Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame

Monday, December 21, 2015

Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: July 21st, 2015
Pages: 393
Song I Played While Reading: Lose It by Oh Wonder
Rating: 4 stars

Eden Munro came to California for a summer of sun, sand, and celebrities- what better way to forget about the drama bak home? Until she meets her new family of strangers: a dad she hasn't seen in three years, a stepmom, and three stepbrothers. 
Eden gets her own room in her dad's fancy house in Santa Monica. A room right next door to her oldest stepbrother, Tyler Bruce. Whom she cannot stand. He has angry green eyes and an ego bigger than a Beverly Hills mansion. She's never felt such intense dislike for someone. But the two are constantly thrown together as his group of friends pulls her into their world of rule-breaking, partying, and pier-hanging.
And the more she tries to understand what makes Tyler burn hotter than the California sun, the more Eden finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn't love... 

So something weird happened while I read this book. I'm not one to torture myself with hard-core angsty reads. I despise those kinds of stories, where the couple are constantly at odds and are either passionately making out or fighting like animals. It's exhausting. Why suffer through that? I'm big on talking things through and being honest, and most of those stories all revolve around secrets or someone not saying something. I'm not really sure what the point of this intro is, because this book isn't too angsty. Well, obviously, since I finished this book and I'm 1,000% obsessed with Eden and Tyler. But it's angsty to a point, filled with irritable characters that I wanted to flat out smack because I know those kinds of people and I'm actually amazed at how spot on Maskame portrayed LA teens.
A lot of the reviews I read on Goodreads featured most people complaining about the amount of partying, sex, and drugs that were in here. People said it was outrageously glorified, and that the teens reading this will see that as a norm and try to copy it. Apparently this is a touchy subject for me because I got heated. I'm going to express the shit out of myself here, so if you don't care about my feelings then just skip ahead to my actual review, which I'll mark with the first word being underlined.
OKAY. Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion, wether it be from personal experience or what they perceive from movies, tv shows, books, etc. I don't live in LA, but I have visited UCLA twice now to visit my friend who goes to school there. She's in a sorority and was living in a house with 20 + girls all piled in there when I last visited her. Think Legally Blonde but not as supportive and in a much more stylish house. It's definitely not my kind of thing (and thankfully not really my friends either) and I got up close and personal with the LA scene, and let me tell you: it's portrayed perfectly in this book. People party excessively there. People drink and do drugs. People throw up and have sex and play drinking games in all the same room (I saw this with my own eyes *shudders*). So not only can I applaud Estelle Maskame for the reality of this book, but I would just like to say this is real. This happens. It's awful and sad and depressing, but this is what some kids go through in life. I don't like people going around saying this isn't what it's really like, because it is. Instead of thinking of this story as something people can emulate, try and think of it as one that they can learn from. Maybe they're just starting out in the party scene, or are in the middle of and are hating every second of it. Or maybe they're enjoying it but becoming reckless. This is a prime example of how it can destroy your life, so maybe this will be the push in the right direction for some people.
Or I'm just completely blowing this out of proportion and not no one really gives a damn and will see this as neither an example or a learning experience. There's that, too. But I had to tell it like it is, because, like I said, I'm all about the honesty here.
Eden was quite the odd character. She disliked her father, usually either giving him one-worded answers or talking back to him. She hated that he tried to act like a father to her, when he lost that right after walking out on her and her mother years ago, yet she feared his authority. Whenever she would get trouble she would be super nervous on what he would think and say. If you don't like the guy, nor care about his opinion, why fear his "consequences"? I couldn't wrap my head around it. She also was one of the most judgmental characters I've ever had the pleasure to read about. Ask my mom; I was absolutely dumbfounded by how naive and critical she was, and frequently shouted my feelings at her because DAMN GIRL, YOU NEED TO CHILL. And she also was a little rude, which ties in to her scenes with being judgy.
For example: she barges into a shed in the backyard where Tyler and some of his friends are getting high. She is absolutely disgusted and floored that he's smoking weed, because that doesn't seem to be a thing nowadays and is apparently very childish and gross and let me just judge ALL of you for doing it, even though I barged into the very place you guys were hiding just to do it. Is that not incredibly rude or what? I'm shocked because 1. it's weed for fuck sake, and 2. that she would so blatantly walk into THEIR space and condemn them for doing what they enjoy doing. Maybe I'm surrounded by too many potheads, but getting freaked out over marijuana seems really pointless and childish.
She was a little bit of a pushover with her friends, but I'm not gonna blame her for it cause those LA girls can be scary. I do wish she had piped up more often with her opinions, because she was pretty funny and sarcastic. She thankfully grew on me, or else I would thrown this book across the room.
My sweet, cinnamon roll Tyler *heart eyes* I loved him to death. I just wanted to wrap him up in my arms and whisper sweet nothings into his ear since he was so riled up most of the time and nothing ever seemed to go his way. I wanted to cry out to the world "CANT YOU GIVE THIS POOR GUY A BREAK?". The big showdown with him, Eden, and Tiffani had me laughing hysterically and crying at the same time. Tiffani can go fall down a hole somewhere, thank you very much. I felt zero sympathy for her and wish Eden had ripped into her at least once.
I really liked most of the supporting characters, like Rachel, Megan, Dean, Ella, and her stepbrothers. Sure, sometimes I wanted to smack Rachel upside the head, but overall she was pretty fun and I'm glad Eden met her.
This book won't be for everyone, but for those of whom it is, you'll love it. Even with the annoyances, I was absolutely addicted. So yes, I ordered the UK edition of the next book and paid an exorbitant amount of money for it to be shipped here pronto. I NEED THE NEXT BOOK LIKE I NEED AIR.

