Side by Side is the first book that I have read by Wendy Louise and it is also the first book in her Side by Side series. This book is a standalone, and the next book in the series will be about characters that the reader first meets in this story. While there were a lot of things that I liked about this story, I also had some problems with it. I am curious to read the next book, but I hope that things are a bit different in the next book.
Katy Lou has been dating Jacob on and off for two years, and while she loves him she is no longer in love with him. Things between them are comfortable, bu Katy still loves her childhood best friend Elijah Trent. Katy and Elijah had always looked out for one another, and they knew that the love between them would get them through anything. But things changed for them both when Elijah suddenly left with no word to Katy when they were fourteen. When Katy and her boyfriend Jacob go to an underground fight, she is surprised to see Elijah fighting. Katy and Elijah begin to reconnect and they both realize that the love and connection between them is stronger than ever, but is it enough to risk leaving behind a comfortable life for Katy?
I liked Katy and Elijah a lot. The connection and chemistry between these two was amazing. You could see and feel the love between them right from the start, and it was clear that these two were meant for each other. Elijah and Katy had both had a tough childhood, but they had each other to make things better. If it wasn't for the other, their childhoods would have been completely miserable. But when Elijah was forced to leave, it broke both of their hearts. I felt badly for both of them, but was so glad that they were able to reconnect and everything was explained. Katy and Elijah might have been separated for years, but their relationship picked up right where they left off and it felt really natural.
My problems with this story weren't the characters. I loved Elijah and Katy, and I really liked their friends. I am looking forward to reading Mindy and Caleb's story next! But I did have some issues with how this one was written. As I was reading words and phrases seemed off, and I couldn't figure out why the dialogue was so weird at times. All the characters lived in and were from the US, and yet it almost seemed as though they spoke as though from another country. That is when I went searching and found out that the author is Australian. I think that this book could have been much better if it would have been gone through by an editor that pointed out some of those odd wordings. That was relatively minor, but still threw me off and hurt my enjoyment of the story. My biggest issue with this story is that it seemed as though the author was determined to throw every single cliche for drama into this story, and it was beyond predictable. After the first few things happened, I got extremely frustrated and I couldn't believe that each time things would get resolved a new and ridiculous problem would pop up for them. It just got to be too cliched and over the top, and it was unbelievable. I do think that this story could have been really good, but unfortunately beyond the great characters and story potential, there wasn't anything new or different here. If this one wouldn't have tried to throw in everything and the kitchen sink I think it would have been a much more enjoyable story.
**Review Copy Provided by Inkslinger PR**