Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Do you ever operate under the assumption that you really enjoy specific authors, make mental notes of when they have new books out, and then carefully track copies down, only to one day realize that you really aren't that impressed by said author? This has happened to me with Sarah Mayberry. I just finished my third book by her, but for the life of me I don't even remember reading the first two (Anything for You in 2008 and Her Best Friend in 2010.) When I started to see reviews of The Other Side of Us, and found it available on NetGalley, I requested it. While it wasn't particularly a bad book, it wasn't particularly noteworthy either.
So what is The Other Side of Us about? Mackenzie has been in a horrific auto accident. A year later, she's still recovering physically, and fighting hard to get back into her old life. All she can see is how hard she's trying and how fast it's slipping away. Oliver has escaped to his late aunt's beach house to escape his soon-to-be-ex-wife and their divorce. He's bitter and angry and distrustful of marriage. They are forced to interact with each other because their dogs refuse to stay apart.
What did I enjoy about it? I enjoyed that both parts of the couple were incredibly honest with each other. There was no hiding from what they felt and no big misunderstanding. Oliver knew without a doubt that he was distrustful of his ex-wife and himself, and that it wasn't about Mackenzie at all. Mackenzie was aware that she wanted him, and was willing to go after him without holding back. They are both adults and they both act like adults for the entirety of the book.
What I didn't like so much? It's a very fast book, the entire thing takes place over a couple of short weeks. This isn't usually something I dislike, but I didn't feel like it completely worked here. They both have so much other emotional stuff going on in their lives (which is addressed) that it seems unlikely they'd have time to really fall in love. Additionally, Oliver is only a few months out from finding out that his wife was cheating, not even a few months out from the divorce, which is still pending. Last, Oliver is really really perfect. He has a terrific sense of humor (he really does!), he is smoking hot, he's genuinely nice, and he's very self aware. He's completely unbelievable.
Final thoughts? It was good, but it wasn't great, and I won't likely seek out Sarah Mayberry. I will still look up specific titles of hers based on great recommendations.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.