Oh, do I have a review on this book. Sit back and stay a while because this may be a long post. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings on this gem.
Short recap: Finley has just lost her brother in a tragic accident. She decides to travel to Ireland to visit that land that he loved in hopes of finding peace within herself.
Whoa… that is a pretty good recap. BUT! It is not the entire truth of what the story is about. While the premise talks about a girl who wants to find peace after the horrible death of her brother, it is actually a heavily religious book that shoves religion down your throat. You read that right. This is one of the most religious books that isn’t labeled religious that I have ever read. I’m not against religion or believing in a higher power, but I am against having that ideal or believe thrust upon me in a way that it is smothering. I don’t deal too well with that. Let me make up my own mind, thank you very much.
Let me back up for a moment… I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s discuss the characters. We’ll start with Finley, the MC…. I did not care for her at all. She was a nasty person on the inside. She judged everyone, no matter who they were. She claimed to be humble and welcoming but on the inside she was horrible. On top of being judgmental of everyone with a pulse, she was terribly self-centered and rude. She responded to everyone with clipped responses and tones that implied she was above them. She acted that way because apparently she was someone famous back in the US. Well, if you consider Paris Hilton famous then I supposed Finley is too. It was the weakest attempt at “being famous” I have seen written yet. I have zero cares of a spoiled self-proclaimed socialite who had a few drunken nights. Throughout the entire story, it is hinted that Finley had “wild nights” and “a bad reputation” but no actual evidence or backstory was given. We were simply to believe that it happened and she changed her ways to find her path back to God. *insert the biggest eye roll here*
Now let’s chat about the “love interest”, Beckett. This won’t surprise you but he was a famous child/teen actor that was not happy with the way his manager (I.E. Father) was managing his career and wanted “a normal life”. Same song and dance we have read before, nothing new there. He never came across dreamy, charming, or whatever other characteristic you want to include. He just did not stand out for me.
As for the plot… I’m almost at a loss at what the plot was supposed to be about because there were simply too many heavy topics crammed into this story YET none of them were properly discussed or resolved. The blurb talks about Finley wanting to find peace with the tragedy of her brother’s death but I’m not sure she actually did. What happened to her brother, or even the relationship with her brother, was never explained or explored. It was simply assumed. What a cop out. Then there was the OBVIOUS eating disorder Finley had but it was never truly talked about. It was yet another heavy, serious topic that could have been explored but wasn’t. Sure, it was finally mentioned at the end of the book but it felt rushed and brushed over. What a waste! Don’t throw it into the story if you aren’t going to actually discuss it!! *GRRRRR*
And now I’ll talk about the religious tone of the story. Heavy. Religious. Tone. Constantly Finley is talking to God or praying to God or cursing out God or quoting Bible scripture or talking to a Nun (she conveniently is attending a catholic school) or reading a Bible. Normally these things would not bother me in the least but it felt as if the plot and story should have focused around Finley finding her path back to God, not whatever the publisher put on the back of the book. Those were simply side stories. A good portion of the story is Finley arguing with herself on the fact that God won’t talk to her. Uh… ok?
I believe my overall frustration with the story was trying to figure out the freaking point of it. Was it for Finley to find herself? Was it for her to find her way back into religion? Was it to find a boyfriend? Was it to judge people and be nasty towards them? Was it to finally admit she had an eating disorder? Was it to finally accept what happened to her brother? Was it for her to admit that she missed and needed her parents? I DON’T KNOW. All of these topics and more were talked about in this story. It was simply too much. I am kicking myself for staying with this until the end. I should have DNFd and walked away but I didn’t for whatever reason. Do I recommend? Not a chance. I’m sure I’m alone with my outright frustration with this story but I don’t want anyone to walk away as confused as I am. This story had potential to be an adorable contemporary if the author hadn’t tried to cram every serious topic known to man into one story with no resolution to any of them.