Newton's Laws Of Attraction (2013)
Newton's Laws of Attraction (2013)
3.75 of 5 Votes: 5
1627982787 (ISBN13: 9781627982788)
Dreamspinner Press
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I couldn't stop smiling for the first half of this book. The writing was so engaging, and the best friends to lovers relationship was so sweet. It was great watching their relationship blossom. But then my love turned to frustration. I loved this book until the friends with benefits arrangement began. I didn't admire Rory's callousness and disregard of Ben's emotions. How many times does one have to apologize? Waaaay too much angst for my liking. But a bit of a HEA, so it's a 4 *always-have-always-will* stars read. An epilogue or another chapter would have been nice. The ending was a bit abrupt. I've read some reviews for Book 2 and it seems like I'll more closure then. Can't wait to. :-) This story has some themes for which I am pretty much a total sucker: close childhood friendship, friends to lovers, second chances.It tugged at my emotions something fierce, and yet, it didn’t quite come together. It’s difficult to put my finger on exactly why; maybe I need to let it percolate some (but when I do that the result is often no review at all). I think it’s a whole series of smaller things that all together result in the story becoming more and more disappointing for me. I’ll have to mark this review as spoilery because I can’t talk about it without bringing up details.For one, I think I needed a better reason for Ben to ditch Rory so abruptly and unapologetically. Yes, peer pressure is strong, but we had previously not gotten any hint that Ben was affected much by it — even when people started talking about how he and Rory were getting a little old to be permanently attached at the hip, that didn’t seem to phase him. There is a hint that his father wouldn’t have been happy with him being gay, and Rory’s mother was talking about how she was not too worried about them sleeping in the same bed since heck, Ben wasn’t a girl. Those could have been strong motivators, but they were actually downplayed in retrospect — Rory’s mother and Ben’s mother apparently clued in to them being in love, and Ben’s father was silently removed from the picture after high school, and apparently there was no big blow-out ever. This all makes Ben’s actions more questionable — within just a few month he goes from finally, finally finding out Rory feels about him like he feels about Rory to dumping Rory? I’m not feeling the love.What also didn’t strike me as quite right is that the parents were totally absenting themselves from saying a single word about the friendship when it breaks apart. That’s just unbelievable, considering they lived this closely together, and had apparently talked about how friendly their kids were, and Rory really liked Ben’s mother and viewed Ben’s place as a second home. It doesn’t jive. It reminded me of how great Amy Lane is at creating believable family relationships that I can care about — this here is an example where instead everything feels anemic, despite us being told it’s so close.Furthermore, Ben never makes any effort to find out what happened to Rory. He’s felt guilty and remorseful already during the last few months in high school, and I can understand why he can’t get himself to apologize. But then I would expect him to grow up. I wanted him to make some effort to track Rory (and of course he could fail at it). The love of his life, everything that comes later is clearly not at all working, and he never even looks him up on Facebook? Shit, to this day I sometimes check the net for people who were really good friends and with whom I’ve fallen out of touch. The love of my life could not have a net presence without me knowing. And no, I am not stalking; that would be creepy — I just want to know people I care about are ok, even if for some reason I don’t feel ready to get back in touch.Beyond that, for a while things go along in a manner I find reasonable — Rory comes back to Chico and at first doesn’t want anything to do with Ben after they meet again. Makes sense. Then they get closer again because it’s just too hard not to. Also makes sense. Rory dates some older guy named Keith, Ben is crazy jealous —ok. Keith turns out to be a cheating douchebag, which provides the impetus for Rory to throw himself at Ben, and have crazed monkey sex (um, they make love). And the morning after isn’t great. But they carry on with this "friends with benefits" thing. I think that is probably the major thing wrong here for me — I just don’t see much growth from either of the protagonists. Alcohol and emotional upset drives too much of the action, and they don’t behave particularly maturely with each other. Consequently, they piss away their second chance. And once again Ben withdraws — it’s not his own fault this time, but the result is the same: he does not remain a friend. He does not try to talk about the problem. He goes away again. So much for growth.I know this is probably not even unlikely. It’s not like everyone I knew at 26 was particularly mature (plenty of Americans seem to extend their teenage limbo into their twenties). But I don’t want to read about people like that. I have no patience with the bullshit of pissing your second chance away; that means you don’t actually deserve it. How many people do have such an amazing love to begin with? And these two fuck it up twice. I am not in a forgiving mood about that. Especially not when at the same time they wax nostalgically about forever-love and how they thought they’d get married some day. If y’all thought that sort of love never took any work, you’ve lived too damn sheltered a life and have learned nothing. If you fuck things up seriously, just saying sorry doesn’t fix it, and having make-up sex doesn’t actually repair it magically with pheromones. Good relationships require communication. These two suck massively at communicating. And I don’t see why. Neither of them are the strong, silent type who’d never talk about feelings even if his horse sat down on him; they’re modern, hip kinda guys who open up to their friends, and who can apparently talk about anything else when things are good, including ex-boyfriends. But no, they never, ever talk about what’s tearing them apart.And thanks to the limited viewpoint we never get to see inside Rory’s head. We know he was hurt horribly by Ben’s betrayal in high school. But we don’t find out what exactly makes him go on a date with yet another random guy when things with Ben are going well. We can guess (he’s afraid to get burned again and dating others gives him some pretend-distance), but why the fuck does he not tell Ben? What kind of love is this when there is so little trust and no effort to rebuild it? Yeah, I just have no patience for it.And then the ending is too quick. Ben finally realizes he is a shit friend, makes a phone call leaving Rory a message saying "How are you, I miss you" (instead of actually also saying that he was a shit friend and that fuck, he is so sorry and what can he do to fix this please), and the next moment Rory is in Los Angeles, says sorry for his part in the shitfest, and love love love everything is coming up roses forever. At least that’s a little bit of communication finally, but man, too late to save this story for me.
I need to think about this one more before I review it.
3.75 stars
3.5 stars
3.5 stars
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