Days Like This by Danielle Ellison:
Rating: 2/5 stars
Genres: NA, Contemporary
Summary (from Goodreads):
Sometimes the only thing standing between fear and hope is you.
Almost a year ago, nineteen-year-old Cassie Harlen had a lot to deal with. A stack of college acceptance letters waiting for answers, a proposal from the boy next door, and a mother whose most recent bipolar episode left Cassie hurt and confused. Tired of cleaning up the messes caused by her mother’s disorder, of resenting her mother for not being there, and scared of being trapped by an inevitable future—which included marrying Graham Tucker—Cassie did the only thing she could think of to keep from ending up like her mother: she left.
Graham never knew why Cassie walked away. He woke up one morning and she was gone—along with the life that he’d created around her. After eleven months, Graham has a new plan for his future. One that doesn’t involve Cassie Harlen.
When Cassie’s mom nearly burns down her house, Cassie’s forced to return home. Back to a mother she’s tried to ignore and the guy she’s been unable to forget. Graham doesn’t know how he’s going to spend the whole summer living next door to the person who broke his heart without letting those old feelings push through to the surface.
Neither does Cassie.
First off, may I just say this book was slowwww. It was a short book (only 219 pages), so I read it very quickly, but it took a long time. I didn’t feel like anything actually monumental happened until the last quarter of the book. Which personally, is kind of disappointing. It kind of kept me wanting to read it, because I was waiting. But that was all that really happened. I waited.
So here’s the deal. I was just expecting more out of this book. Actually, pause. I expected there to be more to the story. But there wasn’t. The summary kind of tells you what happens, and that’s about it. There isn’t that much else. Which is really disappointing for me, as a reader. I want something more, something new, just something else. And I didn’t get anything. I felt like this was the same story that had been told a billion times, and this one wasn’t any different than the last.
So Cassie was kind of annoying. Like she just left everyone, and then she comes back expecting for everyone to love her and pretend she didn’t break their hearts. SHE DIDN’T EVEN APOLOGIZE. LIKE DUDE. Admit that you made a mistake and move on. I liked her relationship with her mom, but other than that, I had no idea how she had any friends left. I would’ve walked away and never looked back if I was friends with her. Honestly, she just never accepted that maybe all the problems she was having were because of her, not everyone around her.
Graham was nice, but a little flat. I never really got involved with him, and he just didn’t do anything for me. And he just welcomed Cassie back with open arms, so you’re also at fault here. His whole girlfriend situation was a mess, like pick someone. I don’t care who it is, but I really don’t like the whole two girlfriend thing, so make up your mind.
Neither Graham nor Cassie were ever willing to admit their feelings. FOR ANYTHING. Like there was so much indecision in this book, that if people actually just made choices and said how they felt, the book would only be ten pages. There wouldn’t be any problems! It genuinely frustrates me to read books like this, because I just want to tell the characters that they’re wrong and they should take a good look in the mirror and realize that they’re just really stupid.
The only part that I liked was the ending and June, Cassie’s friend. So the last 25%, when things actually started happening, was pretty good. Not great, but there was substance and actual events so I was pleased. June was really funny and the only one who actually realized that Cassie was a horrible person and terribly selfish. Hey, I found a character who can actually think.
I think Cassie’s mom was an interesting character. I would’ve liked to have seen more insight into her bipolar disorder, because I don’t think that enough books cover mental illnesses. It’s fascinating for me to read about them, though, so I was really hoping to get something good here. We had some flashbacks, but there wasn’t much other discussion of her disorder. Again, lots of potential, not a lot done with it.
Quite honestly, I just wasn’t a fan of this book. For some reason, I kept reading it at a fairly quick pace. I just felt like this was lacking in almost every area. Characters, plot, writing style (it was okay, but nothing spectacular), etc. Will other people like it? Maybe, I just don’t think it necessarily is going to be a best seller. Give it a try if you just need something to read, but I wouldn’t put it at the top of your TBR list.
*** e-ARC kindly provided by Net-Galley ***