Eden Munro came to California for a summer of sun, sand, and celebrities—what better way to forget about the drama back home? Until she meets her new family of strangers: a dad she hasn’t seen in three years, a stepmom, and three stepbrothers.
Eden gets her own room in her dad’s fancy house in Santa Monica. A room right next door to her oldest stepbrother, Tyler Bruce. Whom she cannot stand. He has angry green eyes and an ego bigger than a Beverly Hills mansion. She’s never felt such intense dislike for someone. But the two are constantly thrown together as his group of friends pulls her into their world of rule-breaking, partying, and pier-hanging.
And the more she tries to understand what makes Tyler burn hotter than the California sun, the more Eden finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn’t love…
Title: Did I Mention I Love You?
Author: Estelle Maskame
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Number of Pages: 393
Publishing Date: Apr. 30th, 2015
After being in an incredibly frustrating book slump for the past few weeks, I decided that it was time to finally sit down and read. Because of numerous suggestions from my best friend, Lily, about this book trilogy, I decided to dive into this book because young adult contemporary novels usually never fail to take me out of my book slumps. This book, however, didn’t just take me out of my slump. It probably put me into an even greater one because of how much I enjoyed it.
I honestly wasn’t expecting this book to be as good as it was. After reading the premise, I thought that it’d probably be another typical contemporary novel full of fluffy romance with no real, deep, and raw subjects. Boy, was I wrong. This book touched on so many issues. There was such drama throughout almost every chapter that at first, it was a bit unbearable (but in a good, holy-crap-this-was-more-intense-than-I-thought-it-would-be way). But I slowly found myself deeply wrapped up in this story and, before I realized what was happening, I ended up finishing the book at 3 o’clock in the morning. And I didn’t regret staying up that late at all because this book was entirely worth it.
The rest of this review is spoiler-free.
The plot of this book felt familiar in different ways, but it always felt relatively unique. In other words, I was able to relate to certain aspects of this novel, while also being able to feel like an outsider looking into a totally different world.
I loved how this plot wasn’t just about the romance between the two characters, Eden and Tyler. There was so much more to the story—family struggles, friendships, relationships blooming, self-confidence issues, and more. I greatly appreciated how the author took the time to incorporate the different aspects of what life is like for teenagers when it comes to the pressures of conforming and maintaining a certain standard of popularity and “cool-ness.” The plot of this novel was extremely tense and unpredictable at times and I honestly loved that so much.
Nonetheless, this novel had its fair share of very swoon-worthy romance moments that I found myself loving more and more because I have a sad-yet-immense liking towards slow-burn romances. As the novel progressed, I found that the romance between the two main characters was being developed quite nicely and realistically and, to me, it didn’t feel too insta-love-y at all.
“I’ll remember the way he said the ocean looked pretty cool from up there on the Pacific Wheel, but when I glanced at him, he wasn’t even looking at the ocean. He was looking at me.”
I really liked the main character, Eden, but sometimes she frustrated me immensely. She would jump to so many conclusions very quickly and her stubbornness turned me off quite a few times. Nonetheless, there were also times during this novel where I absolutely loved her character. I was really glad to see that her character development was fairly steady throughout the novel and I think her growth was most evident at the end of the book.
Tyler’s character, oh my God. He’s definitely the bad-boy character, but I wouldn’t write him off as a typical-trope-love-interest just yet. There’s obviously so much more to him, and as his past is slowly unraveled as the story goes on, I fell more and more in love with him. I really appreciated his development and, while it’s clear he has a long way to go, I loved watching him grow throughout this novel.
“I really wish you hadn’t said sorry for it. Because apologizing means regretting.”
I think that the family dynamic amongst the main characters was interesting and the complexity of the relationships between Tyler’s mom, Eden’s dad, and the rest of their siblings was one of the best elements within the novel. However, the rest of the characters within this novel were fairly stereotypical.
I really enjoyed the writing style of this novel! It was easy to read and I loved getting to read a story that takes place in a setting that I’m all too familiar with; Santa Monica, California. I think that the descriptions were spot-on and I think that the author’s ability to set the scene quickly and develop a plot that wasn’t always as predictable as it might seem were quite impressive.
Overall, I really loved and enjoyed this book. While, like all books, it had its flaws, I think that the characters of this book and the different struggles that they go through are what make this story so raw and real. Some young adult novels have characters with problems that seem too easy to work through or too simple, and that’s when the entire relatable-ness of the plot gets lost altogether. This book, on the other hand, really focused on topics that are relevant and it didn’t rely on romance to make the plot interesting; this plot was interesting because it was a combination of a forbidden romance and a teenager’s life when she’s adjusting to an entirely new home environment. All in all, I really enjoyed this novel and I would be saying that I’m looking forward to reading the sequel but… I went out today, bought it, and already finished reading it (and I loved it). So, be on the look out for a review of that book soon!
So, have you read Did I Mention I Love You? yet? What did you think about it? Comment below so we can discuss!