Love is everything but expected. Eden Monro came to California for a summer of sun, sand and celebrities – what better way to forget about the drama back home? Until she meets her new family of strangers: a dad she hasn't seen in three years, a stepmonster and three stepbrothers. Eden gets her own room in her dad's fancy house in Santa Monica. A room right next door to her oldest stepbrother, Tyler Bruce. Whom she cannot stand. He's got angry green eyes and ego bigger than a Beverly Hills mansion. She's never felt such intense dislike for someone. But the two are constantly thrown together as his group of friends pull her into their world of rule-breaking, partying and pier-hanging. And the more she tries to understand what makes Tyler burn hotter than the California sun, the more Eden finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn't... Did I Mention I Love You? is the addictive first book in Wattpad sensation Estelle Maskame's DIMILY trilogy: three unforgettable summers of secrets, heartbreak and forbidden romance.
Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
Honestly, I thought this book was a complete and utter train wreck! I almost gave up on it numerous times, but I just could not. Stop. Reading! What the hell is wrong with me?! I don't even know!
Objectively, I can say that the writing is not great. There are so many mundane details of Eden's day thrown in for no apparent reason. Open this book to any chapter and you'll be subjected to passages about what everyone is wearing or how their hair is styled. There are countless eye rolls, glares, and smirks. Or you might read about how Eden went for a run and then had a shower. So tedious!
Then there's the lack of character development. Eden arrives in Santa Monica, and automatically she's included into this group of six other kids, including her stepbrother Tyler and his girlfriend Tiffani. The rest of the kids are pretty much interchangeable. They party, and shop, and sometimes go out for coffee, but other than that, they are pretty boring. I know they're rich, so I suppose they don't need summer jobs, but still, they don't seem to be interested in anything. No volunteering, no hobbies, no sports. Shouldn't they be doing all this stuff to pad their college applications or something?
I found Eden to be very...unlikable, really. She's got this whole teenage attitude thing going on, where she hates just about everybody and everything, and yet she always just follows along. The only time I liked her was when she got a bit drunk, and that's not really a good thing! The most bizarre, unbelievable occurrence, however, was during her first kiss with Tyler. It really came out of nowhere. She was always going on about how he drove her nuts, how awful, irritating, and rude he was. Next thing ya know, she's kissing him? To distract him from doing something wrong? Riiiiiight. The buildup to that first kiss was nonexistent, and to me it felt just...forced.
As for Tyler? Sorry, I didn't like him. At all. I don't know why those kids, even as shallow as they were, would even hang out with him. He treats everyone like crap, including his girlfriend, so why would anyone put up with that? Of course there's a reason for his behaviour, but still. I don't care how good looking or rich you are, if you're mean to me, I'm not going to hang out with you, no matter your hidden reasons or our history together.
So, in short, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone, and I definitely won't be continuing with the series. If you're looking for an interesting, well-written coming-of-age story with flawed but likable characters, I'd recommend something by Miranda Kenneally or Katie McGarry - they have a similar tone but are just better.