My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This one was hard to read sometimes. Part of me felt like if Belly was going to end up with Conrad, they should have just let her be with Conrad without dragging Jeremiah into it. Belly kept pushing Conrad away, and Conrad kept encouraging her to, until the very end when he finally told her the truth and tried to get her back. And Jeremiah knew the whole time how Belly would always feel about Conrad. I'm annoyed he ignored that for 2 years, and annoyed that he kept pushing their relationship forward while knowing that, but I guess I should he relieved that he finally said enough is enough. Took him long enough.
Conrad. Ugh. This noble idiot stuff really bugs me, especially when it's about a girl who ends up being treated like a possession who is passed back and forth. I get that Conrad was messed up after his mom's death and thought that Jeremiah would be the better, more stable option for Belly, but he didn't have the right to make that decision for her.
I guess you could argue that they needed to go through this horrible and uncomfortable situation to grow up, mature, and truly appreciate one another, but what a painful process. Did Conrad need to see Belly nearly marry his brother in order for him to treasure her? And I still don't get how Belly can go from being let's-break-up angry with Jeremiah to let's-get-married so quickly. That wedding was seriously the worst idea ever.
As for the epilogue, while I appreciate that Belly and Conrad ended up together, it felt like we missed out on the most important part of their story -- how did they get back together? How did they learn to trust and rely on one another? And how in the world was Jeremiah ok with it all? We'll never know, since that was all skimmed over.
I appreciated the Conrad-narrated chapters this time around, since he is such an enigma, and it was always hard to tell how he really felt about Belly.
The main thing I did like about this book was the female relationships. Belly spent so much time in the previous two books obsessing over her relationships with the boys, to the detriment of her development of her female relationships. It was a relief in this book to see her friends with Taylor again and building a new friendship with Anika.
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