From bestselling author Ella Fields comes an all-new, turbulent, new adult romance.
Dashiell Thane wasn’t a nice guy.
He was an abrasive, demanding, conniving, intolerable brat.
Yet somehow, we’d been best friends our whole lives.
Until our senior year when I finally decided to dip my toes into the dating pool.
All it took was one kiss for jealousy, lies, and betrayal to sweep in and propel us heart first into dizzying, hostile depths.
You’re not supposed to kiss your best friend.
You’re definitely not supposed to kiss your best friend while you’re dating someone else.
And the absolute worst thing you could do is fall for your best friend.
Unless, of course, you want to ruin everything.
I just wanted to read a quick NA romance, partly to get my reading count up and partly because it sounded like a good book for me, but it wasn’t. Like I’m sure it was fine to some degree but not what I expected. I went into this book thinking it was going to be that classic good girl and bad boy romance, the best friends to lovers trope that is always a favourite of mine, and the elements were there on the surface, but the story and the characters didn’t make me feel the way I wanted to. It felt like a very “on paper versus reality” kind of thing. On paper, this sounds like a book right up my alley. In reality, it was so poorly executed that I couldn’t enjoy it. Is that Ella Fields’s fault entirely? Maybe not, because there are a fair bit of people who enjoyed the book and that’s their opinion. My opinion is that it’s not the kind of good girl-bad boy dynamic that it should’ve been, and it didn’t have the best friends to lovers dynamic that it should’ve had. For my own personal tastes, it wasn’t the right execution for this story the way I expected it.
- Like I said, on paper this book sounds like it should work and in the overall idea and premise is very good. I can hand it to Fields for wanting to create a story that sounds good and for figuring out all the important points to hit to attract various audiences to this book. But girl gotta work on that execution.
- I thought that Peggy’s family dynamic was actually pretty healthy, all things considered. I kind of had an “oh” moment when we were first introduced to her mom and how she and Dash’s mom made a pact to purely marry for money and that can give you a general idea of what type of character to expect. But I liked how her mom realized that marrying for money and staying in a loveless marriage wasn’t worth it so she left her husband, who was fine with it and supported her, and figured out a way to keep both herself and Peggy alive and happy. She found a little house to live in, got a part time job, and even found love along the way. And to see how Peggy doesn’t resent her mother for leaving her father or resent her father for being whoever he is, but still have two parents that love and care for her, and appear to get along, is kind of rare for stories similar to this. So I really loved the family dynamic Peggy had going on. It was a nice picture.
- The thing that bugged me about the romance is that it felt like one day both Peggy and Dash woke up and had like an epiphany that they loved each other and I didn’t buy it. I couldn’t see how they went from their typical friendship to going “oh I love you so much.” I didn’t feel or see any kind of emotional development because usually when I see something like this, the person who realizes it first goes through it gradually and looks back on past interactions, looks at current interactions, and after battling the inner emotional turmoil, they understand their feelings. With Dash, it felt like he just decided he loved Peggy and that was that. I feel like Peggy might have thought about it a bit more and tried to analyze everything but her decision in the end still felt too premature or rash and kind of just decided she loved Dash to succumb to his own feelings, I guess. And when Dash realized his feelings for her he still treated her the same as before and never really tried to win her love or be deserving of it. It was like because he decided he felt this way she had to as well and he didn’t entirely fight for her feelings or earn them, in my opinion.
- What I like about reading the good girl and bad boy dynamic is that eventually, once the boy pulls his head out of his ass, he tries to change to show the girl he’s worthy of her and he’s serious about her and he’ll do anything to prove that. Dash didn’t do any of that and he just stayed the same selfish ass he was upon first meeting and I truly could not stand him. Which is shocking for me. As I already said, he continued to treat her like garbage, basically, and was so possessive about her that it blew my mind how Peggy was able to feel anything past mutual like of him. I felt like he was too demanding of her to feel what he felt, to give in to his feelings and demands, that it didn’t feel like an actual relationship or someone who was really in love. He continued to have his same bad attitude and outlook on life and not once did I feel like he was deserving of Peggy. He demanded too much, was too possessive, and too overbearing for my taste. If he actually tried to change his ways and personality I’d probably be in love with him too but he didn’t even try and I’m not about that kind of bad boy.
- I liked Peggy in the beginning and for most of the book, of how she just wanted to have the fun experiences most people do at eighteen and experience love and dating. I liked how she cared about her friends and how they all protected each other and they did things like scrapbooking because they enjoyed it, regardless of what others thought. I also really liked how initially she stood up to Dash and didn’t give in to whatever he expected of her because of how badly he hurt her. But the random realization of love and eventually giving in to him for basically no reason made me not like her as much. I was rooting for her for how much she was standing her ground and more or less believing she deserved better than Dash but then it all felt like it didn’t mean anything. She didn’t deserve anything he did to her and he didn’t deserve her love or forgiveness in the end.
- I kind of did enjoy the epilogue because it gave me a glimpse of how good Dash could be and how he could actually be good and deserving of Peggy but by that point it was too little, too late. I mean, good for him for developing and changing but I would’ve liked to have seen it. I wanted to see character development and emotional development and seeing it afterwards in a tiny little epilogue isn’t worth anything, in my book.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- This book could’ve been so good, it could’ve hit the nail on the head for me and been something I really enjoyed. But with weak characters and a borderline nonexistent romantic development, it wasn’t even close to being considered good for me. I’m not going to entirely blame Fields for how poorly she executed this book because it showed a lot of promise, and I can appreciate that. I just wish it was better.
BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Kiss and Break Up
Author: Ella Fields
Release Date: March 4, 2019
Pages: 308 (eBook)
Until next time,
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