Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2018
I just couldn't get through this book. Quite frankly, I'm baffled at all the high reviews. This book literally drained me to read.
First let's start with the fact that the characters read far younger than they are. Tessa reads more 16 than a college student and Hardin doesn't read close to 20 which he would be as a second year student. Tessa's internal monologue was grating and the constant screaming and use of exclamation marks was just—well let's just say I would rather stick bamboo in my fingernails then continue reading.
On to the next point which may contain spoilers so skip this if you don't want anything spoiled. Neither character had any redeemable qualities. I read a lot about it being a toxic relationship and people putting the blame on Hardin, but let's be honest, Tess is just as bad. What this book boils down to is sex and not love. After Hardin constantly treating her like crap she always runs back and guess what they do? Yup, fool around. So I repeat, that's not love, that's lust. For instance: After getting in a big fight with Hardin (and after cheating on her boyfriend for weeks) Tessa calls her BF and begs him to skip out on school and drive 3 hours to see her just to piss Hardin off. Once he gets there, she ditches him the second Hardin "needs her" then proceeds to take her boyfriend's car and stay the night with Hardin without telling her BF. Then proceeds to screw around with Hardin. Things obviously blow up the next day but then she gets back with her boyfriend to once again cheat on him and then dump him. These are HER actions, nothing Hardin pushes, in fact he tells her she's pathetic and stupid for breaking it off with him.
Then there is a crap ton of back and forth. Seriously, they fight every chapter and considering most chapters are below 1,500 words that's draining.
The final blow is the fact that the writing is crap. Very choppy and the lack of contraction makes the writing seem odd. Most people won't say "I will take you. they'll say "I'll take you." I don't mind it in the narration, but when people are talking it should sound like people are talking.
In the end, I made it to 65% which is pretty good considering I had to stop frequently. I'm really not sure how this is so popular and why just like 50 shades, they are making a movie which will obviously be terrible because the source material is terrible. (Speaking of 50 shades, there are so many plot points taken from there it literally made me roll my eyes.) I did skip to the end and the way it ends is so contrived I just can't. At almost 600 pages you would think more would actually happen.
So, if you like characters with actual substance, then skip this book. If you want to read constant yelling then screwing around with no underlying ANYTHING—then this is your book.