I have recently reviewed What Doesn’t Kill Us by Stephanie Henry which was the first part of this story. I don’t know if it’s a series but the two books could be read separately. Anyway, when I saw that this was Val and Craig’s story, I immediately requested a copy, and I was so excited to receive a copy!
Title: The Story of Us
Author: Stephanie Henry
Summary: “This isn’t a bad story, but it’s not an entirely good story either. This is the story of us. Of me, really. And of the guy who changed my life. But not in the he-swept-me-off-my-feet-and-then-everything-was-all right kind of way. No. He walked into my life like a thunderstorm ripping through the sky, stirring things up and shaking me to my core. He was unsettled and uncontrolled – definitely not the safe bet. But just like a good thunderstorm, he was also wholly beautiful. His presence couldn’t be ignored. He awoke something within me that I didn’t even know was there. And after you’ve seen the sky in a thunderstorm’s aftermath, the everyday ordinary blue just looks a little too dull in comparison.” The Story of Us isn’t your typical love story. Craig and Val don’t fall instantly in love with one another. In fact, Val pretty much despises Craig. But everyone knows there’s a fine line between love and hate. Immerse yourself in The Story of Us and experience a one-of-a-kind emotional roller coaster. *The Story of Us is meant to follow What Doesn’t Kill Us, but can be read as a stand-alone novel.
This book was a terrible disappointment for me. After reading What Doesn’t Kill Us (which wasn’t perfect but I still enjoyed reading it a lot) I expected to really like this one. And I did like it, but I certainly did not love it. Let me try to explain…
The story itself was nice enough. It was a very ordinary story about two young people falling in love. It was a nice story to read and it definitely had the potential to turn into an awesome book. The writing was good too. I don’t have anything bad to say about any of those things. BUT…
It was soooooo cheezy! Too cheezy. Cheezy enough that, if there were any more cheese in this story, I would be swimming in it right now. And no I’m not exaggerating. To be honest, I do like it when a book I’m reading is just a tiny bit cheezy in a couple of scenes. But I definitely don’t enjoy extreme cheesiness every other scene. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. There are people out there (like my mother for example) who love cheezy stories. If you’re one of them then I am definitely recommending that you read The Story of Us. It’ll probably turn out to be your favorite book.
But what bothered me the most about the cheezy scenes was that sometimes they made Val and Craig (two 19-year-olds) sound at least thirty. There were things that they were thinking or saying that had me muttering: “Yeah, right. Because 4 years ago, when I was their age this is what I would be thinking in X situation!” And I am not saying that there aren’t 19-year-old people who think of these stuff (marriage, kids, true love, etc), but while reading those thoughts they characters didn’t sound like they were 19 they sounded as if they were 30+.
I think that the reason I was so annoyed about that is because this is an older YA/younger New Adult book and in a way, it promotes a way of thinking about relationships that is not healthy at that age. I don’t think I can explain the whole thing better without giving away spoilers.
On the other hand, there are other things that I did like in this book. The first one being the friendship between Hailey and Val, which remains strong throughout the book and it is obvious that both girls take care of each other and make time for one another despite their busy schedules and the fact that they have boyfriends. I always like to read about friendships like that.
The second thing, I liked was how the author ‘crushed’ prejudices. What I mean is that, whenever someone displayed a prejudiced behavior in the book, she always found a way to turn it around, she wouldn’t let something like that go. And lastly, I liked the fact that when the characters made mistakes, they were willing to admit it and apologize for them.
Those last three things almost made up for the cheesiness. Almost, but not completely.
That was it for my review today.
Now it’s your turn…
Have you read The Story of Us? Did you like it? Have you read another book by Stephanie Henry? What is the cheeziest book you’ve ever read?