by Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: March 18, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
Contains exclusive content: songs from Griffin Peterson
Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she’s a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope….
Sydney is having a craptastic birthday. She knew her roommate and boyfriend were keeping a secret from her but she thought it had to do with them planning a surprise for her birthday. She had no idea the “surprise” was that they were having an affair behind her back. Which is how she finds herself reevaluating the last two years of her life, while she crashes on her neighbors couch.
This story gave me so many conflicting emotions. On one hand I was completely taken with the story and found it difficult to put down, but on the other hand this story focused on one of my biggest triggers that I couldn’t help but dislike the characters and their actions within the pages. Pretty much this story consists of Ridge juggling two girls. I get it, Ridge was falling in love with Sydney while also remaining in love with his current girlfriend. Okay, fine. But, if you are having these intense feelings for another person but are not willing to break it off with your current significant other, then for the love of God, don’t have the other person move in with you! Don’t spend nights with the other girl laying on your bed while you compose songs together. Sure, they never did the deed but there is such a thing as emotionally cheating and that’s exactly what Ridge did throughout the entire novel. He strung Sydney along, waxed poetic words about how he was falling for her but how it was wrong, told her things that he’s NEVER told anyone, SPOKE to her when he hadn’t attempted to speak since he was a child, and ultimately toed the line of being inappropriate the whole time. Not to mention that Sydney knew about, and met, his girlfriend and yet she still allowed herself to be reeled in to these situations where one would have to walk away or chance crossing the line. I just, didn’t care for their relationship. At all. Maybe had Ridge broken up with his girlfriend. Maybe if Sydney hadn’t known the majority of the time about his girlfriend. Heck, maybe if in the end Ridge was left alone and miserable over screwing over and leading on two girls. Maybe then I would have been okay with this romance taking place but none of those things happened and I was left feeling really disappointed in the characters and their decisions.
Now that I got the bad out of the way, here’s where it gets confusing , because I LIKED Ridge. He was a very caring and sweet person. If you could get past the inappropriateness of his relationship with Sydney, if you took the girlfriend out of the equation, he’s a swoon-worthy character. He treats Sydney with such tenderness and understanding. He doesn’t ask more of her than she’s able to give. However, he knows when to push her when she needs it. However, the love triangle really ruined this part of him for me because it was tainted by the fact that he was doing all these sweet things for Sydney when he had a girlfriend that he loved. And you never forgot about the girlfriend because any time they interacted with each other or had inappropriate thoughts about the other, they’d always remind themselves about the girlfriend.
While the writing was great and pulled me in, I just couldn’t get behind the characters and their actions. If there was no love triangle or if it was handled differently I could have seen myself falling in love with this book. Instead, I found myself wishing for an unhappily ever after.
“Sometimes in life, we need a few bad days in order to keep the good ones in perspective.”