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Posted December 19, 2013
Reviewed by Christina Marie at The Morning After Romance: I wanted to love this, but...
I want to start by saying I really liked this book, but it really frustrated me at the same time. There are reasons why I wanted to give it a higher rating, and reasons why I wanted to give it a lower one. I struggled with how many stars I should give this and in the end I settled for 2.5 Stars.
The main thing that irked me was that this book had so much potential to be great. I wanted to add it to my list of "I will love you `till your ink fades." But sadly that will not be happening because, like most readers, I prefer to be shown not told. At first I thought Shane was reminiscing, and that eventually I would be brought fully into the story. Instead, I mostly felt like I was reading a summary of events that I would have preferred to see play out. A really good summary, but it was irritating no less. There were times when I felt in the moment, and those were great. And there were moments that were paced so well. They were intense. They were good. They would have blown my mind if they were described in detail, not summarized in short.
This one issue created a few problems. Not seeing Shane meet Matt, form a friendship, and develop feelings for his best friend meant that I wasn't that invested in them finally getting together. In the end I wanted Shane to get what he wanted, but only because it was what he wanted, not because I felt any connection to Matt.
So, Shane is the new kid in a small town. He meets Matt and they quickly become best friends. Shane falls in love with Matt who doesn't return his feelings because, well, Matt is straight. Or is he just so deep in denial he's convinced himself he is? Anyway, Shane discovers he is a werewolf, doesn't tell Matt, but he does convince Matt to leave town with him and head to the city. And crap proceeds to hit every fan in the vicinity.
At this point in the story Shane and Matt both make me angry. They are young, stupid, and make selfish choices. They clearly need to remove themselves from each other's presence to come to terms with who they are as individuals. They need to grow, learn to accept themselves, and other after school special stuff. Matt's presence messes with Shane's head, and despite what I said a second ago, Matt isn't an idiot so he knows it. Shane knows being around Matt is making him spiral into alcoholism, still he choses to stay in an unhealthy situation. And Shane can't stop himself from trying to pressure Matt into admitting something he isn't ready to admit. What's clear is that they both need time apart. They both need a therapist. But noooo, THEY feel that they need each other, crazy, co-dependent, self-destructive jerks that they are. So instead of doing the logical thing, they decide to stay in their little bubble of foolishness. They idly sit by until things implode all over their faces.
Don't get me wrong, I liked that they made me so angry because it was the strongest emotion their relationship had elicited from me at that point. I was morbidly curious to see what would happen once they figured it out for themselves, if they ever did.
The story spans about five years, and both characters do grow. Which is lovely. Right when Shane's spiral cycle of messed up starts to get annoying, it (thankfully) ends. And it is so satisfying when Shane finally gets it, when he figures out how to be a healthy and fully functional individual. However, a chunk of what Shane goes through I barely cared about (and I should have) because 2 years of his life is summarized in about a paragraph. I digress. One problem with both of them being so unhealthy for each other, and infuriatingly dense about the whole thing, is that I fell half in love with a secondary character Carl.
Overall, I thought that Shane and Matt, despite being frustrating at times, were really sweet. Shane managed to break little pieces off my heart from beginning to end. The ending was nice and sweet. And it felt finished, probably due to the fact that it takes them so long to grow and figure out their issues. Shane and Matt go from teenagers with too many issues to be together, to grown men ready to be in love.
And holy wow can Silvia Violet write a sex scene. I thought the sexual tension between Shane and Matt was delicious. It built beautifully. And then my kindle caught fire. When they do finally get together it is explosive. The scenes (of which there are the perfect amount) never get boring or repetitive. I mean this book is curl your toes hot when it needs to be.
Despite the various frustrations I do recommend this. Denying Yourself is still an enjoyable book, and I will be reading the next one.
Posted June 17, 2013
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