My Review 5/5 stars
The plot of this story sounded pretty interesting so I wasn't surprised that I liked it a lot. I was surprised at how quickly I was hooked (the grocery store scene) and how hard it was to put down. The prologue is the backstory of Jamie (Nikki's mother) and Mike's (Derek's dad) tortured relationship. Jamie is so in love, read OBSESSED, with Mike and it is unclear if he feels the same way. At times it appears he does, but there is no follow through on his part, so it is hard to tell. Jamie compares her relationship with Mike to Wuthering Heights.
]While I can definitely see her as a Cathy figure, he was no Heathcliff. Maybe only in her eyes. In the prologue I saw a lot more similarities to White Oleander.
Jamie's obsession with Mike is sick and selfish in an Ingrid Magnussen kind of way. The only difference between the two as far as I can see is that Jamie isn't quite as narcissistic as Ingrid, and I do believe she does love her daughter, just not more than Mike. After knowing all her mother did and reading her journals which chronicle her obsession, Nikki vows not to be ruled by love and believes falling in love is the great evil that destroyed her mother.
The plot centers around Nikki and Derek trying to stay together amidst all the drama surrounding their mothers' deaths. Soon enough, they find themselves repeating the same mistakes their parents' made and Nikki must make some difficult choices if she wants to escape her mother's fate.
Alex, Nikki's father, is one of my favorite characters in the book. He is completely consistent throughout the book. He is kind of an absentee father for most of her early life, but after the death of her mother and grandmother, he stepped up and took her in. He was quite lenient, but knowing his history, that was the only kind of father he could possibly be. I love this quote by him: There is no man on this planet worth that, Nicole. Don't you understand? They are--we are all pieces of shit.
I never connected with Derek's father. Like Alex says, "he's a loser that couldn't make his trailer payment because he was buying too much weed." It is only after his wife died and he collected the insurance money that he was able to get a house and a new car. Mike, who is probably in his mid to late thirties, is still working at the same job he had when he was a teenager, only now he is assistant manager.
I was happy at the end when Nikki woke up and realized she needed a change. I credit Alex for helping her to make the right decision and showing her she is worth so much more than what Derek can give her. For that she deserves this.