Just Like You Said It Would Be

(I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

Book's Author: C.K. Kelly Martin

Genre: YA Romance

Rating: Four Paws

On New Year’s Eve seventeen-year-old Amira texts the Irish ex-boyfriend she’s been missing desperately since they broke up at the end of summer, when she returned to Canada. They agreed they wouldn’t be friends, that it would never be enough. But that was then—back when Amira’s separated parents had shipped her off to relatives in Dublin for the summer so they could test-drive the idea of getting back together on a long haul cruise. Back when Amira was torn away from a friend in need in Toronto only to fall in love with a Dublin screenwriting class and take a step closer to her dream career. And only to fall for cousin Zoey’s bandmate, Darragh, the guy who is first her friend, then her enemy and later something much more complicated—the guy she can say anything to, the guy who makes every inch of her feel wide awake in a way she hadn’t known was possible. The guy she confides in about the dead sister she has no living memories of but who has remained with Amira nonetheless. The guy she might never see again. Or is there, despite the distance, somehow still a chance for them? Chock-full of movie references and giddy love for Dublin, Ireland, Just Like You Said It Would Be is a frank exploration of the extraordinary highs and shattering lows of first love that will appeal to fans of Jennifer Echols, Tara Kelly, Sarra Manning, Trish Doller, and Kirsty Eagar.​

***Mild Spoiler Alert***

Let me just start by saying that I've always had a thing for obscure names, names that you don't hear very often or aren't overly popular. It was cool to read this book in that way because everyone had names that were different (at least to me). It was also cool because the book takes place mostly in Ireland, where their slang and word choice varies a pretty significant amount from what we have here in the U.S.

The setting was kind of easy to picture despite it being three thousand miles away and halfway across the globe, which was nice. I loved how she got there, that she didn't want to be there, but how quickly her view changed once she was there; it made me want to go to Ireland as well.

The book was a little slow in the beginning, but most romance novels are; you can't just dive into the love without development. This book definitely had development, though I feel like Darragh's 'player vibe' didn't really have much build-up and wasn't elaborated on. What the author wanted was clear, but she didn't quite hit the mark. But that was the only part of Darragh that didn't. I could picture him in my head: boyishly cute with sexy edges and that melancholy artist thing that was there but wasn't overly there; and obviously the accent. He was definitely my kind of character, and I fell in love with him. Despite his hang-ups with Ursula, he was able to get himself together and realize that "waiting" wasn't really a thing girls liked to do.

Especially not girls like Amira, or like me, as I found myself relating to her throughout the whole novel. The one thing about Amira that I didn't find particularly appealing was her instant feeling of monopoly she developed for Darragh, but even she hated it. I had a really easy time following her thought process because she was exactly my age when the THEN part of the story was being told. I felt connected to her in a way that I like to feel connected when reading.

The author did a really good job of making the story cliche without being cliche. It was the perfect mix of romance without it being overpoweringly infuriating like most love stories are. It was a perfect whirlwind, the kind of fast-paced love that makes you stay up and read until one in the morning because you need to know what happens (but I totally didn't do that...).

And the roller coaster of futility we took: three thousand miles, a limit of four weeks, disapproving parents. Everything is working against them. It's just so hopeless, but it doesn't feel hopeless. The book was extremely well-written in that way. This development of feelings was so real; it read like fiction but it didn't feel fake. Like the story like this could have totally happened the way it mapped out (except maybe some of the plane trips). I was captivated by the story and the characters, and I felt like I was part of the action, something a good book always needs.

Overall, the story (and Darragh)completely held my attention, and I would recommend this book to anyone who has the time to commit, because you aren't going to want to put it down. Agewise, I say maybe 15 or 16 and older because there is some sexual content but it's not overpowering or extremely graphic. Unlike a lot of stories that have this kind of content, however, it didn't detract from the novel's quality. I definitely recommend this read.

-T


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