I respect the effort that any writer goes to to come up with 400 pages of story. But that respect doesn't mean automatic praise. Even though I imagine it must be painful for an author to read negative reviews of a work they've slaved over, I'm in the business of writing honest reviews. No holds barred.
I can actually sum this book up rather nicely in two words: saccharine rubbish. However, two words does not a review make so I'll expand.
The book actually started off quite decently. Bryn (which is Welsh for "hill", by the way, and which is also a boy's name here in Wales) had some gumption and I was intrigued by her mysterious past. When William, the rather obvious love-interest turned up, I liked the little sparks caused by the clash of personalities. Bryn was narrow-minded and judgemental, but I was willing to forgive that as I assumed her icy presumption was going to be due to her past and a part of the story.
Nope. It was like someone flipped a switch and turned her character from a snarky, smart college student to a love-sick puppy within a matter of pages. Here, for your enjoyment, are a few of my "favourite" and especially sickly pieces of dialogue:
"I knew what I'd been born into this world for, and he was staring back at me."
"Once you've lived in nothing but darkness, when a light suddenly shines through - even the faintest glimmer - it's all you see, all you focus on, and the only thing you live for."
"Seeing you freed me from the clutches of the darkness in my mind."
"It was the kind of love that never gave you a moment's doubt. The kind of love that you knew, if you were not allowed to be with the object of it, you would choose to be with no one at all. The kind of love that would make everything you'd ever done, or would do, pale horridly in comparison, It was beyond comprehension and far beyond words."
Oh...wait a second. I just threw up in my mouth a little.
The most poignant part of the above would be the "far beyond words" part. For something beyond words, Williams uses a lot of them to constantly reiterate the fact that Bryn and William's love is so sweet it'll make your teeth hurt. Furthermore, I remember reading somewhere (maybe in Stephen King's On Writing) that nothing should be beyond the power of words for a writer.
Now, if you shove aside the thin characters, Bryn's ridiculously tedious self-deprecation, the corny dialogue, the cheesy situations and the fact that William is not only a stalker, but also is apparently a three hundred year old virgin, there is one thing which sealed the lid on the little pot of contempt I have for this dreadful book. It is a book which is about having a boyfriend.
I can think of no redeeming feature of the book as a whole, other than it offers me the rare opportunity to post a review which results in a rating of half a star. I think this is the first time I've ever had to do that. If I didn't have reviews to write, I don't think I would have managed to slog my way through to the end of this dismal piece of badness.