Seventeen-year-old Tyler Bruce is spending the summer before his senior year of high school in turmoil.
Through flashbacks, readers learn of Tyler’s physical abuse by his father before he went to jail. Now, his mother is married to Dave Munro, and Dave’s daughter, Eden, is coming to Santa Monica to stay with them for the summer. Eden’s first impression of Tyler is that he is a major jerk, but over time Tyler finds he cannot stay away from Eden, and she, in turn, is drawn to him. Will they be more than friends—and can Tyler finally begin to heal? This companion novel to Maskame’s Did I Mention I Love You? trilogy is narrated from Tyler’s first-person perspective. Maskame (Dare To Fall, 2017, etc.) skillfully moves the plot forward with chapters alternating between the present and 5 years ago. Readers will feel invested in the story, wondering what will happen with Tyler’s questionable relationship with substances and where Eden fits into his life. However, Eden and Tyler’s developing romance often feels unrealistic because he is so cruel to her and others that his appeal can be difficult to understand. The book situates whiteness as the norm, and it is unfortunate that the one significant adult male character of color, Tyler’s half Mexican/half white father, is violent and abusive.
A quick guilty pleasure. (Fiction. 14-18)