I have to start by saying this is one of my strangest reviews. I don't mean the book was strange, I really mean my review is strange. I'm giving this book five stars because it is some truly epic type ish BUT this was not the book for me. My rating is an attempt to be entirely objective and remove my personal bias' from my evaluation. I'm going to start by telling you why I think this book is worth five stars and end by telling you why despite that fact, I still didn't really like it.
Thick Love is #2 in the Thin Love series. You don't have to start with Thin Love to read this book but I've heard great things about that one so you might want to pick it up at some point. The Hero in this book, Ransom, is actually the 18 year old son of the main characters from Thin Love. The first reason for my rating of this book is for the depiction of Ransom. The author builds this extremely complex character with some of the most interesting layers that I have EVER read in a character. Ransom, even at his very young age, has already suffered a tremendous loss and is grappling with the kind of guilt that can really choke the life out of you. It is in this context that Ransom begins the chapter of his life that features Aly.
When we meet Aly in the book, she is a 17 year old escapee from an emotionally abusive home. In an interesting twist, Ransom and Aly don't get together right away even though Aly is immediately attracted to Ransom. Instead, it is two years before a relationship between the couple starts and it is in the interim that Ransom becomes the person that Aly has to learn to love. For a reader like me, Aly is the best part of this book. Aly was strong but open. Aly was the perfect person to heal Ransom without losing herself which was a feat (trust me).
This book is epic because you will never ever forget these characters. You will never forget this story or the depth of the emotion the author is able to convey. Your love for Ransom will be rivaled only by your revulsion of his behavior. The "thick" part of this book is the incredible level of angst woven into the story as a result of Ransom's POV. Ransom's guilt and contempt for himself were almost overwhelming at parts but very human. It's just...this is a book where you FEEL everything, you are not reading the story, you are living it.
Now let me just briefly tell you why the book was not for me: The characters were too young and their reactions to the world reflected a lack of life experience. The "thickness" of the angst got to be overwhelming. At times this book can make you feel like you can't breath. Whether you appreciate that depends entirely on how much you value breathing. Last but not least, before Ransom is with Aly, he is with other women and that is conveyed to us in explicit detail. I jussssst don't like that. Wait, one more thing, the epilogue was completely confusing. I guess you have to read the next book to make sense of what happened between the last page of the story and the epilogue. It's not a cliffhanger, there is just a lost period of time that needs explaining.
So at the end of the day, if you are looking for a compelling emotional journey that will grip you and hold you until the last word on the last page, this is the book for you. If you are like me, read the reasons this wasn't the book for me and decide if you want to take this journey anyway.
**ARC provided by As the Pages Turn**