Book Review: Complicate Me

Complicate Me (The Good Ol' Boys #1)
by M. Robinson

It was complicated, it was also just the beginning.
A decision.
A simple choice.
There is always that one moment in life where things could have been different. That one moment where you could have chosen a path that would lead you down a certain road.
A different life.
It was easier to pretend that we were still best friends, and that she was my girl and I was her boy.
Pretending was better than knowing the truth...
I. Ruined. Us.
I had her.
I lost her.
I love her.
All I did was complicate us.

Standalone series. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Strong language and sexual content, not intended for readers under 18.

TeriLyn's thoughts: **Complicate Me generously provided in exchange for an honest review.**

Complicate Me is the love story of Lucas Ryder and Alexandra Collins. It’s an angsty, rollercoaster ride of a journey that pulls you in immediately from the prologue and keeps riding you through the ups and downs of a lifetime together between two best friends. A coming of age story told from both the points of view of Lucas, the hero, and Alex, our heroine, complicated doesn’t even begin to cover the relationship between the two main characters as they navigate strong desires for one another amidst a life of chaos and opinions. Along with their complicated love, my feels for this book seem somewhat complicated too.

Alexandra Collins grows up in a small town, an only child, surrounded by the families of her parent’s closest friends. She’s the only girl in a group of boys whom she adores. A group of boys who wants to protect her from the world even at a young age. Lucas and Alex have always been a twosome outside of the group as and they begin to change from youth to adolescence those feelings start to develop and take root as something neither of them can begin understand. With outside forces constantly working against them understanding what they feel, Lucas and Alex’s friendship takes a different turn. The depth of their connection fuses their hearts because they are closer than ever even as though they begin to live separate lives.

Throughout the middle the story waxed and waned for me, I thought a lot of emphasis was put on their childhood and adolescence where it could have been placed more towards their later high school/college days. Parts of the story I felt compelled to skim a bit because it was redundant. And since the book is long, taking me a couple of days to finish, the redundancies became cumbersome. There are a lot of details in the complexity of their relationship and their relationship with the other friends. There were several times I wondered how such complex thoughts could have been running through the minds of such young characters. However, there were glimmers of Lucas and Alex through these sections that really held my attention. I realized once I’d finished that there was never a time I wasn’t rooting for the two of them or not wanting to know how the book would end.

Lots of mistakes are made by both Lucas and Alex and their group of Good Ol’ Boys. Some of these mistakes, seen through the eyes of someone young, na├»ve and in love, could have been avoided but also could have changed the course of their lives in a different way. I’m glad now to have read through them to have dealt with hurt and pain of their love as M. Robinson so willingly dished out to her readers. The pain of their story makes it that much more understandable, exposing their vulnerabilities and the realism of how hard life can be when you fall in love with one of your very best friends when you just want to protect each other. I will admit, at times, the story became too angsty for me with so much volleying between their thoughts and they’re actual actions; indecision and outside influence dragging the story out way too much. But it was a good journey reminding us of the complexities of first loves and childhood relationships we hate to see move in different directions. It’s about forgiveness and acceptance.

When the journey of Lucas and Alex finally unfolds it’s done so sweetly that you feel immensely satisfied as a reader to have reached the conclusion. I found myself smiling at the sweetness of two best friends who couldn’t ever let each other go no matter pressure they received to do otherwise finally find each other. It takes a while, many mistakes, other people, and a lot of angst to get there but in the end it seems everything is just how it should be. Then the author goes and makes us see the beginning of the next book – a story arc we see in Complicate Me which is quite intriguing.

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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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