Blythe's Reviews > So Close to You

So Close to You by Rachel Carter
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WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD

Instances like this make me want to curl up in a corner and cry. When I first read the synopsis for So Close to You, I was definitely intrigued. Right away, this book became one of my highly anticipated reads of the year. I thought it would be amazing. I thought it would be thrilling. I thought it would be that type of book that I would read in one sitting because I wouldn't be able it down. What I didn't think, however, was how incredibly wrong I would be.

In So Close to You, Lydia Bentley has grown up listening to her grandfather's theories of the mysterious Montauk Project, and the even more mysterious disappearance of her great-grandfather. While she's a skeptic on the existence of the Montauk Project, Lydia Bentley agrees to go hunting for clues of her great-grandfather's disappearance in Camp Hero, the alleged foundation of the Montauk Project. But what happens to Lydia is something that turns her skepticism on its head, as she's transported back in time to 1944 - the year her great-grandfather disappeared.

There's only so many cliches, tropes, conveniences and coincidences I can tolerate when reading a book, and should a book cross that line of toleration, you can bet your wallet that I'd be irritated. So Close to You crossed that line. No, scratch that. So Close to You vaulted miles and miles over that line. So Close to You is so far past the line that it can't even see the line anymore. Just read the synopsis I provided:

[...] she's transported back in time to 1944 - the year her great-grandfather disappeared.

Oh, but not only is she transported to the same year her great-grandfather disappears, but she's transported to the same week her great-grandfather disappears! And with no explanation as to why she transported to that particular year, at that particular moment. It was just random. How convenient!

Oh, she meets a mysterious and broody boy who's been watching her and is always there when Lydia's in trouble, "as if he has a radar that knows when she's in trouble"? How original!

What? Lydia and Wes Broody Boy declare their love for each other after interacting no more than five times? *smack!* You hear that? That's the sound of this book's originality slapping me in the face.

The main character is incredibly dull and uninteresting, yet she has not one, but two incredibly gorgeous boys vying for her affection? WHOA. THE ORIGINALITY. IT'S SO IMMENSE.

And so brings me to my next thing to rant about topic: the insta-love and love triangle, which apparently is mandatory for YA books to have. I don't understand the relationships in this book. I don't understand what both of the boys think is so special about Lydia. Part one of the love triangle is Wes, or, as I've called him so far in this review, Broody Boy. Oooh, he's mysterious! He has secrets! He's also made of cardboard. We're given absolutely no character development when it comes to Wes for the majority of So Close to You, and when we are actually provided with a shred of character development, it turns out to be just that: a shred. Then, of the five (at most) times Lydia and Wes interact (two of which they actually have a full conversation in, the others they say a few words and Wes goes away), they come to the conclusion that they're falling in love with each other. Then, shortly after Lydia comes to the revelation that she's in love with Wes (and even before she realizes that she's in love with him), she can't stop thinking of him. Everywhere she goes, at least something reminds her of him. Then we're given two pages of Lydia just gushing out her extreme love for Wes to one of her friends, Mary:

[...] "he [Wes] keeps showing up when I need him. I don't know how he does it, it's like he has this radar or something."

It could be that he has some sort of magical radar that only detects when you're in trouble... Or it could be that he's stalking you, and he knows whenever you're in trouble because he's always watching you... Y'know, just a possibility... (But this magical device theory is coming from the girl who jumped to the conclusion that she's travelled in time because a particular hallway that was dirty an hour ago is now clean. Logic: something this girl lacks.)

[...] "and I feel like I could be myself around him."

Like I mentioned a little earlier in this review, you've only had a full conversation with him twice. You haven't really had a chance to "be yourself around him."

[...] "and there's something dark and dangerous about him, but there are these moments where I see something deeper inside of him. He's capable of so much more than he thinks he is."

Ah, yes. Because who would know what he's capable of more than a girl he's spoken to twice? (And if I see the word 'dangerous' used to describe a love interest again, something will be thrown.)

Is the gushing over yet?

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Chuck Testa

[...] "and sometimes I look at him and our eyes lock and it's like I'm physically incapable of pulling away."

Seriously, just... just shut up. For the sake of readers, for the sake the person you're talking to in the book, hell, for the sake of humanity, just shut up.

And to all of this obsessing, Mary replies with:

"All that in just a few days?"

YES. THANK YOU.

*sigh* Okay... Moving on...

Part two of the love triangle is Lucas, who is a sergeant at Camp Hero. Lucas finds Lydia at Camp Hero when she's transported into 1944, and brings her to safety. Coincidentally, Lucas is very close with - wait for it... The Bentleys! (AKA, Lydia's family.) Once again, how convenient! There's not much to rant about when it comes to Lucas, or him and Lydia's relationship (view spoiler), because their relationship was actually given some development. Of course, it was still insta-love, but it was given much more development than Lydia and Wes' relationship.

