DID I MENTION I NEED YOU? by Estelle Maskame

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

DID I MENTION I NEED YOU? by Estelle Maskame
Publisher: Black & White Publishing
Publication Date: October 19th, 2015 (UK edition)
Pages: 387
Song I Played While Reading: Lose it (Jerry Folk Remix) by Oh Wonder
Rating: 3.5 stars

It's been a year since eighteen-year-old Eden Munro last saw Tyler Bruce: her stepbrother... and her secret love. Although they called time on their forbidden relationship for the sake of their family, Eden can't help but feel excited when Tyler invites her to join him in New York for the summer. 
Anyway, Eden is happy with her boyfriend Dean, and surely Tyler has moved on too. But as they spend a long, hot summer in the excitement of the city that never sleeps, it soon becomes obvious that the parent over each other. But can they resist temptation? 

DID I MENTION I NEED YOU? was a confounding book for me. I had crazy high expectations since I loved the first book, and the thought of Eden and Tyler together, alone, in New York city for an entire summer was tantalizing and agonizing. Now, before I get into this review, I would like to point out that I thought I was spoiled for the ending. I swear on my life that I read somewhere that Tyler had a secret girlfriend in Chicago. It was on goodreads, and was a review. BUT I CANT FOR THE LIFE OF ME FIND IT, AND I'M TRYING NOT TO SCREAM WITH EMBARRASSMENT AND ANGER. Not only was I outright pissed off that someone would blatantly spoil it for everyone, but it tainted the whole book for me. The entire time I was reading DIMINY, I was second guessing Tyler. I was thinking "How can he say all this stuff to Eden, about loving her and needing her, when he has a secret girlfriend?" There's a slight possibility that I may have read the review wrong, but I highly doubt it. Why would girlfriend and Chicago be in the same sentence? Huh?? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ME, MYSTERIOUS REVIEWER WHO I KINDA WISH WOULD FALL DOWN A DARK HOLE?
I don't think that contributed to a lot of my unease over this book, though. It should have, but it didn't.  Overall, I wasn't thrilled with this storyline. Let me break it down for you.

The New Tyler
I like emotionally tortured boys. I find them fascinating and depressing. It helps when they're completely gorgeous too, so all that wrapped up in a toned body is a recipe for disaster. But I also like good guys too (who doesn't?) but they can be kind of boring. And that's how I found Tyler to be in this story. He was sooooo incredibly different from the Tyler we knew in DIMILY, which I found unsettling. He obviously grew up and found more inner peace over his past, but... I don't know. Something was off. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is, but he didn't have that same spark for me.

This damn girl. I don't think we'll ever see eye-to-eye. She can be a fantastic narrator, which she was for the most part in this book. She was confident and honest and more easily relatable. But as it happens, the bad overshadows the good for me (or at least stands out more), so when I think back on Eden, I think of her faults. She would get ridiculously jealous of any girl that would talk to Tyler, which wouldn't have been a problem if she didn't ACT OUT LIKE A CHILD. At one point, Tyler introduces Eden to his friend, Emily. And without even waiting to see what kind of relationship they have, or even saying hi to Emily, she storms past them into her room and slams the door, fuming inside that Tyler would lie to her about having a girlfriend. Not only is that completely wrong and obnoxious because YOU'RE HIS STEPSISTER AND ARE TRYING TO KEEP YOUR RELATIONSHIP A SECRET, but because how old is she?? That is so unbelievably rude, and it blows my mind that she actually did that. But Eden has a habit of being unthinkably rude (she did this a lot in DIMILY) so I shouldn't have been that surprised.
She also can be quick to assume and judge, and at one point, she found herself stuck in this situation that I firmly believe she could have wiggled her way out of by being honest.

