Wednesday, April 15, 2015

TBR Challenge: RK Lilley - Bad Things

Danika hasn’t had an easy life. Being insanely attracted to bad boys has never helped make it easier.
One look at Tristan, and every brain cell she possessed went up in smoke. This man was trouble with a capital T. It was a given.
She knew better. Bad boys were bad. Especially for her. Considering her history, it was crazy to think otherwise. So why did crazy have to feel so damn fine?
For as long as she could remember, Danika had been focused on the future with single-minded purpose. Tristan came along and taught her everything there was to know about letting go, and living in the present. She fell, hard and deep. Of course, that only made her impact with the ground that much more devastating.
Bad Things is about Tristan and Danika, and their train wreck of a love story. This series can be read as a standalone, or with the Up in the Air series.

Comment: Here it is, another challenge post and this month the theme is Contemporary, which means a story set in the contemporary times or featuring a contemporary romance. As it happens with most themes, I could have chosen any number of books but I ended up with this one because I was going to read it for one of my clubs and it would be something ready to post today.

This is the story of Danika, a young woman (21) who works for a family of lawyers as a nanny, housekeeper, so on. Danika is someone with a not so good past and to make it worse she always likes bad boys which isn't great. She thinks she will go down the spiral again when she meets Tristan, a guy who says he's in a upcoming new rock band and that is going to move in to the house, temporarily, invited by her boss who wants to be the manager of said band.
Tristan has a complicated family but he seems a good guy and he and Danika become friends. But there's attraction between them which is difficult to ignore and there's the other band members, there's the problems with Danika's ex and there's their relationship that starts one way and ends up another.

This story was suggested for the book club, not my original pick. Still, I like to give all books a chance so I got it without any real big expectations.
Then the first page is an author's dedication to all of those who had to see loved ones fighting addictions and I figured this was what the person who suggested the book meant with "angsty read but with a HEA". I was immediately put off because I don't really like stories with people having to battle vices, it's a too depressing theme for me. But I got it already so I went with it.

The story, of course, starts with Danika and Tristan fighting their attraction while becoming friends. I liked the sweet moments between them but they went out all the time because Tristan enjoyed going out and he needed to be in the concert related environments, he invited Danika and their routine would be it for the most part. However I found it that they did it too much and at some point Danika even says she's neglecting her work but her bosses are understanding.
The thing is, Danika has had a difficult life which we only know more about closer to the end of the book, but she is thankful her bosses helped her when she needed and besides that she feels good working. So is this in par with her need to go out with Tristan all the time? I guess falling in love will make you o crazy things but I had a hard time believing someone described as professional would leave her responsibilities so much to go out, no matter what. And she is realistic, so...

Danika is the center of this story, even when things happen with other characters. I wanted to empathize with her because of what she went through and her attempts to be an adult, despite the disappointments in her life. But her behavior wasn't always up to the seriousness the author wanted to give and as soon as she and Tristan got together, I think there was too much sex too. I understand this "calls" readers? This might be an author's style, wishes? But in dealing with serious themes you have to be perfect in how you present things and I never felt that.

In a way, Danika's behavior while falling in love can be described as an addict behavior. When the need to do something or be with someone overrules our realistic knowledge of daily life. But I just wasn't feeling those two.
Spoilers ahead!!!

Then something happens, they fight and while they're apart he sleeps with someone else thinking they've broken up. Come on! If you're so dedicated to someone even if not admitting to yourself you're in love, would you really be with another person so soon after a break up? This might be a guy thing but I didn't think it fair..although contemporary it certainly is.
round this time we learn how Danika's past was and why she seems sad sometimes. It's heartbreaking, true, but my opinion of her didn't change even after knowing she was abused.
Then a tragedy in Tristan's family happens and it's also sad but my emotions weren't as engaged in the story and while it was sad, I can't help but feeling cynical because people make choices and battling vices should be a person's most important goal. Although this can have extenuate reasons like a mother feeling cool enough to share joints with her children for years...WTF?.


I think this story has many interesting elements. But I can't really say I enjoyed how things were told or shared with the readers. I can't say this is a romance because nothing romantic happened. Apparently there are two more installments and in the end there's a HEA that surely will be good for who invested in this, but personally I don't think I'll read more.
There's something to be said about blurbs, personal opinions and suggestions that make us see a potential and then our own taste prevails and sometimes an interesting idea isn't more than only that.

I don't recommend this book because for me it didn't work, but who knows if it won't for others, after all on GR of the so many ratings most of them are positive!
Grade: 5/10


  1. Oh. Is this one of those "romance in three (or more) installments" stories that seem popular these days? I don't like even the idea of those--I want to have my HEA/HFN at the end of each book, thank you very much, you know?

    I'm sorry this one was better in premise than execution. Better luck with your next read!

    1. Hi!
      I guess after having read this it might be possible it's one of those 1 in 3 cases. Honestly at this point I don't care.
      I think reading some disappointing things can be helpful though. It helps you to understand better what you like and what you can enjoy even with themes you wouldn't.
      Thank you for coming here!

    2. Oh yes, indeed, reading the occasional dud is not always a bad thing. As you say, it's often how we come to realize what works for us and what doesn't, and perhaps even why it does.

      And thank you for the review!

    3. Thank you for commenting!!