Charlotte didn't just shake my world. She created an earthquake that had irrevocably changed the landscape of my life.
This book caught me by complete and total surprise. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. For some reason, after reading the book blurb, I had thought that this would be some type of love triangle, which I don't usually enjoy. That was not the case at all. It is a beautiful story about falling for the person you shouldn't, regrets, and second chances.
Two years ago, while attending a party with her best friend Lexie, Charlotte's life change irrevocably. Trying to move on, Charlotte and her twin brother Will start their freshman year at college together. When Charlotte comes face to face with the two reasons that her friend will never be the same person she once was (Zack and Zan), she doesn't know how to deal with the constant reminder of her painful regret of that night.
Zack and Zan are now at the same college as Lottie. While Zack is still the selfish, egotistical, and cruel guy that he always was, Zan is completely different.
Zan really is what made this book for me. I absolutely adored his quiet intensity. He is a man of little words, but when he does speak, his words are packed with so much emotion and meaning. I loved that he wasn't the typical hero you might find in a NA novel. He wasn't an asshole, though he did have some man-whoring past, but nothing too exaggerated. He is dealing with regrets and trying to move on and change his life for the better. The one thing that hasn't changed for him since high school, are his feeling for Lottie.
"Pretty girl, I will wait for you until the stars burn out."
When he got behind the wheel of the car two years ago with Zack and Lexie, his life changed forever. Now living with the scars, both physical and mental, from his mistake, the last things he expects is to see Lottie again.
Zan and Lottie are forced to face each other on a regular basis because not only do they go to the same college, but they also live in the same dorm. The last thing Zan expects is for her to ever give him the time of day, let alone a chance at forgiveness even though he takes every opportunity to tell her that he's sorry. So he remains quiet and stays out of her way, doing things here and there for the small chance that Lottie might look at him with anything other than resentment or hatred in her eyes.
Little by little he works his way quietly through Charlotte's defenses with coffee cups with poetry quotes, and chance meetings and conversations. As much as Lottie fights her feelings for Zan, you cannot help who your heart picks.
She slowly begins to realize that Zan is nothing like his brother. He's considerate, and caring, loves poetry and shares her passion for books.
While this book isn't as steamy as the books I typically read, it still packed a sexy little punch.
"You know, the French call an orgasm Le petit mort, or little death." He increased his pace with each word and crooked his fingers so they hit the exact spot inside me. My hips reached for his hand and met his every thrust.
I felt like I was dying.
"Come for me, pretty girl. Let yourself die a little," he whispered in my ear as I came around his fingers, crying out."
I really liked all the side characters as well; Will, Trish, Stryker, Audrey, and Simon.
I loved the dynamic between Lottie and Will. Their conversations at times would crack me up.
"Has anyone ever told you that you talk too much? I mean, you really have a problem. You know there's probably like, Talkers Anonymous or something."
"Hi, my name is Lottie and I'm a talker," I said.
"Hi Lottie," Will said, playing along.
"It's been, um, well it hasn't been any time since I last talked, because I'm doing it right now."
Simon, Will's best friend added a lot of fun to the story as well.
"You didn't run into the Brothers of Doom, did you?"
"Is that what we're calling them now?" Simon said. "I thought that we decided on Sons of Assholery.""
I liked every character aside from Katie. If I'm being perfectly honest here, Katie drove me out of my ever loving mind. She was annoying, and at times flat out rude and selfish. Although I felt bad for what happened to her at the end, it still didn't manage to endear me to her in the least. I really don't know how I'm going to stomach reading about her as the heroine in the next book. I really hope that the author gives her a completely personality makeover.
Then of course there was Zack.
Enough said! Zack was the a-hole to beat all a-holes.
I really enjoyed the flow of the story. It sucked me in from the very first page. I loved that the build-up to Lottie and Zan's relationship was slow and very realistic. The first half of this book was filled with humor, fantastic characterization, and sexual tension so thick you could cut it with a knife. I'd rate the first half a solid 5 stars.
The second half wasn't as fantastic as the first. I can't really put my finger on what it was exactly, but it just didn't flow the same. I'd put it somewhere around 4 stars.
Though I have to say, Lottie and Zan together was very sweet to read.