The Setting + Characters 
This is still something I'm trying to work out, but I think them being in New York kind of messed me up too. On one hand, it was great, because you can clearly see the amount of work Maskame put into making this book rich and full of detail, which is always a feat because she isn't even from the US. I'm not even sure if she's set foot in New York, but regardless, major kudos to her. I could picture everything. It was fantastic. But maybe in my minds eye, Tyler and Eden will always be a California couple. It was similar to New Tyler; them being in New York was off putting.
Also, lord help me for saying this, but I actually missed all the horrendous characters in DIMILY. I DONT EVEN KNOW WHY (which seems to be my overall response to everything in this book), but I can't even describe to you the satisfaction I felt when some of them visited Eden. It was like coming home, and in true Maskame fashion, it brought so much delicious drama to the book that I was giggling.
I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the new batch of characters we got though! Snake and Emily were fantastic. Tyler literally could not have had better friends.

Now I'm not saying I wasn't also thrilled with this book. I love Maskame's writing and how a heavy portion of this is inner dialogue. Eden, even with her faults, is an incredible character who thinks and observes and wonders. I'm similar in that way, so it's nice seeing someone actually taking a step back and observing the world around her and acknowledging that she's in New York. She appreciates everything around her, even with all the drama in her life.
I still have more to say, but it'll spoil DIMINY if you haven read it yet, so shoo! I ordered the UK version through Amazon in case anyone was wondering, and the US version comes out on March 6th.  If you liked DID I MENTION I LOVE YOU? than I'm 95% sure you'll either like or love DID I MENTION I NEED YOU?

I wanted to talk about the whole Dean situation here. Many of us would like to think that we wouldn't have cheated on Dean with Tyler. That we wouldn't have kissed him, let alone slept with him multiple times, basically acting like we didn't have a boyfriend. I read a review where some girl was outright disgusted with Eden and her ability to cheat without a single thought.
First of all, don't be single-minded. Until you've personally been in Eden's shoes, or even Dean's or Tylers, don't judge. Don't act like God and condone people for things that are out of their control. Could it have been handled better? Of course. Could Eden have broken up with Dean before leaving for New York? Of course. Could she have not have slept with Tyler? Of course. But this is a tricky situation. I'm not saying cheating is ever okay, but when you have a relationship that has been in the works for two years, stopped by outsides forces and distance, than things are going to come up when they're finally together again, no matter their relationship status. I'm cringing at what I just wrote but it's what I feel, no matter how awful it may look. I've obviously never been cheated on, so I don't have any personal experience with it. But I'm a very open person and can understand that love can make people do crazy things.
And concerning the ending, I actually am really impressed with Tyler's decision to leave. It's a very mature choice, something that I would usually admire in someone, but he literally picked the worst time to do it. After outing their relationship to everyone, and promising Eden that he would never leave, he's doing just that, leaving the ugly mess for her to clean up. He should have either done this before they left New York, or while she was away at college. That would have been plenty of alone time for him.
Nonetheless, I'm desperately hoping to see Eden and Tyler get their happy ending in DID I MENTION I MISS YOU?

"However, when I glance down, it's not lyrics that I see. It's three words, scrawled messily in his handwriting. Three words, and they're in Spanish: No te rindas.
Before I can even open my mouth, Tyler's already answering the question that's on my lips.
"It means 'Don't give up'," he says quietly, toying with the pen in his hand."When it comes to you, it's simple: As long as you don't give up, I won't either."

 "Snake munches on several more chips as he thinks, tilting his head a degree to the side. "It's a little weird," he says again, "but I don't have a problem with it." He starts to smile but it quickly transforms into a smirk instead as he raises an eyebrow at Tyler. ""So do you guys have kinky family traditions?"

"I dont know what being in love with someone is supposed to feel like," Tyler admits with a breathy laugh, "but if being in love means thinking about someone every second of every day... If being in love means you'd do anything and everything for them," he murmurs, "than I am endlessly in love with you."

"Hey!" Snake yells from the kitchen. It's so abrupt that Tyler and I immediately pause, flinching away from each other before our lips can even brush. We both flash our eyes over to Snake, only to find that he and Emily are staring back at us from behind the kitchen counter. They're both smiling, their expressions playful. With a plate in his hand, Snake points it toward us. "No immortal kissing in the living room!"

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