Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Summary: Best friends Lani and Erin couldn't be more different. Lani's reserved and thoughtful; Erin's bubbly and outgoing. Lani likes to do her own thing; Erin prefers an entourage. There's no possible way they could be interested in the same guy.
So when Erin starts dating Jason, Lani can't believe she feels such a deep connection with him--and it may be mutual. The more Lani fights it, the more certain she feels that it's her fate to be with Jason. But what do you do when the love of your life is the one person you can't have?
I used to think that I wouldn’t enjoy a book about someone who goes after their best friend’s boyfriend. I assumed that any character in that position would try to justify it with lame excuses and half-apologies. After I read Lauren Barnholdt’s Sometimes It Happens, I saw that this wasn’t true--Hannah was a great character and the story was crafted so that the situation was complicated. She never provided a lame excuse. She knew what she did and she knew it was wrong--but she also stuck to her convictions. Anyway, since I enjoyed that book and am interested in reading Melissa Walker’s Unbreak My Heart, I figured I’d give this one a try, despite my loathing of the cover.
Lani and Erin are best friends that are clearly growing apart. Erin spends her time with a big group of friends doing service projects, whereas Lani spends all of her time with either Erin or her in-the-closet friend Blake. When Erin starts dating Jason, Lani suddenly begins thinking they might have more in common.
Unfortunately, I do not have the same good feelings for this book as I did for Sometimes It Happens. I prefer these types of books to know what they are. This one started off with Lani claiming that she could NEVER even like the same person as Erin, a conviction which falls to pieces as soon as Blake tells her she should be interested in Jason. I need my book to be more self-actualized than that.
There was not all that much to the plot of this one, but it’s clearly more of a character study so that’s fine. However, I couldn’t stand Lani. Lani was a judgmental environmental activist with an obsession with fate and astrology. I felt like she explained her incredibly selfish behavior by invoking fate, which is crap. I don’t care what you think your cosmic plan is, your actions are your own and you have to take responsibility for them.
While I didn’t really enjoy Lani from the beginning, I knew that I was done with her when she said the following quote: “This is too much. It’s like we don’t even have a choice about being together. Fate decided this for us a long time ago.” (139) Ahem, no. If it’s one thing I cannot abide by, it is people and characters that claim they have no choice in their behavior. If a friend said this to me, I’d tell her that she was full of it.
The good thing about this book was that it did attempt to have more than one plot thread--the B-plot involving Blake and his verbally abusive dad was far more interesting and tolerable than Lani’s woes over dating her best friend’s ex-boyfriend. Blake, you should have been the narrator of this book. You’re a better character than Lani was and I’d like to hear about this from your point of view.
Rating: 2 - meh.