book review

Bring Me Back by Micalea Smeltzer

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When the Goodreads description gives you absolutely nothing on the story, but it’s still averaging 4.14 stars, I think it’s pretty much a no-brainer to pick up a copy. So I acquired it with a clean slate, with hopes high, and with the eagerness to find out what everyone loves about it.

What a disappointment though.

If it was a requirement that this book reach 452 pages, I’d say that at least half of it was a waste of space. It started off awfully slow, recounting every single frame of the main character, Blair’s day. What should’ve been a beautiful retelling of memories, ended up sounding like a step-by-step program. It was overly detailed, completely unnecessary, and frankly, just plain boring. Another case of the “and then… and then… and then…” writing style. It’s such a shame really because I actually ended up liking Ben and how sweet he can be. Granted, he gives us a copious amount of cheese, but he follows it up with something funny. In fact, he actually reminds me of my husband when he’s trying to be romantic. Like, this paper crane message could’ve been written by my husband:

When you’re feeling down, just look to the sky and be thankful that you’re alive. We all have bad days, but we should never let them make us forget how great it is to live. On those days where it feels like you can’t keep your head up, do something nice for someone else. It’ll make you feel better. Trust me. Especially if that someone is me and your ‘something nice’ includes blowjobs.

It’s roll-my-eyes-shake-my-head corny, but with Ben’s personality, it works.

Speaking of paper crane messages… It feels like something recycled from a Colleen Hoover story. Which takes another point away from this book. The reason why I love romance is because there’s only a handful of themes that people can write about, so it’s always a thrill to discover a completely original love story. Yes, it may seem like the same story over and over again, but it’s the details that make the story unforgettable. It’s those gems that I live for. This story, unfortunately, doesn’t make the cut.

Even the chemistry between Blair and Ryder fell a little flat for me. They were sweet, but there were no butterflies going crazy in my stomach. Sure, in the real world, I would love my own Ryder — attentive and all-around nice guy. I guess this could be said of Ben too. They’re pretty much a carbon copy of each other, just that Ryder has a little one in tow, but I digress. What I’ve been meaning to say is that Blair and Ryder’s immediate connection was the catalyst for Blair’s healing process, but there’s nothing extraordinary about it. To me, it was an overplayed love story.

I will, however, give it points for still having the ability to make me cry (even though I cry easily to begin with). I give it willingly because it’s not the love story itself or her struggles that made me cry. It’s her relationship with her dad. On this point, Micalea Smeltzer, you did good, kid.

Rating: 2 stars

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