Top critical review
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I would give this a negative rating if I could.
on March 17, 2013
Addison's life-long dream was to become her university's first woman chancellor and now that she's achieved that, life is perfect. She and her husband are deliriously happy together and her children are doing well. Her son Parker is the leader of a tight-knit group of life-long friends who consider Addison their mother figure. Of course, it turns out everything may not to be so perfect after all. Her husband is a cheat, and everyone knows except Addison. Now that the truth is finally out, her son's friend decides it's the perfect time to admit his secret love for her.
I think this might be the worst book I've ever read. The characters were one-dimensional and boring. Addison only care about being chancellor, but she hardly spent any time at the school. Most of her time was spent hanging around her son and his friends. All of the kids were fake and we never learned anything more about them than the most superficial attributes - stunningly beautiful, flowing blond locks, deeply tanned skin, etc.
The characters' behavior was completely unrealistic. Addison acted like a teenager, following her libido around wherever it led her. As someone who had been happily married for 24 years, she was able to get over her husband's betrayal pretty darn fast. After a few rolls in the hay with her son's friend, she was declaring her love for him, yet for the last 20 or so years, she'd considered him a son. Her new boy toy was so stalkerish; after they had been on 1 date (if you could call it that), he beat up one person, and tried to beat up another, just for talking to Addison. After an argument, she had 19 missed calls from him in the span of a few hours. Red flag, anyone?
All of the students were loaded. Like, absurdly rich. One of the characters received a brand new 7,000 square foot privately gated home for his high school graduation. This is the same kid who also had 2 cars, a boat and a live-in personal chef. Every time anything was mentioned, it was described as wealthy or decadent, and every time a house was described, it was called a mansion. That gets old pretty quickly.
After the unbelievable and annoying characters, the writing was the worst thing about the book. It was choppy and inconsistent. First Addison would be "remorseful" for doing the nasty with her quasi-son, then in the very next paragraph, "they don't have an ounce of regret." Everything had to be spelled out, like the reader wouldn't be smart enough to figure out things on their own. This is a perfect example:
"After completing her sentence, she walked out of the room."
Thank goodness it was pointed out that she was done talking. I never would have known otherwise.
Also, Brown-Thomas (which, coincidentally, is the name of the university in the book) seemed obsessed with ellipses. They were stuck in random spots, usually at least 2 on every page, most of the time it was more.
"You not dating much... I can't ever remember seeing you with anyone, except... That one blonde girl... what's her name? Tall... gorgeous."
The last quarter of the book took a very different (and ridiculous) turn when the kids and Addison ended up trapped inside a vacation house as a bad guy threatened the lives of their loved ones if they didn't tell each other all of their secrets. There were cell phones and notes and clues involved. The whole thing felt thrown together and not well thought out. It was like Brown-Thomas decided at the last minute to make the book a mystery, and just tacked that part on. Though I did enjoy who the big bad was, their reasoning didn't make logical sense.
Overall, I thought the book sucked and wouldn't recommend it to anyone.