Monday, July 30, 2012

"Good For You" by Tammara Webber (originally written June 15, 2012)

4.5 stars

I didn’t read the first two books in the series (“Between the Lines” and “Where You Are”) because I hate, hate, HATE love triangles and I wasn’t interested in the whole Reid-Emma-Graham drama. But I thought that a story about Reid after he “lost” to Graham sounded like a potentially good story. Apart from that I have a weakness for the popular-guy-good-girl-storylines.

And Reid is extremely popular. He’s a Hollywood star, legendary womanizer and known to find trouble wherever he goes. That’s the reason he and Dori meet in the first place. He has drunkenly driven his car into a house front and the following court order was for him to help with the rebuilding of the house – a project that Dori is in charge of.

I didn’t like Reid in the beginning, mainly because he was acting like an arrogant jerk. Even though I gave him some slack for at least being honest about it and for the fact that he is a Hollywood star and a bit of his arrogance might be founded. When people are constantly telling you how great you are it’s only logical. But still, it doesn’t change the fact that his behavior left a lot to wish for.
He’s well aware that Dori is a “good girl”, she takes love seriously and stays true to her values. But still he’s going after her because he likes the challenge, while still hooking up with other girls. Call me stuck-up, but that’s one of the meanest things a guy can do in a situation like that.
But for me as well as Reid there was a big turning point in this story. I’m not even sure when it happened, but suddenly I felt like he showed some genuine interest in her, like it suddenly became more than just the thrill of the chase.
After that the book turned more beautiful with every page. The way Reid tried (and succeeded) to become a better and more deserving person for Dori’s and – what’s even more important – his own sake, was touching and so wildly romantic that at times I had problems to control my inner fangirl. I felt like squealing happily more than once and I don’t do that, ever!

I had some problems with the writing style at first. The story is told from ever changing POVs (Reid’s and Dori’s), there were parts of the book where every third page was told from a different person’s POV. It made it hard for me to really get into the story and made me feel a bit restless, but once I got used it I wouldn’t have wanted to change it for the world. They were both ruthlessly honest with themselves, so the insights we got into both of their feelings were extremely valuable for the development of the story.

The only thing I REALLY didn’t like was the whole story arc with her older sister.
***Mild SPOILER***
Maybe the author thought that making Dori’s sister and best friend fall into a coma that left her as an unresponsive invalid for the rest of her life was important for the development of the story and Dori’s and Reid’s relationship, but if you use a character like that to generate some drama (which I hate in the first place), why do you have to make her find the love of her life just before the accident? The whole thing was so heartbreaking I actually had tears in my eyes and more than a few of them were out of anger. That part of the story was completely unnecessary!

Apart from that I couldn’t have been more delighted with the story. Dori’s and Reid’s relationship developed with a natural pace and I could understand all of their actions and decisions. They didn’t mindlessly rush into anything, but at the same time there was a pull between them that made it almost impossible for them to stay apart.
This was a beautiful and touching book about growing up, showing strength in the face of disaster and staying true to yourself through all of it.

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