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Keep (Seaside Pictures Book 2) Kindle Edition
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I will say one thing: I'm not normally one to deride a book for bad editing, b/c I tend to have a high tolerance for mistakes...I think it comes from reading a lot of Indie published books, and a lot of times those authors just can't afford fantastic editors, so as long as it doesn't get in the way of a really great story, I will let it slide. But I know this author is a fairly prolific writer, so this is not one of her first forays into publishing...so I guess I held her to a higher standard. And I must say the editing was just not well done. I think she should have waited until the original release day, and given the book another once over (or maybe a few more passes actually). It wasn't just typos, though there were lots of those. It was timeline issues (first it's the next day, then supposedly a week of family dinners has passed, then it's the next day again), and character inconsistencies (changing hair colour and more), and frankly just nonsensical dialogue (well, not just dialogue). Now that last one may just be the style of writing of Ms. Van Dyken, but I found it extremely hard to read many passages, and I kept wondering if I'd missed something and so I'd read it again and I still couldn't figure out where the flow had gone so wrong. I'm not sure if she just ignored things her editor was telling her, or if her editor just didn't do a thorough job, but it really was not great stuff.
So how did I end up with 3.5 stars still? Well when the story was good, it was really good! There was a lot of emotional impact in this story, Zane's background in particular was heartbreaking! I loved the dynamic between Zane and Fallon -- when I wasn't getting confused and lost in their dialogue, I found the banter to be really fun and zany! I found myself smiling and laughing at a lot of their antics. Their chemistry was pretty solid too -- not out of this world for me, but I felt it. And I really enjoyed the celebrity secondary characters (which is what's making me want to try reading the Seaside series since I already own the box set...).
Honestly these factors alone would have probably given it a solid 4 stars instead of a 3.5 stars rounded down to 3, even with the bad editing (because that's just the way I review). But I really didn't get Fallon's parents. They didn't always fit for me and were a bit too crazy and out there (the father in particular). Not that he didn't have his sweet moments, but it was a bit too over the top at times for me not to roll my eyes. And then there was the twist about 3/4 of the way into the book. That just felt unnecessary, and there were even a few twists that followed that, and I just felt like it wasn't necessary to the book.
So yeah. See what I mean about conflicting? It's weird to both love and hate a book. It's weird to both like and dislike an author. I really really want the author to give it another editing pass on this one...I seriously feel like the book is being gypped by not giving it the polish it deserves. It's strange to feel so passionately about something like that.
I really enjoyed the story line. The banter between Fallon and Zane was fun. I especially love the extremely awkward conversation with all the characters and Fallon’s parents about baseball. This is like every situation with your parents and your friends that live to embarrass you. Given the situation at the moment, it was a welcome giggle.
The book was an easy read. It flowed seamlessly. I was itching to finish it in one sitting but you know sleep and work had to happen. I almost felt it ended too quickly. I just wanted more. I wanted more of the struggle and more of the laughter. Rachel could have easily ended this book after the “big event” and created a whole book on what happened after and I would have been totally okay with that. But Rachel does not like to leave us hanging and I know that all her readers greatly appreciate it.
Rachel has not failed to live up to my expectations with each of her books and Keep is no exception. Another win for Rachel and I can’t wait to read more.
This book is just…gut-wrenchingly beautiful. This story touches so many places, and so many emotions, and yet still manages to stay as a romantic comedy.
Fallon and Zane meet when she loses her glasses and Zane helps her find them. I enjoyed their banter back and forth. I know we always hear about people who just naturally mesh well together and Rachel captured that so well with Zane and Fallon.
There are people who first meet and they just click. Its that instant bond. Fallon and Zane have that but it evolves to romance and love. I especially admired how Zane was fairly quirky and it would throw Fallon off, but she just rolled with it. You could easily see Zane as the star and Fallon as the nerd, but I respected how Rachel wrote both of them. Yes, maybe you could call each by a respective label, but there was so much underneath.
One obstacle that Zane has is his anxiety. Its interesting how well he hides it. Even Fallon doesn’t realize it for a portion of the story. That is how well he manages to keep it under wraps. I truly am thankful that Rachel gave a character such as Zane anxiety. I have anxiety myself and it can be so crippling at times. It can hit out of nowhere and I know that its not easy for someone who doesn’t experience it to understand. So for Rachel to give someone that the world, in this story, loves and idolizes that anxiety was an interesting spin, but also one that I think is very much appreciated by readers. It actually made me feel less alone with my own anxiety issues.
I think every person needs a Fallon in their life, so we can all have a truly good person like her in our lives. I absolutely loved/adored/admired/liked/praised that Fallon just let Zane be himself. Even as we progress through the story, she never is trying to fix him. She just accepts him. Yes, when he keeps staying naked, she says something because it bothers her but she never talks down to him over it. Or his marshmallow addiction. Fallon just is. I think that is what makes her all the more lovable. She’s intelligent, but funny and just exists as she is. I loved her for that.
Obviously, I loved this book and Zallon’s love story (I couldn’t resist giving them a celebrity nickname).