Time, by Eden Darry
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: February 27, 2017
Rating: Did Not Finish (DNF) at 50%
Shannon is a young talented movie star celebrating the release of her new blockbuster. Jay is struggling to rebuild her life and hiding a dark secret. They meet and spend two nights together, forging a connection that neither can let go. With their lives heading in different directions, they agree not to stay in touch.
Ten years later, with their fortunes reversed, they meet again and neither has been able to forget the other. Will this time be different? Can they have a real chance at love? Or will Jay’s secret and a tragic event pull them apart again?
In the Closet
Mention of a past rape and shooting death
Note: the review copy was possibly not the final version, and some of the inconsistencies pointed out in this review may be caught and resolved in the final copy.
This book was a real struggle for me. It’s difficult to explain why without seeming nitpicky and getting spoilery, but I’ll try my best.
Basically, when it came down to it, I just didn’t care about either character, which also meant I had zero interest in following their story through time. Neither Shannon nor Jay was particularly likeable but it wasn’t because there was anything wrong with them – I just felt like I never got to know them so I didn’t connect with them. When the story skipped to present day, I struggled to care where their lives had taken them, especially when details weren’t very forthcoming. The only thing I knew with any certainty was that for some inexplicable reason they hadn’t been able to forget one another all these years.
I say “inexplicable” because despite the highly descriptive sex scenes during their two-day roll in the hay, I just didn’t feel the chemistry between them. Their hookup 10 years ago took up 20% of the book, and the entire time I was dying for them to please god get out of bed already so we can all move on with our lives. I usually enjoy sex scenes, even gratuitous ones, but the nonstop sex and their supposedly easy rapport fell flat for me.
To be honest, I considered DNFing as soon as they parted ways, but I didn’t think that would be very fair – especially when I realized I had only reached the end of Chapter One. So I forged on to present day, but sadly I still didn’t feel any sparks. If anything, things got even more awkward for them (and frustrating for me).
In addition to not connecting with the characters (and not feeling their connection with each other), inconsistencies within the narrative kept distracting me. I don’t usually nitpick details like age (no joke, I’m the person who has to pause and calculate how old she is every year). But when the main character is 21 years old on one page, then she’s 18 years old a few pages later, yeah I’m going to notice, and no there was no time jump within that chapter. Unfortunately, once I’d noticed that, I questioned every little oddity or weakness I encountered within the story.
For instance, I found some elements of Jay’s “reversal of fortune” pretty farfetched. [WARNING: Skip to next paragraph to avoid SPOILERS AHEAD] Basically, an elderly benevolent stranger named Henry loaned her money for university so she could get her degree, whereupon graduation she bought herself a farm – a hundred acre farm. Maybe I’m overthinking this, but I had trouble swallowing this fantastical turn of events.
In Shannon’s case, I felt like a lot of her current situation was glossed over. Perhaps some of the more serious elements are addressed later in the book, but for me, it just reaffirmed how flat these characters felt to me.
All in all, it was a very lackluster read that I couldn’t get through.
Eden lives in London with her partner and their small, earless rescue cat. She runs her own business, and when she’s not working or writing, can usually be found rowing up and down the Thames.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.