Collide by Gail McHugh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Emily Cooper is a recent college grad who moves to New York to be near her boyfriend who supported her through her mother's terminal illness and passing. She comes to realize that her boyfriend Dillon isn't really the person she thought he was, but she feels tied him by guilt and what she believes is love. Emily meets Gavin Blake, who it turns out she should have met earlier. They have an undeniable attraction, but Emily is attempting to stay faithful to her relationship with Dillon even as he proves to be more controlling and abusive by the day. Gavin, on the other hand, appears to be nothing short of perfection. And he wants Emily. Bad.
At the beginning of the book I struggled with the dialogue a little. It felt a little unrealistic to me. That faded fast, and before I knew it, I was enjoying the characters, the story, and everything seemed to flow nicely. I loved the supporting cast of friends: Olivia, Trevor, and Fallon. All of the supporting characters are intertwined in some way. Olivia is Emily's best friend and current and former college roommate. Trevor is Olivia's brother and good friend of Gavin, and friend and co-worker of Dillon. Fallon is a new friend of Emily's and she becomes Trevor's love interest. One really interesting thing about this book is seeing how each of the supporting characters deal with Dillon's abuse of Emily. Olivia hates Dillon and is very clear about her opinion that Emily should get rid of him. Trevor has conflicting feelings because he cares about Emily, but also considers Dillon a friend. His conflicted feelings, and then dealing with the outcomes of his choices is one of the things I liked about this book. It was a little messy, but it felt real.
It is great ti see Emily finally find her way to her own strength, and make her way to decisions she can live with. It is really hard to experience this story with her while she made choices I didn't agree with. We are left with a cliff-hanger ending, but even though there is a lot we don't know, what we do know is encouraging. I can't wait for the next in the series!
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