympathy for Eden. But she made some dumb choices in this novel, and having a crummy father figure doesn’t excuse them all. She also had a lot of body image issues and borderline starved herself. It felt like the author just brushed these issues off and never properly addressed with them through the course of the novel.
Tyler, however, has a damn good excuse for his mess of a life, but his personality was so very hard to look past. He is a real jackass for most of this book and even though he wound up worming his way into my heart, he was not my favorite person. He made a lot of dumb choices to distract him from his traumatic childhood and while I understand it, he hurt a lot of people and that is not okay.
Not only did I have issues with our main characters, but they had some really crappy friends! The backstabbing, the jealousy, and the manipulation was just astounding. If these are the kinds of friends you have, who needs enemies?! Even Eden’s friends at home were terrible. Gah. There were two friends out of their whole group that I actually felt good people and they didn’t have nearly a big enough part in Did I Mention I Love You for my satisfaction.
The Cheating: I understood the reasoning behind the cheating, but it’s never okay. It caused a lot of unnecessary drama that could have been prevented if Eden and Tyler just decided to wait until he sorted his shit out.
I really struggled with the characters in this story, which majorly affected my opinion of the book, because Did I Mention I Love You had a character driven plot. There was some much-needed character development in the last few chapters, but not enough for my liking. I do plan to continue the series, just to see how things turn out. I have an inkling I’m not going to be 100% pleased with the teaser the epilogue threw at me. Still, I’m glad I gave the book a shot, because there were some good things about it.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
2016 Blogger Shame Review Challenge
2016 New to You Reading Challenge
2016 Reading Bingo Challenge