Unforeseen Love by Taylor Dawson

If there is just one thing I can be grateful to this book for, it’s making me realize how happy I am to no longer be in high school, and during a time when social media reigns supreme. Although, the flip-side of this is it also made me realize how old I am to be totally flummoxed by the things kids do nowadays. Why, back in my day…!

What’s it About?

Love. Trust. Loyalty. Unforeseen Love is intriguingly dramatic with a shocking twist…

Ever since freshman year at Ocean Shores High, Alex Lovell has been tormented by rich heiress Cynthia Higgs -the most popular girl in school, along with her clique of friends who are known by everyone as “the In Group.” Powerless and miserable, Alex has always envied Cynthia’s popularity and hopelessly crushed on her handsome quarterback boyfriend, Rick McCullin. Now come senior year, Alex finally gets what she wants in the most unexpected way and her perspective drastically changes. Ultimately this influences her to go on an adventure of love that not only changes her life forever, but also puts her in an unthinkable situation of grave danger.

Will Alex be able to handle her new life? And even more, will she manage to keep both herself and her love alive?

First Impressions

The primary pitfall of this book is that it tried too hard to be too many things. From a cautionary high-school tale detailing the torments of bullying, to a passionate romance with a celebrity, finally culminating in a mini-horror story of revenge, it felt as though three very distinct novels were shoved together into one. Sure, the characters were primarily the same from start to finish, and a few details of the initial high-school storyline came back to make a reappearance in our “trapped-in-a-house-with-no-escape” tale at the end, but everything was left feeling far too disjointed rather than a cohesive read. Considering this was a fairly lengthy read at over 400 pages, I almost think the progression of events could have benefitted from being cut down the middle into two books. High school bullying focus for book one, moving on with unexpected celebrity encounter for book two. And I guess, throw in the psychotic revenge story wherever it fits best? Or…honestly maybe just toss it aside entirely. As it stands, there’s too much going on in one read, especially when we realize that all of the events are supposed to have taken place over the span of just under a year.

Reality Presented in Unrealistic Ways

There are some books you read that are so engaging you can’t put them down. Others you find yourself needing to take a break from time to time, putting the book down so you can catch your breath. Whether it be from an overly intense read, or one so steamy that it’s literally too hot to handle. Unfortunately, I regularly found myself having to take a break from this book for another reason: frustration. Many of the scenarios, dialogue, and even the actions of our female lead simply extended too far beyond the realm of believability. This was definitely disappointing seeing as the book really is trying to highlight some crucial issues for discussion, including bullying and escaping toxic relationships. However, the execution of how these important topics were presented is where the let-down came in.

The unbelievable nature of the read starts off pretty immediately, shortly after we discover that Alex is being harshly bullied by a clique of popular high school kids, in particular by the leader of the crew, Cynthia. This torment and torture has been going on for years, yet upon receiving a pool party invite to Cynthia’s house, Alex is willing to show up even while acknowledging that some kind of vicious prank must be behind the invite. When she pulls up to Cynthia’s street to find a bunch of her classmates entering the mansion dressed in their best formal-wear, Alex admits to herself that she’s been duped. Rather than drive home for a quiet night with her true friends, she proceeds to go into the house in her casual pool party attire amidst the rich teens in their flashy tuxes and fancy dresses. She subsequently goes along every step of the way as Cynthia and her minions slowly carry out their excruciatingly obvious plan of humiliating Alex by giving her a hideous makeover, and convincing her put on an ugly dress for an impromptu fashion show for their classmates. It’s possible this slow build was utilized in an attempt to build the suspense of the prank, but instead it kept building the level of frustration as we wonder why Alex would have ever exited her car in the first place, or why our villains never attempted even a little bit to camouflage their dubious intent.

We’re never really provided with a realistic justification or explanation for why she went along with their ministrations, or why they were so intent on making her life miserable, and this is just the teeniest of examples of the countless ways our characters will engage in inexplicable behavior that will only leave you scratching your head in confusion. As the novel progresses we see Alex constantly ignore blatant red flags for avoiding troublesome situations, and also declare her love for men she’s only known for a hot second. In addition, each and every authority figure will push aside concerning issues involving teenagers in a way that makes no sense, wealthy characters will only refer to their large houses as “mansions”, and women are only referred to as “chicks”. The fact we aren’t really presented with any likable characters in the midst of so many outlandish scenarios meant I constantly found myself needing to take a break from this read, and sadly it became increasingly difficult to want to pick it back up again.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Stand-alone? This book ends so abruptly, practically mid-scene, that you can’t really tell if there is supposed to be a sequel, or if it was an attempt at an intense ending.

Final impressions: Overall this book just wasn’t my cup of tea, even though there was definite potential for an engaging read highlighting the issues that teenagers encounter nowadays. Unfortunately there were too many story-lines going on, many of which didn’t seem to have any clear resolution. Our characters also found themselves in endless confrontations and scrapes that could have been avoided, or were too unbelievable in their execution that you can’t help but leave feeling frustrated. There were parts of the celebrity romance tale I did enjoy, but it almost felt out of place being book-ended by two other exaggerated plot points.

Smut Level: For a high-school tale there are certainly some steamy and even X-rated adult scenes involved, including a sex tape.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. 415 Pages.

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