- Did I Mention I Love You? (DIMILY #1) by Estelle Maskame
- YA Contemporary Romance, Angst, Drama
- My Rating: ★★★★
I’m not sure what it is, but I am so addicted to teen angst. Is it because my teenage years weren’t that exciting?? When I read adult contemporary romance books like Susan Mallery and Nora Roberts, I feel like those are the kinds of romances I should be aspiring to have one day. But when I read teen drama nonsense I’m just like…is this what I want out of life?? I’m not a teen anymore, but why is this SOOO addicting?!
Did I Mention I Love You? is the first in a trilogy that centers on high-school junior Eden Munro (originally from Portland, OR), who decides to spend the summer in Santa Monica with her father and his new family despite hating him for his divorce with her mother three years ago. There, she meets her stepmom Ella, her two younger stepbrothers Chase and Jamie, and her older stepbrother Tyler. The latter whom she has to share a wall with for the next couple of months. Tyler is the green-eyed devil – he’s a total jerk, he engages in more illegal activity than Eden can handle, and his ego is the size of California. But without friends and anything to do, she finds herself mixed up with Tyler and his friends’ shenanigans. But more importantly, she finds herself getting closer to Tyler, battling with his inner demons and her feelings for him.
I own the paperback version which was a gift from a friend (@thoseinfernalbooks) and first of all, the cover is beautiful. I love the tye-dye pink and paint splatter title. Secondly, the book is thick. I’ve had it on my TBR for a while, but I didn’t realize how long it was. It ends just under 400 pages and is quite hefty for a paperback. My original thought was that it was going to be really slow.
Overall, the pacing is a bit slow, but surprisingly not as unbearable as I feared it might be. When you think about it, this book covers the entire summer, and so the author probably doesn’t want chapters to just jump from day one to day 20 with no discussion of what happens in the days in between. Don’t you ever think about that? When I look back at City of Bones by Cassie Clare, that book really only covers about two weeks and that’s just the first book in the series AND those books are crazy long (I love those books to death, so I’m not really complaining)
I actually found the characters to be pretty realistic with regards to how they respond to anything that really bothers them or makes them uncomfortable. Eden suffers from self-esteem problems (you find out what those particular problems are later) and even though she was the narrator, I didn’t pick up on what was actually bothering her because she was so subtle and so good at hiding her problems.
Tyler is mean and snaps at anyone that makes him just a little uncomfortable. Tyler struggles with his own problems stemming from a strained relationship with his biological dad which is obvious to figure out. I originally thought Tyler’s responses to Eden’s attempts to get him to talk or get closer to him were really random and unpredictable, but I think that’s actually more humanly correct than we’d like to admit.
When Tyler does something stupid that will obviously hurt him, Eden tries to stop him. She doesn’t just walk away, roll her eyes, or sneer in disgust. She stomps right up to him, gives him a stern talking to, and gets in his face until he stops. THAT’S the kind of behavior we should be learning from. She is both tough and gentle in nature, while still being a naive teenager who still wants to fit in.
Overall, I really liked the chemistry between Tyler and Eden. I’m a sucker for scandal so the whole “step-brother x step-sister” forbidden romance thing is soooo my thing (Devil Beside You anyone??). The only things I didn’t really like about this book were the fact that Tyler and Eden just started liking each other out of nowhere (I don’t really get what initially sparked their attraction before they were mashing lips) and Tyler’s friends – especially the girlfriend. But I had a feeling I wouldn’t like most of his friends just based on the premise of this book.
I don’t want to give away the ending, but it definitely will lead right into the next book which is why I’m so happy I ordered the next two!
Verdict: I would totally recommend this book to anyone who loves drama and scandal mixed with their romance. There’s a little fluff, but it’s more angsty than fluffy.