Review: Inseparable by Siobhan Davis

Reviewed by Elise

Warning – this review does contain discussion about a number of triggering subjects… and I’m pretty much going to spoil the whole book here so click the spoiler links at your own risk. It’s hard to talk about my issues, though, without addressing what happens.

I get a lot of my book suggestions off Amazon’s ‘Kindle Recommends for You.’ This book was no different. The cover looked pretty hot so I judged that book by its lusty cover and jumped right in. I’m not really sure how I feel about this book. Just about every trope and twist you could possibly imagine was thrown in. It got to the point where I think I emotionally disengaged with the story.  As I go through the review I’m going to keep track of the tropes and twists so you will see what I mean.

The story starts with three friends. The best of friends. Two guys and a girl, destined to be friends forever. They cement this friendship by getting an infinity tattoo on their wrist (1), at 15 years of age (2). When they hit those angsty teen years suddenly a love triangle forms (3). Both boys suddenly discover that Angelina is not so little any more. Devin (which is a processed deli meat here in New South Wales, Australia 4) and Ayden (5 for terrible spelling) both try to remain friends with Angelina. She has always had a crush on the bad boy (6), Devin.

Devin lives next door (7) and has an abusive father and terrible upbringing (8). Angelina’s mother knows about the abuse but does not report it because Devin convinces her he would be separated from his brother in foster care (9). Devin and his younger brother spend a lot of time with Angelina and her family, having dinner with them every night (10). Angelina’s mother works night shift and so Devin and Ayden keep her company, climbing up the tree next to her house (11). Gazing at the stars on her own private balcony (12) and sleeping her bed platonically (13).

Devin develops a drinking problem (13) and when he and Angelina make out one night, he makes a pact with Ayden to stay away from her, for her own good (14). He breaks her heart by humiliating her in front of her friends at a party (15) and sleeps with her high school bully (16). Just before graduation Devin’s uncle, who it turns out is really his father (17) turns up. He is super rich (18) and takes Devin away to rehab (19). Devin disappears for a year or so and we don’t hear much from him. In the mean time Ayden and Angelina start to spend more time together. Ayden makes his move and Angelina loves how safe and predictable Ayden is (19).

As the predictable pair get ready for college, Ayden drops the bombshell that he is foregoing his football scholarship to join the military (20). The pair and kind of together but mostly not. They talk on the phone every week because Ayden is immediately deployed to Afghanistan (21).

While Ayden is on deployment, Devin makes his reappearance. He is sober and attending the same college as Angelina (22). She meets his eyes across the room of a frat party (23) and they start up their friendship again. There is lots of repressed sexual tension that they both ignore for the sake of Ayden (24). Eventually the sexual tension peaks and they decide that they will be together. They have a passionate night of lots and lots and lots of sex x 6 (who has that kind of stamina!?!?! – 25).

After their night of debauchery they wake up the next morning all blissful and naked only to have Ayden show up at the door for a surprise visit (26). He says some very nasty things and leaves. The loved up pair carry on with their day until they get a phone call that Ayden has committed suicide (27). Ayden’s mother is at Angelina’s house and essentially blames and already guilt ridden Angelina (28).

Angelina makes love to Devin one last time. While he is asleep, she runs away (29) to her rich and abusive father (30). She requests early access to her trust fund (31), using the funds to change her identity (32) and set herself up in a new city (33).

After all that drama the book skips ahead five years. Click if you want to get the rest of the spoilers.

Devin is a cop (34) and independently wealthy from his own trust fund (35). He has spent his career looking for the girl next door. Devin is at a bachelor party (36) when the hottest stripper he has ever laid eyes on starts her show (37). He has an inappropriate erection (38) and yet when he sees the strippers face he recognizes his lost love who know goes by the name of Ro (39). When he confronts her he finds that she is a depraved alcoholic (40). She even has sex with her dead beat boyfriend (41) in front of a window in full view of Devin to prove just how over him she is (42). Angelina/Ro gets into a fight with her deadbeat boyfriend. He beats her to the ground and starts kicking her while she is down (43). Devin, who is stalking, oh excuse me, surveilling, Angelina (44) intervenes in the fight and is stabbed (45) by Angelina when she is trying to help him (46). While Devin is unconscious Angelina maintains a bedside vigil (47) and comes to realize the error of her ways (48). Devin uses his pull as a cop to have her sentenced to rehab (49). Angelina completes her stint at rehab but not before revealing that she had a stillborn baby nine months after leaving her old life behind (50). She named the baby Devin Jr (51) but didn’t tell anyone about the baby because she felt so guilty about his death. Angelina is welcomed home with open arms. Ayden’s mother finds her on the first day and apologizes for how she treated Angelina (52). Angelina moves in with Devin straight away. On the 5th anniversary of Ayden’s death they go to his grave only to run into a man who is also grieving for Ayden. This man is Ayden’s secret boyfriend (53) that Ayden didn’t tell anyone about. They talk to this man and get some closure regarding their role in Ayden’s death. It turns out that Ayden made a video for his parents that they found but didn’t tell anyone about until five years after his death (54). Devin and Angelina get married and name their first born son Ayden (55). Angelina is pregnant at the end of the book. Her friend Mariah is the mother to triplets (56).

There were so many ideas and thoughts in this book that it was hard to engage emotionally with the characters. The ideas in this book alone surely would have been enough material for several books. I wonder why the author didn’t save some for that reason. There was nothing wrong with the writing style. In fact, the chapters that deal with Ayden’s suicide are raw and compelling. The author writes beautifully about the confusion, anger, guilt and sense of betrayal that the characters feel. There is a sense of hopelessness in not knowing why he did what he did. I almost feel like it was disingenuous to give a ‘reason’ for it. So many families don’t get this closure.  It felt authentic when the characters were talking about their feelings around not knowing what happened.

I don’t like that being gay was put forward as one of the reasons Ayden committed suicide. This was presented right at the end of the story and felt rushed. It felt like the author gave this reason as an ‘aha’ moment. I feel the same way about including a stillborn baby. It felt like this was thrown in there for the emotion of it without giving proper discussion to the fact that stillbirth is an incredibly traumatic event experienced by a lot of people. It felt like a gimmick rather than a real and very serious issue. This topic deserves more than a passing chapter to cause conflict between the characters.

This is not one of my more positive reviews. Given the author’s obvious talent for writing and the subjects that were broached, it’s disappointing that I didn’t connect more with this story. I will be reading more of the author though. I am always up for second chances.

Rating: D-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Inseparable
by Siobhan Davis
Release Date: January 8, 2018

 

 

Comments

  1. Whew. I’m exhausted just reading about it. I wonder if this story would’ve been better serialised, rather than delivered in one go.

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