Book Review – The Story of Us by Dani Atkins

Book Review – The Story of Us by Dani Atkins
Book Review – The Story of Us by Dani AtkinsThe Story of Us by Dani Atkins
Published by Ballantine
Publication date: June 2, 2015
Genres: Romance, Women's Fiction
400 pages
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

Emma is just days from marrying her childhood sweetheart, Richard. But what should be the happiest time of Emma’s life takes a turn for the worse when, on the night of her bachelorette party, tragedy strikes. Thanks to some quick thinking from a stranger, Emma is pulled free from a totaled car before it goes up in flames. But another passenger is not so lucky.

The wedding is postponed as family and friends deal with their shock and grief. But soon, secrets come to light that have Emma questioning her relationships—and her engagement. Making matters more complicated is the emotional connection she feels with Jack, the mysterious man who saved her life. It’s a crisis no bridal magazine has ever covered: What do you do when, on the eve of your wedding, you find yourself in love with two men?

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I was absolutely hooked on this story in the beginning but didn’t like how the author made the reader like and dislike the two love interests for the sake of convenience.

Two weeks from getting married to her longtime on-and-off boyfriend Richard, Emma is in a car accident with two of her best friends. The accident is the catalyst for the new path her life will now take. The man who saved her life—Jack—left an impression on her and she can’t seem to stop thinking about him and soon finds herself falling for him. Outside her love life, you learn that Emma has pressed pause on her career in marketing to help her ailing mother. The Alzheimer’s disease continues to progress, slowly stealing the person Emma knows as her mother. After the accident, Emma uncovers secrets that make her question everything, torn between the life she wants and the life she had mapped out.

The beginning of this book was so good. I was riveted and couldn’t put it down. The way the car crash and the moments afterward were written had me glued to the pages. I also really liked the developing romance between Emma and Jack.

One of the themes I liked about this novel was the strength and bond of friendship. Caroline, Amy, Emma, and Richard had been best friends for many, many years. In the face of tragedy, they clung to one another and the memories that comfort them. I really admired the way that Richard cared for not just Emma but her family too.

What kept me from rating this book higher and from enjoying it more was the way the author toyed with your opinions of the two male leads. In the beginning, Richard came across as selfish, jealous, and irritating. It was almost like the author really wanted the reader to dislike him so that you favored Jack more.

Meanwhile, Jack was portrayed as the patient, kind, thoughtful, and heroic type who takes Emma on romantic walks to the lake. Then later in the novel, the author begins to rehabilitate Richard’s character so that you like him while tearing down Jack’s character.

I did appreciate that this wasn’t the type of love triangle romance where the heroine is annoyingly going back and forth between the guys, unable to make a choice. It felt like it was the reader, rather than the heroine, who was tossed between the two guys because of the reader’s perception of the male characters shifted so often at times of convenience. I didn’t like the author trying to make the choice for me. The end result just felt far too contrived, and really I was hoping that she didn’t choose either of them.

* I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Story of Us by Dani Atkins


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