Top critical review
Not bad but also not great - and way too much ANGST
December 3, 2019
It’s sad but I wasn’t entirely convinced or satisfied with this novel. In the end this book had some great moments, but also some not so great.
Enemies was overall exactly what I love about NA books. Dusty was new to college, clearly an outsider, but childhood connection’s to the state’s biggest football hero makes her automatically the most fascinating person to everyone she meets. Of course she is someone who rather stays unknown, hidden, uninteresting to all of them. This kind of trope is like catnip for me - I LOVE IT!!!
I also love it when couple’s already know each other deeply before they become a couple. Especially if their connection is so in grained that all others, everyone around them, becomes an afterthought. It’s like they meet again, look into each other’s eyes and only they exist. That’s definitely the feeling I got from Stone and Dusty. Again, this was right up my alley.
Same with the friendships that Dusty gingerly let herself be part of. Especially the Football House. Loved the entire idea and really enjoyed how everyone in the house became part of this makeshift but also dysfunctional family. It actually was a favorite part of the book for me.
All of the above would have easily turned this book into a 5 star read for me, if it wouldn’t have been for a couple issues.
There was a bit TOO much angst - thanks partially to outside influences but also to the never-ending hot and cold feeling I got from the Stone and Dusty. From enemies to friends one second, the next back to enemies. The constant push and pull actually gave me whiplash. Which is rather sad, because whenever Stone and Dusty were on speaking terms, their chemistry sizzled, and I really liked both personalities during those times. But as soon as they were back to enemies, I just wanted be done with it. It was mentally draining.
Something else that bothered me was that Stone wasn’t part of the story until 20% into the book - besides a handful of texts and a phone call. I read on and on, and was wondering with each page when he would be part of the story. That’s over 70 pages of waiting….
But, although this book wasn’t a favorite novel for me, I can see how many readers will love it. There was this ANGST on top of all the emotions - it was a bit much for me, but many will inhale it. And the writing is getting better with each book. And I LOVED LOVED LOVED that we got two epilogues. So, all in all not bad but also not great.