I had read another of this author’s New Adult offerings and liked her voice. When I was offered this novel to review, I knew that there would be heavy and intense angst going in. Unfortunately, by the end of this book, I had no compassion or sympathy for either of the main characters.
Aleena “Aly” Moore can’t complain about life, even if it’s a little ho-hum. School is good, her family and friends love her and a boy follows her around like a heartsick puppy. Life is just fine, but Aly still feels like she is missing something. Then, one night, a phone call from her brother changes everything – Jared Holt is back in town. Nobody knew… but Aly had a super secret crush on Jared when she was 13.
Jared Holt is a Tortured Bad Bad Boy. He did something Bad when he was 16 and then he turned bad and ruined everything and then left town. Now, Jared is 26 with tattoos, a rap sheet and a motorcycle. He isn’t sure why he left his home and quit his steady job in construction to come back to the town that holds all his bad memories with a few bucks in his wallet, no job and nowhere to stay. Lucky for Jared, he runs into his old best friend, Christopher Moore, who invites Jared to crash at the apartment he shares with Aly.
Jared is surprised to see the woman Aly has become. Aly is surprised that Jared is no longer the boy who left, but a broken man. If either of them had any amount of intelligence, this book might have had hope. Jared is just so full of self-loathing and pity I just wanted to slap his face and tell him to get over it. Aly is so naïve it made her seem dense. While I appreciated the slow buildup of their romance, I couldn’t get over Aly “saving herself” for Jared since she was 13?? Um, say what? Also, the flashbacks to their youth didn’t provide any other insight to relationship other than Jared was nice to Aly when her brother acted like a brother and brushed her off.
The other problem I had was the lack of information about Jared. Readers didn’t find out about the Very Bad Thing he did until after the 60% mark. Also, the Very Bad Thing wasn’t so bad that warranted his level of martyrdom. There were other bad things (addiction, theft, etc) that Jared had experienced that I wish would’ve been developed more. It’s disappointing because he had the potential to be a really interesting character.
The author is an adept writer, but I just can’t deal with characters that can’t even use a modicum of common sense to get through their issues.
*ARC provided by Berkley/NAL
Click to purchase: Amazon
Come to Me Quietly
by A.L. Jackson
Release Date: January 7, 2014