Release date: December 1st 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
*Publisher approved request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
After reading the blurb, I knew going into the story there would be romantic feelings between the step-siblings, I just wasn't expecting it to be so intense and that I wouldn't be uncomfortable at all. In fact, I rooted for Tyler and Eden in spite of the situation, and I think that has a lot to do with their characters and how much they pulled me in. The author created these two teenagers with their own individual issues, on top of being drawn into a new family structure they didn't want to deal with.
Eden came to Santa Monica for the summer after her father's "invite", but really she just wanted to escape her life in Portland for a while, no matter if she hadn't forgiven her father for walking out on her mother. There was a lot of tension and awkwardness that Eden's father wouldn't address, instead he did his best to sweep his past issues under the rug and pretend like everything was all merry, but he was all too high and mighty when it came to handling Tyler. I didn't like him at all, and it got worse when it turned out who really wanted Eden to visit Santa Monica.
Eden felt like her father traded her in for his new family, only she came to realize that his new family had problems of their own. One step-brother in particular kept stirring up trouble: Tyler.
At first she was put off by Tyler and his rebellious behavior. She all but written him off as a lost cause until she discovered that his issues were deeper than she thought. Tyler's activities began to worry Eden, and no matter how hard he tried to put up a facade and pushed her concerns away, Eden continued trying to help Tyler. For reasons beyond her understanding, she found herself wanting to understand him and the pain he was suppressing with those terrible methods.
In no time both discovered their intense feelings for each other and things became even more complicated. They tried real hard to put an end to it but their hearts just wouldn't comply. And what I liked a lot about the story was that while their feelings were growing, there were other things going on. Like the way both characters were unraveling and I was learning a lot more about them as the story moved along. There were things addressed towards the end that answered questions I had, and of course, Tyler's lunatic girlfriend kept things exciting on the crazy side when some parts were getting too serious for me.
To conclude, it was an intriguing story with likable characters. The writing's great and I loved the summery setting. I could feel the warmth seeping from the pages. No lie. Santa Monica is now on my bucket list as one of the places I want to visit.
However, in regards to the supporting characters, I would have liked to get to know the other friend more, Meghan. Was that her name? She often seemed distracted with her crush but it would have been nice to have her spend more time with Eden without Rachel or Tiffany. I wish I could have felt the presence of Tyler's little brothers more as well. But those things didn't really take away from me enjoying the story anyway, because my focus was mainly on how Eden and Tyler's relationship would play out.
I must say, Did I Mention I Love You? turned out to be quite an interesting surprise. To be honest, at first I really didn't think I'd like it so much because the opening was a little off for me, but as it progressed these characters had me seriously seeing things from their perspective and it made me wonder what I would have done if I were in the same situation. I look forward to reading the next book and I cannot wait to see how Eden and Tyler cope while being alone in the big apple.