Have you ever wished you could have something so bad, even though you knew it was forbidden?
Jonathan Gates was just that—forbidden. He was everything I could ever want in a man: charming, a great listener, open-minded, and funny. It also didn’t hurt that he was easy on the eyes.
We’d been through a lot together: breakups, makeups, firsts, lasts, and anything else you can imagine. I was once told he was my soul mate, but I refused to believe that.
I didn’t want to love him. I didn’t want to fall for him because…he was my best friend!
But I did, and I fell for him hard. I was in love with my best friend, and it was time he knew how I really felt.
***I received this ebook as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author
+++Contains triggers: Assault, abuse, violence
Good-bye, with Love is an emotionally charged contemporary coming of age story. A crossover from YA to New Adult, the book grows with the characters and as their love goes through a spiral of drama and ups and downs, thoughts of first love and the one that got away overwhelm.
READ THIS BOOK IF:
- You’re looking for a complicated friends to lovers story
- Love that blossoms from middle school to college
- You adore alternating POVs and diary entries
- Johnny Gates. A total, devoted, wonderful male specimen. He’s the perfect boyfriend until life complicates things. He’s attentive, compassionate, full of love and friendship. When they’re younger, he’s a sweetheart. Some scenes are hard to read because they’re heartbreaking yet beautiful. It’s a bittersweet and terrifying beauty. When Mickey is sick from chemo and scared, Johnny’s is the hand she holds and the shoulder she leans on. Older Johnny is something else entirely. Gorgeous, determined, brooding, aggressive but still only has eyes for one girl.
- Mickey is complicated. She adores Johnny but is scared to move beyond friendship. She’s quirky, caring, and a genuine person. Mickey sometimes gets lost in moments and doesn’t consider what’s going on around her. She’s dreamy. As she gets older, she’s more jaded. Her heart has been trampled on and it’s painful to see how she’s changed. BUT there’s hope, always.
- The diary entries are insightful, confessions of Mickey’s true feelings, where she gushes about everything. They’re a nice change of pace.
- The change from best friends to more is heart-warming and lovely. It starts as an instant connection and evolves into love.
- Some of the phrases and word choice when they were in middle school were a little off. While a few of the contemporary culture references were spot on, the colloquialisms not as much. It was bizarre to me that these kids were going on full-fledged dates at 12.
- A handful of scenes were cliché and awkward, especially those that were so sexually aggressive. The shift from romance to hit it and quit it was rocky. There’s a sexual assault scene that was graphic and repulsive (as expected, which is an accurate portrayal with all the emotions and fear) but the “after” is what irked me. How do you dust that off and move on so quickly? How do you get over that trauma like it was nothing? Emotions like love and betrayal are poignant and mulled over extensively but the others are skipped. Processing, yeah not so much. There’s a particularly gory scene after years of build up and then SHRUG. SHRUG??? I guess I was just expecting more.
- The pacing was sporadic and slow. More than half of the book is when they were in middle school or freshmen year and then it abruptly jumps years. The transition left the story feeling unbalanced and random at times.
If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this: