I have put off writing this review for almost a week. Frankly it's because it was just average, and it bored me. And I really didn't want to have to put that in words. While I really enjoyed French Kiss, it came with a sort of caveat that the series would show a lot of character growth and development. Kiss and Make Up was a hot damn mess and I rather disliked it, though I saw the realism in it and the potential for the series ender to impress me again. It... didn't happen. It just didn't.
By the third book you'll have gotten used to the obvious chemistry between Edie and Dylan. And it's just more of the same, to be honest. And more of the same in the sense that it became a little boring... It just didn't stand out in this book. What bothered me the most though about their relationship is that Dylan still went back to his hot-cold attitude. They go on a road trip through America together and at a certain point he just shuts her out again and they break up again and yada yada yada.
Character development was also sorely lacking, as Edie still reverts to catty fighting with her "BFF" Poppy. Arguably it was all Poppy's fault, but Edie frustrated me with her refusal to just sit down and talk it out with Poppy. That's what friendships are made of. It all gets fixed in the end, but seriously what an annoyance. However, I did like her friendship with Grace and how that developed. Sadly it wasn't that large a part of the story.
But I dunno, the plot rather bored me, though this isn't really the kind of book where you should actively be searching for a plot. What more we got to know about Dylan didn't really impress me. The road trip was confusing to me - especially the route they take. Since I am very aware of the geography of the US, I was wondering if the author even consulted a map during the writing of this book, because it went zigzagging, crisscrossing all over the place. It made no sense. It's not that big of a deal, no, but yeah, I was that bored with the story that I started nitpicking that far.
What ultimately bothers me the most is that the lack of clear character development could mean that, though this book ends on a rather rosy note, Dylan could have another hot-cold streak the next week, they could be breaking up in the next month, and it could all just keep going on and on in circles forever. While I get that that's real life, and this is a slice of life story... I had hoped for more.
...I wasn't reading this to get the 5th season of Gossip Girl that clearly should have ended after season 2. That's how reading this book felt. The series just lost its charm. I don't know how it could have been better, but I'm thinking that this just shouldn't have been a series. It should have ended after the first book, because what did they do after that? It was a lot of running around, breaking up and making up, and all this kind of bullshit which, in the wrong mood (which I clearly am now at the time of writing this, though I wasn't really while reading it), really doesn't add anything. *sigh* Hopefully, as this series was Sarra Manning's first published works, it'll just get better from here. I do still have faith in her, in spite of this series ultimately letting me down.
Umm, just read the first one and stop?