Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: You Make Me by Erin McCarthy

By 10:07 AM , , , , ,

You Make Me (Blurred Lines #1)
    by: Erin McCarthy

Publication Date: Apr. 17, 2014
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by Xpresso Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 289 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 2/5 stars

The guy she wants…

Growing up on the coast of Maine with a revolving door of foster siblings, Caitlyn Michaud spent one intense and passionate year falling in love with her foster brother, Heath. Then he left without a word. The betrayal devastated Caitlyn and made her vow to forget the compelling bad boy. But forgetting his sensual touch and their deep all-consuming friendship is easier said than done.

Isn’t the guy she needs…

Determined to move on, in college Caitlyn has risen above her small town impoverished roots and has joined a sorority, reinvented her appearance, and landed the right boyfriend. Pre-law major and frat president, Ethan, is thoughtful and always laughing, and he makes her feel happy, calm. He also gives her the social acceptance she craves.

But the perfect world she tried so hard to attain is ripped apart when Heath appears one night out of nowhere. Caitlyn remembers all the reasons why she loves him, even if they don’t make sense to anyone but her. Out of the military, Heath is as brooding and intense as ever, and he is determined not only to win her back, but to exact revenge on everyone who kept him from her…

And when one love allows her to breathe, but the other feels as essential to her life as air, how does she choose between them?

When I first saw this book come up as a review opportunity, I was very intrigued by the premise alone. I am a sucker for a good love triangle, so this definitely piqued my interest. However, I almost don't even consider this a love triangle. I didn't feel there was any doubt as to who the main character would choose, so I felt a bit gypped on that push and pull I like in a love triangle. After reading You Make Me, I'm still not quite sure how I feel about this book. I felt like it had the potential to really make this premise work, but it just fell short for me.
What Worked: I really liked the prologue. It's short, but it gives you a brief insight as to how heartbroken this girl is from losing her first love. I think it's haunting and it gives just the right amount of hook to bring you into the story.
I also liked the duplicity of Cat's character. Having grown up the way she did- with a mentally ill mother, a disabled father, and a brother,who she now has no association with, Caitlyn has known what it's like to go without. At school, she has transformed herself into someone else: her boyfriend and best friend have no idea about the life she once lived. She is the vice president of her sorority and no longer goes without. One look at her and you would never know she was once a scraggly little girl from the island. Heath knows her as the simple, uninhibited girl she once was and Ethan knows her as the perfectly coiffed, in control girl she is now. Caitlyn has to decide: does she want to be Cat or does she want to continue to be Caitlyn?
What Didn't: I wasn't emotionally invested in this story. I feel it was just presented to me and I was told about Caitlyn's life, where I would have rather SEEN it. I would have preferred more in-depth flashbacks as to what Cat's life was like before. I wanted to see more of how her and Heath's relationship developed and I would have even liked to see how her and Ethan got together. This was my biggest issue with the book: the lack of development.
When I first read the blurb, I imagined I would be emotionally torn in half trying to decide between the two love interests. I wasn't at all. In fact, I had a hard time liking both of them. Ethan is built up as this great guy who really loves her and wants to spend his life with her, but maybe it's because I didn't get to see their relationship develop and get to where it currently was, I just didn't see that. He becomes extremely jealous over Heath's return and does some things that I would kick a guy's ass for doing. Heath, on the other hand, has a bit of a bad boy persona- more mysterious, gruff- we don't know why he left without any explanation, but now he's back and wants to be with Cat. Having just got out of the Marines, Heath has certainly been affected by what happened over there, which he won't discuss and we never find out about. His anger really bothered me and I was left wondering what Caitlyn saw in either guy because it didn't seem either of them were the right choice. I also didn't like the way Heath handled several things towards the end of the novel: it made him seem deceptive and secretive and I was left wondering if he had an ulterior motive.
Caitlyn's character irritated me to no end though. She claims she's made her choice, but after the way she was treated, I don't understand WHY that was her choice. Was it just to continue living the life she was? She also made me doubt her because of how fast she seemed to move on afterwards. I'm trying to avoid spoilers, so I will leave it at that. I don't think she knew what she wanted and she was torn between what she should want and what she really did. I also felt there was an instance towards the end where I seriously wondered if Cat was going to end up being bipolar. Her jealousy throughout the book was bad enough, but the scene to which I'm referring, I feel she seriously went off the deep end.
Final Thoughts: This just wasn't for me. Having read tons of New Adult and love triangles done extremely well, this one just missed the mark. I am such a character driven reader and I need to feel emotionally invested in my characters for the book to truly leave a lasting impression. I felt more irritation than anything with this set of characters and I do believe that had there been more development, I may have enjoyed this one a bit more than I did.

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  1. If I'm not mistaken this one is by the same author who wrote True, which...was just a hot mess to me. I probably wouldn't have read it anyway just for that reason alone, but this just makes me a solid "No thanks!" :/ Which is too bad, love triangles (done right) are one of my guilty pleasures :D

  2. Hmmmn, I've read one adult book by her and really liked it but haven't read any of her NA books yet. I just got this one as a freebie on amazon last week but it's not high on my TBR...

  3. I hate when a story seems like it'll be a really well written and emotional book yet you end up unable to connect with the characters. Sounds like this one just isn't for me either, but I do love your honest review!!

  4. A love triangle where you can't root for either guy - hmmmm. I think I'll pass. Thanks for your honest review!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  5. This is why Wuthering Heights retellings in modern day just do not work... I have yet to find one I actually enjoyed (and Wuthering Heights is my favorite book ever). I just feel like the whole storyline just doesn't work in a modern presence-- the whole two horrible people thing is hard to take in the majority of books when it's not Emily Bronte doing the writing haha. Thanks for the honest review Jessica!

  6. I hear ya about lack of character depth and development. It's such a huge thing to lack, especially with the emotional intent of this novel.

    I probably wont read it - if you disliked it, imagine my reaction. :P

  7. I love Erin's True Believers series and I read this one and was soooo disappointed. I felt like all the relationships were completely undeveloped. I'm going to hope this was just a fluke and she will continue to churn out other great stories.


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