Thursday, September 3, 2015

Penelope Ward - Stepbrother Dearest

When my stepbrother, Elec, came to live with us my senior year, I wasn’t prepared for how much of a jerk he’d be.
I hated that he took it out on me because he didn’t want to be here. I hated that he brought girls from our high school back to his room. But what I hated the most was the unwanted way my body reacted to him.
At first, I thought all he had going for him were his rock-hard tattooed abs and chiseled face. Then, things started changing between us, and it all came to a head one night.
Just as quickly as he’d come into my life, he was gone back to California.
When tragedy struck our family, I’d have to face him again.
And holy hell, the teenager who made me crazy was now a man that drove me insane.
I had a feeling my heart was about to get broken again.

Comment: I got this book relatively recently and I thought it would be a quick read to decompress after such a bad reading experience that was the previous book. I should know that these types of books usually don't do it for me but...always that wishful hope that this could be different...

This book tells us the story of Greta and Elec when Elec comes to live with them. Elec's father married Greta's mother so that makes them stepbrothers although there's no blood connection between them.
Greta is the narrator of the story so basically everything is told from her perspective. Their relationship doesn't start very easily and goes through some bumps but in the end such a powerful bond couldn't end any other way...

I'm laughing at myself because of what I just wrote. Seriously, it's good I'm not the one writing blurbs for authors because in some cases I would ruin it. The story wasn't as easy as I make it sound but honestly I found some things too annoying to actually care.
First of all, the characters are annoying in some parts. I really wished I could shake them and make them behave for their age.
Secondly, this is new adult but half of the story is set on their teenage years. Sure, that's fine but then the label isn't as correct as that.

Sometimes I don't get the new adult label. I think for the most part they are just older YAs. Funny words for "teenager". It's so annoying. I hated being a teenager, hate teenager's social behavior and find it irritating to read about them. I really hoped this was different but no...
The first half of the story happens when they are teenagers - for real - but their interactions, even if close to reality didn't make them anything special or different that I liked meeting them. Their relationship was always focused on their attraction and jealousy and it annoyed me. The end of that part was realistic sure but made me want to shake them and make them act differently.
The second part of the story they're in their 20s but act as much as a teenagers as they could. I don't know, I hoped for a more intense story in terms of behavior and actions but it was just a very disguised YA book instead.

There's a HEA in the end that I admit is kind of cute but overall, the focus of the story went to things I don't think should have as highlighted and the author missed interesting points to address further like how their relationship affected the rest of their social lives, how that affected the family bonds, how they should have dealt with things differently...I felt everything was brushed at surface to leave room for the sexual attraction the things that didn't matter. I don't know, it felt superficial at times.

The protagonists didn't make such a balanced couple in my opinion. I understand people are all different and even age groups don't always act according to their real age, but I always hope that we see characters try to be responsible and conscientious of their surroundings. In this last aspect I think the author did a good job portraying them but the sexy parts...I also get that, sex sells, sex makes it all seem exciting, but for me it just makes it all seem repetitive and boring.

All in all, it wasn't so bad but the things I found annoying are the ones I can't get past, so my opinion reflects what I can easily imagine about the book. In this case, the negatives. This is worth by what it is and I respect that but it still isn't something I enjoy much and something I keep waiting to touch me differently and more emotionally every time. Maybe the next one, one day...
Grade: 5/10

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