With This Heart

With This Heart - R.S. Grey I'm going with 2.5 stars

I liked this? I think? Honestly I don't know. It was so hit or miss, the whole way through I kept changing my opinion. There were moments of sincere feels in this book. Places where I felt like the author really got the emotional nuance right-- particularly in her dealings with loss and grief that Abby experiences. Without a spoiler its difficult to say more.

But then there were places in the book when I found myself wondering, "is this for real?" The moments between Beck and Abby are sometimes sweet and yet sometimes ridiculous. It was kind of like a romantic comedy that as you are watching you think about how it doesn't work, but you also know there is so much potential there for it to be really good. The romance between Beck and Abby is sweet and honest, you want them to be together. Once they figure out that they both like each other (which takes way to freakin' long in my opinion since Beck is pretty open and obvious in his attention to Abby, though she seems to have to have it spelled out for her to believe it, which was annoying) the love story is solid.

Some scenes just had pacing or continuity issues. For example: when Abby loses her virginity and there is all this nonsense about how they are going to do it against a wall because neither of them can wait, but then pages later they are still against the wall, having done nothing and still talking about things and now Beck's running for a condom, but they couldn't wait and then they are in the bed, what? Really the author would have done better to just cut that scene all together and go to the scene where the action actually happens, because the next scene does work.

There is also the issue of Abby blurting out whatever comes in her head. Some of the things that come into her head are stupid. I think I understand the rationale for this based on the character that the author is trying to portray. Abby has been sick most of her life, and very sheltered. She doesn't have a lot of experience being social with kids her own age in normal environment and she has no experience with boys, even though she is 19, so it is understandable that she would be a little awkward around them. However, some of the things that come out of this girl's mouth! There were points where I had to stop and ask myself if she seriously just said that. It's all banter, banter, joke with Abby and Beck and some of it is endearing and some of it just feels like they are trying to hard.

There are several scenarios that they get themselves into that feel very contrived and don't serve the plot in a meaningful way because they are ridiculous. To name a couple: the bit with the drag queen and Abby judging the hottest man contest, Abby singing a-cappella karaoke in a karaoke, random bar while standing ON the bar for no discernible reason, and Beck and Abby visiting a bizarre Dinosaur theme park where Abby breaks into one of the cages and sits on a dinosaur so they can take a picture. It felt...strangely juvenile. I think the protagonist would have felt more authentic as a 15 year old or something. And Beck is supposed to be 21. There was no way I could accept that he was down with all of this weirdness, even if he was one for seizing the day and enjoying life to the fullest.

Also-- I liked the ending, because I'm a sucker for a dopey rom-com finish.