""I've missed you a lot, Eden," he tells me, as though I'll be overjoyed to know my dad who walked out on us missed me, and perhaps I'll throw myself into his arms and forgive him right there and then. But things don't work like that. Forgiveness shouldn't be expected: it has to be earned."

""You know," he murmurs while he fidgets with the pillows. "I don't just watch The Lion King with any girl."
I sit up, my heart aching as I watch the awful scene unfold before me, and wave him away with my hands. "Shhh. Mufasa's dead, Jake. Show some respect."
"God bless Mufasa, may he rest in peace in animation heaven," he says solemnly."

"Another fifteen minutes and two deadly shots later, I'm wondering why I was stupid enough to drink so much in such a short amount of time frame. It's the type of thing your parents and teachers warn you about, the type of thing that they tell you will kill you. But none of that matters. No one ever cares about the consequences, because in the moments between taking a drink and the effects hitting you, everything always seems like the best idea in the world. This explains why Rachel is on the hood of the car, using the Cazadores bottle as a microphone as she switches between performing the national anthem and stripteasing her way onto the roof."

"He's so experienced and has everything down to a T, and I'm so inexperienced and have yet to discover why guys find boobs so attractive. So many fleeting thoughts come and go, like when do I move my hands? Where do I put them? Do I wait for him to advance or do I make the move myself? Does he expect me to moan? Do I moan? I can't possibly imagine myself moaning. Am I supposed to be doing something right now, like unbuttoning his jeans or kissing his neck? Who was the first person to ever have sex, anyway? John. F Kennedy was total player, and if the beloved former president of out nation was able to seduce girls at his every whim, then I'm pretty sure sex can't be that bad. Those girls would not have thrown themselves into the presidents bed if sex was terrible. For a second I wonder why I'm thinking about our assassinated president. I bet if Lee Harvey Oswald was still alive even he wouldn't be thinking about JFK while getting it on with is wife. And he freaking killed the guy."

"And even when he's undoing the clasp on my bra and even when he gets up to kick off his jeans and even when he's fumbling around in his wallet, he never once says a word, but I like it this way. I like the deafening silence of the whole experience as I stumble my way through it with the person I've fallen headfirst for."

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