Other than the mediocre at best characters (with the exception of Mary, who I really, really liked), the writing is startlingly amateur, and the plot is so predictable and boring. I went into So Close to You with some apprehension, because most if not all of the negative reviews this book's received has said it's boring. However, when those reviewers said that they thought So Close to You was boring, I assumed that was because Lydia was going around and experiencing what life is like in the '40's, and they were bored by that. I have absolutely no problem with that, and in fact, one of my favorite books of all time is 11/22/63 by Stephen King, and a very large portion of that book is just experiencing life in the past. However, the book wasn't boring because all Lydia did was experience life in the '40's. In fact, she doesn't do that at all. This book is boring, because it's just. plain. boring. There's no other way around it - barely anything happens, and when something actually does happen in the last twenty five percent, it's anticlimactic and still boring.

And I suppose the ending's supposed to be tragic, and I'm supposed to feel for the characters, and I'm supposed to care about what will happen to them in the next book, but that's just it: I don't. I don't care about the characters, the story, anything. I just. don't. care.
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Reading Progress

08/06/2012
15.0% "Risking your life so you can write an article for your school's newspaper.

Ah, the logic of Lydia Bentley."
08/06/2012
18.0% "As Lydia is running through a large building, she realizes a particular hallway that was filthy an hour ago is now clean. Immediately, Lydia jumps to the conclusion that she's travelled in time.

Yeah, because that sounds reasonable... I mean, who cleans anymore?

" 4 comments
08/06/2012
19.0% "There's a sound behind me. I whip around. The boy I was trying to escape stands in the doorway, silently.

... So, he made a sound, yet he's standing in the doorway silently?

" 3 comments
08/07/2012
36.0% "No! There will not be a love triangle! No! Bad book! Bad! *spritzes with water*" 2 comments
08/08/2012
66.0% ""I might be falling in love with him." Is this true? Could I be falling in love with Wes?

NO."
08/08/2012
66.0% ""[...] he keeps showing up when I need him. I don't know how he does it, it's like he has this radar or something."

Or he could be stalking you. Y'know. Just another possibility."
08/08/2012
66.0% ""[...] I feel like I can be myself around him."

You've seen him no more than five times. Of those five times, you've only really had a full conversation in two. You haven't really had a chance to "be yourself around him.""
08/08/2012
66.0% "[...] and sometimes I look at him and our eyes lock and it's like I'm physically incapable of pulling away."

Oh dear lord, just shut. up!"
08/09/2012
81.0% "Was that supposed to be some sort of shocking revelation?" 2 comments
08/09/2012
87.0% " OMG who the hell cares? Pictures, Images and Photos"

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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Blythe You really didn't. And you're so lucky you missed out on the ending. It is of the worst endings I've ever read in my life and I'm raging.


message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda The Book Slayer You need a good rant review every once and a while. I think I am about due for one myself. I have a feeling that book will be Boyfriend From Hell. *shakes head* that did not go so well for me.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I was looking forward to this book. My faith is wavering...


message 4: by Blythe (last edited Aug 09, 2012 07:18PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Blythe Amanda wrote: "You need a good rant review every once and a while. I think I am about due for one myself. I have a feeling that book will be Boyfriend From Hell. *shakes head* that did not go so well for me."

I agree. I haven't had my rant review in a while though (or at least it feels like a while). Though I still haven't reviewed Starcrossed yet, and that's probably going to end up being a rant review.

Ashleigh Paige wrote: "Technically, I didn't miss the ending. When I get ahold of print copies of stinkers now, I have this strange habit of flipping to the last page or last few pages. This book's ending is a textbook e..."

Yeah, I think I'm done with FFF's books. I wasn't the biggest fan of I Am Number Four, and I'm sure if I read it now I'll hate it, and I definitely wasn't a fan of this book. And how horrible was that ending? Ugh. I'm still pissed off about it.


Blythe Lyn wrote: "I was looking forward to this book. My faith is wavering..."

I don't think you'll end up liking it, but if you choose to read it I look forward to seeing what you think of it!


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Blythe wrote: "Lyn wrote: "I was looking forward to this book. My faith is wavering..."

I don't think you'll end up liking it, but if you choose to read it I look forward to seeing what you think of it!"


This is so cheesy of me, but I love the name Lydia, and the cover is so beautiful. If I get in the mood, I'll look it over.


Blythe I do, too, Lyn. After all, it was the cover that attracted me to this book in the first place. Unfortunately, the cover is probably the best thing about this book.


message 8: by Valeria (new) - added it

Valeria This just reinforces my belief that time travel should be left to the Doctor.

That cover is so beautiful though. Why is it that the most ghastly books get the best covers ?


Blythe I agree. I haven't read many books that deal with time travel (I think the only ones I've read are this and 11/22/63, and I love that book so, so much). And I definitely agree about beautiful covers hiding awful books.


message 10: by Valeria (new) - added it

Valeria I've haven't read 11/22/63 but it sounds really good and I'd like to read at least one time travel book that doesn't completely suck. Hopefully this will be the one.


message 11: by HєllyBєlly (new)

HєllyBєlly Broody Boy. Oooh, he's mysterious! He has secrets! He's also made of cardboard.

Thanks for the review. Gave me a giggle with my morning coffee.


message 12: by Deija (new) - added it

Deija Ur review made me laugh but also I'll probably read this book just because it's supposed to be bad ;)


message 13: by Rena (new)

Rena Where are the alien reptilians at? Camp Hero is like uber scary and I have doubt the writer even bothered to visit that place or read the books about this shit.


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