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Thursday, October 22, 2015

ARC Review: One Life by A.J. Pine

One Life is the second book in A.J. Pine's New Adult series, Only You. It can easily be read as a standalone, though the characters of the series are interconnected. Don't worry about being lost if you start here though as it isn't necessary to read the previous book to understand this story. 

Zoe Adler has been forced to deal with a lot more than most people ever have to. Every time that something happens, she finds herself changing her appearance in order to try and cope. Hair color changes as well as piercings and tattoos are the way she chooses to try and move forward and leave the pain behind. But when she loses her younger brother, her friend Spock (real name Zack) returns home to be by her side. Though Zoe liked him before he left with his band on tour, nothing ever happened beyond friendship. But now that he is back, she knows that she still wants him as much as ever. Zack knows that Zoe needs help even if she isn't willing to ask for it, and having been in need of help himself he tries his hardest to help her. But is she willing to accept what is really going on and get the help she needs before she loses Zack for good? 

I had a hard time connecting with Zack and Zoe here. Not that they weren't likable, I just found them hard to relate to. I felt like we really didn't get to know them that well here, and it seemed to be more about what was currently going on in their lives rather than about who each of them were as individuals and as the couple that they were trying to become. These two clearly had a friendship and knew one another from before Zack had gone on tour, but they didn't talk much while he was gone and spent huge chunks of time apart. They didn't really know one another, and there was a lot to each of them that they didn't share with one another. I felt like these two had some really huge problems and communication was definitely one of them. Beyond that though, I never really saw a relationship develop here beyond a physical one. With the time they spent apart and their relationship turning physical so fast, it really felt as though they had skipped a bunch of really important steps. 

While I wanted to believe in these two, I just wasn't ever able to fully get behind their relationship. I didn't see the connection that supposedly changed from friendship to love beyond them becoming lovers, and I really wish that we had seen more depth there. I wanted to see them falling in love, not just see them having sex and saying they were falling in love. I just didn't believe it and felt like it never really happened. The other thing that bothered me here was that it seemed like almost every single person in this story was broken in some way, and it got to be a huge downer! There were addicts of all sorts all over the place here, and there was a lot of depression and not dealing with feelings. I was glad to see them all recovering or accepting their problems and showing growth and healing here, but I just felt like it was a bit too much with the amount of characters having similar issues in this book. By the time I got done reading this book I was so emotionally drained and felt like I had been through a long and depressing battle that I didn't really feel like had much of a point. Though the ending was good on some levels, it also was a bit unsatisfying because I still didn't 100% believe that these two really knew each other well enough to have the connection that they said they did. I wanted more show rather than just tell, and I just didn't see it.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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