Yeah, this just didn’t work for me. I could see what Meghan Quinn wanted to do with this story, the classic friends-to-lovers (which I typically love) in addition to some opposites attract, but I think my problem is that while this all works and sounds great in theory the execution was pretty terrible.
While I found myself really liking Maddox and discovering how layered he actually is, my biggest issue was with Kinsley’s character. I don’t have a problem with her being a vegan eating, animal loving, save the world type of person; I know people like that and I adore them. But my problem with her was how she could constantly push herself and her beliefs onto Maddox, never bothering to stop and ask if he was ok with what she was doing or comfortable with her making changes at all. Maddox might go on and on about how she has a big heart and compassion for every animal, but she doesn’t have all that much compassion or even respect for other people’s comfort zones. And though she has good intentions in her mind, she often comes off as pushy and those are the kinds of people I can’t stand. In addition, while Kinsley is overly emotional, she often cried and focused on her own feelings whenever she was being scolded or yelled at by Maddox, more or less getting herself out of trouble and never validating Maddox’s frustrations. It never felt like Maddox was right in feeling frustrated or upset at her and since he was a pretty big push over for her, he would invalidate his own feelings for her. And that’s not ok with me.
As for the romance, while I love a good friends-to-lovers, I think this missed the mark because Maddox and Kinsley already had such a touchy relationship and would constantly say “I love you” and other terms of endearment to each other so there was never really any significant change in their emotional relationship for me. It all felt like we were still in the same relationship bubble the whole time and although I didn’t wholly hate it, I didn’t love it either.
The climactic drama near the end was probably what bothered me most. While I do think it was fair for Maddox to have to confront his fears and demons, I also don’t think it was fair for him to be the sole issue here. When his brother showed up unexpectedly, he immediately blamed Kinsley for trying to fix it, like she tries to fix everything, and honestly he was right to call her out on this kind of behaviour. But as usual, Kinsley cried; and as someone who cries when getting yelled at, I get it. But what I don’t get is that Kinsley never addressed how what he said about her was right, how she meddles in things she has no business in, how she uprooted his life without asking, and pretty much went on with her life. She expected him to change, but she never thought that maybe she was, in fact, part of the problem as to why he’d think she would do this to him even if she never did. I’m really upset that all the blame and all the development fell on Maddox’s shoulders and no one expected Kinsley to change at all. That’s not a healthy relationship to me, or even a healthy human being. Her overbearing behaviour should’ve been addressed and worked on too, not just Maddox’s.
I’ve noticed that throughout all of these books in this non-series, they all follow the same kind of formula near the end and I’m never as happy as I expect to be. Like they’re fine reads, but not fantastic or the kind of stories I usually expect out of Quinn. But if all of these books end up being the same here and there, structurally or formulaically, I think we have a problem. Hopefully this is the end of that but you never know.
BREAKING NEWS: The Bad Boy of Baseball, Maddox Paige, is totally and utterly whipped.
Okay, that might not be the headlines in the newspaper this morning, but it’s the reality of my current situation.
It all started a month ago when I received a call from my best friend, Kinsley. She got a new job in Chicago and needed a place to stay. I’ve known the girl since I was five, what harm would it be to have her stay at my place for a while?
Ha! Total disaster.
Now instead of going out every night with my teammates, I’m couch surfing and sketching endless photos of my best friend . . . but that’s the least of my concerns.
The disaster, you ask? I’m rapidly falling head over cleats in love with my best friend, my roommate, and my number one fan.
And she has no idea . . .