This novel had a really interesting concept. When I first picked it up, I thought it might be a bit like The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. It most assuredly is not. It’s a lot darker and a bit more twisted and the author’s writing style is a lot more dramatic.
I liked what the author was trying to do with the plot (although I think that if I were Molly, I’d have just emotionally blackmailed my awful mother into paying for me to travel around Europe for the summer instead of having to come back to a town full of wankers who hate me) and even though it was a love triangle I could see how it worked and I liked that things were left hanging a little bit at the end.
My main problem with this book was that I disliked every single character. Every single one.
Molly, the hero of the piece, is the one who comes across best. She accepts the disdain of pretty much everyone she’s ever met with dignity (for the most part) and although I wanted het to wake up to the fact that what she did was none of anyone else’s business, I liked her. Until the bit where she can’t make up her mind which brother to shag next. Holy cow, girl. Pick a brother. Just pick a brother.
Gabe started off being a bit skeevy and then got okay. Patrick started off okay (wronged by his girlfriend and justifiably annoyed) and then got skeevy. Then at the end there’s this big reveal about Gabe’s and Patrick’s motivations for liking Molly and they just both come off as really unpleasant.
The townsfolk. It was weird - is this book supposed to be a modern re-working of The Scarlet Letter? Because I seriously couldn’t see why everyone in the town was in any way interested in whether Molly had cheated on Patrick or why they thought it was any of their business, other than if (a) they had literally nothing else going on in their lives, or (b) they were living in the 1850s. They were really into slut-shaming, and I don’t think the author made enough of the fact that Gabe should have been implicated as much as Molly.
And Julia. Gabe and Patrick’s sister spends most of the book waging war on Molly - she keys Molly’s car, throws beer on her, eggs her house. I understood that Molly had been her friend and that she felt betrayed on Patrick’s behalf, but seriously, if I ever get that invested in my brother’s sex life, just shoot me in the head. Why? Because it’s none of my business and it would be kind of weird of me to get involved.
I did enjoy reading this book, but I think other people will enjoy it more if they’re able to get behind the characters a bit more than I did.