2.5 star for me. The writing is good as expected from talented Ms. Rock. The character is deplorable. She really made it work. Official review to come.
Being a teenager with hormones coursing through the body can be tough. Adding in sexual orientation and inappropriate touching by a family member can mess a boy up. Personally, I believe these are all excuses Dresden Marich makes about his messed up life.
Dresden is a senior in high school and flunking out. He's been on a downwards spiral for four years. The reason to his drama is not simple and yet it is. When he meets Caleb, a twenty-four year old, it's the catalyst Dresden needs to move on.
When the main character is someone I loathe, this book is going to be hard to rate. From an enjoyment perspective, this book is one star because I despised Dresden. Honestly, there were times I thought he should be put down like an animal that has gone feral. I still don't see anything redeeming about Dresden and I would understand if his mother drowned him to put both of them out of their misery.
Ms. Rock pens a tale of dysfunction. She excels at getting into her character and creating a believable if despicable person. This will teach me to just pick up a book if her name is on it. Make no mistakes, Ms. Rock is a talented writer and this book is well written with every flawed part of a person intimately exposed. From a writing style and storytelling, this is a three star book which is why I'm leaving it at three stars on The Romance Reviews.
Here's why this book doesn't do it for me and may work for others. I find enjoyment in books when I can relate to the character or understand where they are coming from. Perhaps this genre is not for me because this new adult fiction with drama lama youth sexing it up does nothing for me. Especially when the main character's flaws are overwhelming with his lack of discipline, impulse control issues, self-hatred yet narcissistic tendencies. When I examine Dresden's behaviour and reasoning, it comes down to First World issues. It makes me wonder if Dresden didn't have so much time on his hands and perhaps even less money to fritter away, if he would still behave in this way. He is a perfect example of the self-fulfilling prophecy. He believes his own press about being "damaged" and he excels at proving it.
The only redeeming characters in this book are Dresden's baby sister, Kate, and his friends with benefits, Caleb. Caleb tells it as it is and maybe Dresden will finally get it. "I think TV and movies have taught us all to make this production out of how we're damaged goods and no one will ever love us. You know what you are? You're a human being. You have good days and bad days. All your feelings are normal. And if the people you're around now don't treat you right, you'll have opportunities to go other places and meet other people." (pg. 90)
This is exactly my point. Dresden's melodrama seems to stem from what he believes society dictates. And one wonders where he gets it from; perhaps it is from TV and movies. Whilst bleeding hearts may cry out and say that Dresden is misunderstood with Mommy and Daddy issues, my thoughts are that Dresden needs a reality check and some hard labor. A good caning wouldn't be remiss either.
This new adult book is recommended for m/m lovers who like broken characters they think they can fix.