Title: Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame
DIMILY Trilogy Book One
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Love is everything but expected.
Eden Monro came to California for a summer of sun, sand and celebrities – what better way to forget about the drama back home? Until she meets her new family of strangers: a dad she hasn’t seen in three years, a stepmonster and three stepbrothers.
Eden gets her own room in her dad’s fancy house in Santa Monica. A room right next door to her oldest stepbrother, Tyler Bruce. Whom she cannot stand. He’s got angry green eyes and ego bigger than a Beverly Hills mansion. She’s never felt such intense dislike for someone. But the two are constantly thrown together as his group of friends pull her into their world of rule-breaking, partying and pier-hanging.
And the more she tries to understand what makes Tyler burn hotter than the California sun, the more Eden finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn’t…
Did I Mention I Love You? is the addictive first book in Wattpad sensation Estelle Maskame’s DIMILY trilogy: three unforgettable summers of secrets, heartbreak and forbidden romance.
Did I Mention I Love You? is the first installment in Estelle Maskame’s DIMILY trilogy. This young adult novel centers around Eden Munro and her forbidden relationship with her new stepbrother, Tyler Bruce. Since they have just met, the romance between them does not really cross over into taboo territory, but some readers might find this aspect of the storyline a little on the squeamish side.
Eden Munro has mixed feelings about spending the summer with her long absent father, but needing a break from an unpleasant situation with two of her friends, she decides to take him up on his offer. Dreading a summer of babysitting her stepbrothers, she is delighted to discover the boys are not the toddlers she envisioned. While she likes the two younger brothers right from the beginning, Eden is not quite so enamored by her introduction to seventeen year old Tyler. Rude, brooding and angry, Tyler seems to enjoy pushing everyone’s buttons and his out of control behavior alienates him from the rest of the family.
Eden is a difficult character to like. She is a little too whiny and a HUGE pushover when it comes to her new friends and Tyler. She has serious issues with her dad and although her animosity is understandable, she does little to clear the air between them. Instead her resentment simmers in the background only to spill over in angry outbursts when she finds herself in trouble for some of her irresponsible behavior. Her instant dislike and snap judgment of her stepmother is also a irritating considering her parents have been divorced for three years. While she has good reason for her bitterness, Eden really did not think through her decision to spend two months with a father she dislikes and an unfamiliar stepfamily.
Tyler is an absolute mess and he crosses the line from charming bad boy into just plain old bad pretty much right from the start. He is completely unmanageable and his contempt for his mother’s and stepfather’s attempts to curb his deplorable (not to mention illegal) behavior quickly becomes tiresome and repetitive. He is trouble with a capital T and he is just plain toxic to anyone unfortunate enough to get caught up in his orbit. Neither the brief glimpses of Tyler’s charm and sweetness nor the reason for his illicit activities are enough to redeem him.
Eden, Tyler and their friends do little other than hit one party after another for pretty much the entire eight weeks of Eden’s visit. Sure, there are a few shopping and sightseeing trips thrown into the storyline, but even then, their conversations gravitate to their next party. The ease in which they can obtain booze is mindboggling and the fact that many of their parents are in the house while the teenagers are boozing it up is astounding. Equally astonishing is the lack of punishment when the kids stay out all night, break curfew or come home wasted.
Despite these issues, Did I Mention I Love You? is a well-written novel. For the most part, it is fast-paced and engaging although the story hits a bit of a lull in the middle. Tyler might have been a more sympathetic character if the reasons behind his behavior had been revealed earlier in the story and Eden would have been more likable if she had been able to withstand peer pressure even the tiniest bit. This first installment in Estelle Maskame’s DIMILY trilogy is a little overly dramatic and somewhat unrealistic, but it is definitely a compelling read that I recommend to older teen and adult readers due to the underage drinking and drug use.