Genre: New Adult
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Format: Read via Kindle Unlimited
I picked this book up solely upon the suggestion from Chandler on BookTube. She loves the book and had it in one of her recommendation videos. I was very interested by the little bit she discussed regarding the book so I decided I was going to pick it up to see what the hullabaloo was all about. She also has a very good review on Goodreads if you’re interested in her take.
This is not a spoiler free review because I have a lot to say, so please be warned. Spoilers are coming.
Misha and Ryen have been pen pals since fifth grade. They write to each other despite being in high school now. However, they have this rule where they only write letters and don’t look each other up on social media. That’s already tough for me to believe in this day and age. I tend to look everyone up. I would think teenagers would be even more so inclined. Misha is a bad ass dude with piercings, tattoos, and he’s in a band. Ryen is like the popular cheerleader who likes Twilight. Misha sister dies so he like leaves his dad and moves into this abandoned theme park to live. And he adopts the persona of Masen and starts going to the same school as Ryen. But he goes to the school not because of her. In fact, when he realizes who she is, Misha/Masen despises her because she’s a popular girl with a rotten attitude who makes fun of others. So he wants to hurt her and ruin her life more for making him think she was actually a nice and sweet person. This could have been amazing, but the execution was lacking to me. Personally I enjoy enemies to lovers, but if someone would call me a cunt, I don’t think I could see myself ever getting past it. I know it’s just a word, but it’s a very loaded word to me.
But Ryen seems to like being treated badly so she starts to also want to be around Misha/Masen. It gets to the point where they are just having a lot of sex in various places. Let me just say… I understand teenagers have sex. And it could be the type of sex mentioned in this book. No doubt. I’m not bringing up the issue of the teenagers having sex at all. I just don’t like how it seems like there isn’t a mutual agreement for the sex at times. Misha/Masen just tells Ryen this is what she’s going to like, and she is just meant to accept what he says as gospel truth. She had sex with one other person before him, and now she’s meant to be all over Misha’s dick like it’s the best thing in the world. Pardon me for calling bullshit. I totally understand the shift from bad sex to great sex, for sure. But it also takes time and confidence in a relationship be it sexual or more, to reach the level the book made them out to be at. Like he shows up at her house and assumes she’s having sex with someone else and then watches her mastrubate. It’s just gross and creepy. Also every time they have sex, it’s like tits all over and like he’s getting so deep in her. Really dirty. Sure, that’s awesome. But just his alpha male ego is off putting an d he seems like he’s trying to own her. And they try anal and it doesn’t hurt??? I don’t know if her asshole is the size of a corn hole hole so like it just goes in with a lot of room, but that’s so damn unrealistic. This isn’t what teens should be reading… even though it says over 18 should read this, I know teens are going to. Just a lot of no with this book.
Just all of the bullying and teasing don’t lead to me Misha and Ryen having any type of happy ending, you know? The twists were a surprise to me. I didn’t expect his sister to have died from drug abuse or for the principal to be his mom. Those were big surprises. But of course, Misha hates women who don’t live up to his expectations so his mom is just a whore because she left her family. It’s just like how Ryen was a whore when she was around other guys because Misha was treating her badly. Misha is such an abusive dude… he wants his women to be perfect and conform to these standards he has. Some common traits for Emotional abusers include:
- An abuser takes no responsibility for their faults
- Abusers love playing the victim
- Abusers are mean one moment and lovely the next.
Misha displays these in such ways as
- He blames his mom and Ryen for their faults. But he’s okay for lying and deception because he has a “reason.”
- He tells Ryen her acting how she does makes him act like this, and be blames his mom for everything going wrong in his life as though Misha isn’t almost an adult who can make better choices,
- He is so mean to Ryen, when he is calling her names and cutting off her hair. He even calls he rocks like dumb as a box of rocks. But of course he’s like omg I love you and always have so Ryen forgives him.
Abuse is gross. Emotional abuse is gross. I dealt with for four years, and I hate how it’s meant to just be a character trait in Misha no big deal. He’s an emotional abuser. And he’s terrible.
What did I like about this book? I liked how Ryen talked about her friend Delilah. And how it shows a letter she wrote to her friend. I think it would have been awesome to see if there was closure in that because this was like the only thing in the book I even remotely gave a damn about. The music lyrics included were neat too.
I guess I had more issues with this book than I realized when I sat down to do my review. It’s pretty much like my relationship with reading Colleen Hoover. I hate the books, but I still end up reading them because I also love them? It doesn’t make sense to me either, but I keep doing it anyway. I will most likely read more from Penelope Douglas. I just am curious to see if I will love it or hate it. I’m guessing a bit of both.
Until I rant about books again,