Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Did I Mention I Miss You? (DIMILY #3) by Estelle Maskame

* * * 3/4

Eden’s on her way back to Santa Monica for the summer, and she hasn't seen Tyler since the devastating fallout of their forbidden relationship. Eden claims to have moved on—but Tyler wants to rekindle the flame.

He convinces Eden to visit his new home in Portland, Oregon, where he has set up a center for troubled teens. Eden’s proud of what he’s built, but the last time they were together, it nearly destroyed Eden and their family. Then a tragedy draws them together, and Eden must search her heart and decide if Tyler is worth the risk once and for all.

Source: e-galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

I can't define exactly what it is about this series that I latched onto. Maybe I'm intrigued by for forbidden lovers. Or there's something about these characters worth getting to know. Or I want to see the underdog ultimately prove their detractors wrong. All of these things. So now when it comes down to the third and final installment, it's anyone's guess as to how it goes down.

After you-know-what hit the fan at the end of the last book, DIMINY? Tyler went MIA leaving a stunned Eden to deal with the fallout alone. Her friends are confused, her step-brother despises them but what's worst of all is that her already strained relationship with her father has hit rock bottom. Home for the summer after a year away at college, Eden feels like an unwelcome guest back in his house. She never heard from Tyler so with the radio silence she's had this entire past year for all the anger, hurt and disappointment to fester. Then he unexpectedly returns, completely oblivious to the hell she and their family have been through. So of course, her stepmother declares that this is the perfect time to go on a family vacation. You can guess how that goes. During the trip, Tyler does what he can to make amends with the people he has wronged, most importantly, Eden. While the trip may soften her anger, she's still hurt and can't trust that he won't disappear again.

Let's start with the ugly bits. The toughest aspect of DIMIMY? is that everyone's emotions are in turmoil. Eden, her father and her step-brother are downright hostile towards each other and it's nasty. There are not too many fun interactions when the family is involved and it's stressful. On the flip side, my favourite part of the story is Tyler's growth. He's been busy while he's been away and it's nice that his narrative develops in a positive direction. Eden I felt was a little stunted initially but considering circumstances she can't be blamed for that. Still I did feel that it took Tyler coming back for her to find some gumption. And even then, I wasn't entirely sold on the ending. Don't get me wrong - I liked parts of it. Just not all of it.

DIMINY? caps off a fun trilogy. Like all the other fans, I've been in knots waiting in suspense to see how things turn out for our troubled young couple. Of the three books, I still think that the first one, Did I Mention I Love You? is the one I like the best. I think most readers will be happy with how things are eventually settled because, hey, everyone wants that HEA. None more so than Eden and Tyler. 

~ Bel

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