Book Review: Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

Title: Bad Romeo
Author: Leisa Rayven
Published: 2014
Genre: New Adult

Synopsis: When Cassie Taylor met Ethan Holt at acting school, sparks flew. She was the good girl actress. He was the bad boy about campus. But one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing, Cassie and Ethan’s romance seemed destined. Until he broke her heart and betrayed her trust. Now the A-list heartthrob is back in her life and turning her world around. One touch at a time. Cast as romantic leads once again, they’re forced to confront raw memories of the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their secret college affair. But they’ll also discover that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks

My Rating: Red-StarRed-Star (DNF)

Unfortunately, this was not the book for me and I got about 63% done with it before I realized I was forcing myself to read it and forcing myself to read anything will place me into a slump. I have added this to a pile of books for my friend, hoping she will enjoy it more than I did.

I’ll try to be concise in my assertion of what I felt was problematic.

  • The format. This for me was the largest detractor. This novel is told in both present and past tense. Normally. I don’t mind this format if the execution is good but this editing felt choppy and disruptive to the flow of the story. In the present tense we have our protagonist, Cassie, as a bitter young woman who I felt was fairly OK formed as far as new adult go. She holds a bitter and I mean a serious bitter pill for her ex, Ethan who left her 6 years ago, destroyed her completely fucked her over to the point where she can hardly function. The past is a Cassie telling us how they met, fell in love and the inevitable destruction. Sounds FANTASTIC! I was so ready for this book, I was salivating. However, this did not go well for me which left me fairly frustrated. The problem I had was where Rayven decides to cut up the chapters and narrate back and forth. The moment you’re into the present story we flash back to the past and these flashbacks are not 1-2 pages long to give you the idea of what happened, they are 10-12 pages in length so that you’re jarred back and forth without flow.
  • The Characters. The second problem I had with this is that the ‘present’ character are FAR and I mean FAR more well thought out than the past characters. In the past Cassie is for lack of better terminology the horniest virgin I have ever encountered in my life. Now, I have no problem with horniness, horniness is delightful but horniness is something that becomes rather irritating if it’s not handled well, written wrong and it feels like fanfic and this is what it felt like. Also, Past!Cassie is constantly and I mean CONSTANTLY thinking about Ethan’s megalithic dick and her own ‘clapping vagina’ I kid you not. Even when Ethan is having a serious emotional breakdown all she can think is about his muscles and her desperate need for him. Also, the young characters have the insta-love thing which is prevalent in YA but I would like a bit more complexity in new adult, c’mon! New personality and constantly horny/angry made for the 60% of the book and the glimpses we had of the present were not enough to camouflage my distaste.

Now, this book has a sequel, I know because I purchased it when I was warned that this book ended in a cliffhanger. This book did not A- need a cliffhanger and B – need another book. There were filler scenes, plenty of scenes that could have been removed, especially from the 6 years ago section to create a more harmonious book. Definitely do not recommend it, I didn’t hate it but it was certainly not a book I enjoyed (at least for those 260 pages!).

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