Saturday, May 24, 2014

Book Review: Back When You Were Easier to Love

Back When You Were Easier to Love
by Emily Wing Smith

What's worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you've been dumped. Joy got no goodbye, and certainly no explanation when Zan, the love of her life and the only good thing about stifling, backward Haven, Utah unceremoniously and unexpectedly left for college a year early. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California, and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan's former best friend, Noah.

There was something off about the whole plot. Its predictable and It wasn't able to wrap everything up. I don't particularly hate Joy but I don't quite know where to place her, Is she popular, is she weird? what is she? where does she stand in all the hierarchy of high school? She doesn't even seem to sound pretty or smart. And Zan, Zan does not sound like he's the perfect boy around, he sounded like douche from the beginning so I don't understand all the fuss even. There are no witty comebacks except for the opinion about Zan's toes which in novels like this would have greatly helped in amping up the plot. For a plot that does not require 186 pages, it sure stretches a lot. The Las Vegas Trip was unnecessary because by then, everything has been kind of resolved and I though a lot about how this could go wrong in all sorts of places, but I figured it gave some good stuff, not entirely in the way we would want it to be handed to us but nonetheless delivered still. I'm not even going to Mormon setting all the circumstance was in because it doing so feels so wrong already. 
This however are the good stuff:

What's with the name Noah anyway, it seems like all the perfect boyfriends are named Noah? and why do I picture him as Peter Kavinsky of To All the Boys I've Loved Before? He after all is the saving grace of this novel. He's calm, patient and understanding. I just hoped he earned his definite ending. Does he finally understood relationships and love, why did he helped Joy in the first place? What's with him when he met Gretel?

The next good stuff were of course Joy's best friends. Tess, Gretel and Jen. I wish we had more of their conversation. I wish we had more glimpse of what Joy was before they moved and what he loved there so much, it took him so long to adjust in what I think was pretty good environment. 

And lastly of course. the message. the theme. We were all Joy once in our lives, holding on to something we never understood why it had to end that way or why it ended at all, and that hopeful feeling that maybe there is something more than what was served in front of us. That sometimes we're blinded by the idea that we are above others and that makes us untouchables. Or the fact that maybe we are looking for what we want but by the end we are handed with what we deserve. 

I liked how this was narrated in such a way that you get a glimpse of what happened in the past that made the present so sour, I liked how it shows two different perspective of Zan, the made-up version of Joy and the real Zan that's nothing at par which I think made Zan the more Ass than he already was. 

Closure are either for two things: doing something that if you don't, you will regret or facing the truth even it means more hurt that you could probably take. 

This is why I guess this novel still deserves to be read. 
Plus, there are also quotable quotes that you could actually pick from here. I mean, not that it mattered.

Rating: 7.0/10


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