Wednesday, September 14, 2016
I Take You, by Eliza Kennedy
Oof. I had trouble with this book. Billed as a light beach read type of story, the main premise is the will-they or won't-they relationship of Lily (an accomplished lawyer, but a train wreck in her personal life) and Will (a straight-laced and brilliant archaeologist). When we are introduced to the couple, they are a few days away from their wedding... a wedding that Lily isn't sure she is ready for. Dealing with cold feet and uncertainty, Lily drinks her way through the wedding preparations, cheats on Will with a number of different men, and generally behaves like an self-entitled, single young girl, instead of a mature adult who is about to be married.
I wanted to like this book. But Lily gave me very little reason to root for her, or even like her. She was an unapologetic alcoholic who also dabbled in drugs, she slept around (days before her own wedding), and was spoiled and bratty and emotionally unavailable to everyone around her. There is definitely such a thing as characters that you love to hate, but that wasn't the case her. I didn't just dislike Lily. I didn't even care that I disliked her.
I almost put the book down midway through, but I made myself finish it to see if my opinion of Lily might change. Sadly it did not. She did eventually grow up a little (A little. Sort of.), but by that point, she'd behaved so horribly, I really didn't care. I couldn't emotionally connect with her at all, and by the end of the book I just wanted her to go away. Will was a bit more likeable than Lily, but I couldn't take him seriously. I was torn between feeling pity for him, and just finding him incredibly stupid for staying with someone who treated their relationship like such a joke.
Kennedy's writing style and skill were fine, and the book would have actually been a quick read (which to me, is always a huge plus. It means I wanted to keep turning the pages) if I'd genuinely connected to the characters. Others might find Lily and company fun and light-hearted. These just weren't the characters, or the book, for me.