Who He Is by Shanora Williams

Who He Is - Shanora Williams
You promised me You’d let it all go.
You swore to put me first, But all I got was your worst.
So where the hell are you?
What the hell are we?
I needed you with me, But you continuously destroyed me.
You promised meeee…so much.

Do these lyrics sound heart aching and incredible? Yes? Great! Please do not read review and read this book. If you thought like me that these lyrics are the kind of emotionless, non-moving, and simply bland that is for some reason topping several of the music lists today, you might want to stay away from this book. Actually even if you said yes, you might want to read this review. Because if the lyrics above was the worst part about this book it wouldn't be so bad. Unfortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Who He Is is another in the list of New Adult that enforces abusive behavior. The story is about Eliza, who's father is manager of the band FireNine, and for the summer Eliza will be following him and the Band on their tour. There's just one problem. Eliza's high school crush Gage is the lead singer of the band. His proximity is stirring up feelings in Eliza that she'd rather keep hidden. But, well, maybe they can find love.

You know. Typical new adult.

It might have been a decent story if not for the awful execution. Where to start. Eliza, maybe, since she made least sense of all. She' one of the biggest hypocrites in town. She also can't make up her mind. To begin with, Eliza makes a big deal about how guys like Gage disgusts her. Guys like Gage being men who sleeps with a woman one night and the next day pretend they don't know the woman. He did this since high school and Eliza saw it all. Yet she wants him to notice her.

Too bad I started looking nicer after Gage graduated. Maybe he would’ve noticed me in school.

and at the same time

I couldn’t get down with a guy who would sleep with a girl just for the hell of it and then forget about her.

So she was disgusted by him, but wanted him to notice her. Okay, bed self-esteem, I can deal with that. Don't know if that's what the author aimed for, but that's how it came off. Then, let's see what Eliza thinks of the women Gage sleeps with, in the present.

I knew what he was doing in the restrooms, most likely in a stall with the blond whore he knew nothing about.

Yep. A random girl who wanted to have sex with Gage and went after him is a whore. Simple as that, right? No. She's a girl who wanted sex and went after it. That's not a whore. Not even close. And oh, did I mention the next thought of Eliza?

How could he just do that to himself? What if she carried a disease? I knew he was low, but I didn’t think he would go as low as having sex with a completely random girl.

Because the girl, who Eliza knows nothing about, might carry a disease. Not, you know, the guy who sleeps with a different girl every night. Who's more likely to have a disease, really? I think Eliza needs to get down from her high horse and realize women can have sex as much as they like and be responsible for themselves. That's really more than I can say for Gage, but I'll come to that in a sec. First I need to mention that Eliza refers to the women Gage hooks up with as whores or skanks, but Gage's best friend can't call the women "bitches". Because Eliza has class, so she can call them that, but not Montana. Please, Eliza, just shut up.

As for Gage. I'll just say if you find guys who cheats on their girlfriend, treats women as replaceable objects, and sexually harasses women, you might like him. Other than that, you know shit about this guy. Okay, there's a backstory to him, but that one doesn't make sense in the least. The timeline for it is messed up and highly implausible, but it contains abused family members and a heart surgery which is impossible due to several reasons such as age and others.

Worth mentioning is how abuse is dealt with in this story. Which is not at all, really. Eliza was victim of abuse. A band member is being a victim to abuse from Eliza's dad's boyfriend, and said boyfriend himself a victim of abuse. The abuse the band member is under is barely mentioned and certainly not dealt with in any manner. And Eliza's history of abuse is barely touched upon except when she and Gage needs to have a deep conversation to make it seem as if they have chemistry, which they haven't. For heaven's sake, when are authors going to realize abuse isn't a story device but a real fucking issue?

One main problem, though, might be the writing. It's flawed in so many ways, making the story disjointed. The plot is inconsistent as well as the characters (especially Eliza with her view on Gage). Things get unclear and mixed up that throws the reader off. Perhaps if the writing improved the story might get better. Not the characters, which are awful, but the actual story. There were some sentences that were just difficult to read. Such as:

The nightmare I had wasn’t pleasant.

My eyes stretched, heat bombarding my stomach.

His body glued to my backside was only enticing me to bury my hips deeper against his groin, causing him to growl pleasantly.

My heart throbbed and a trickle of heat ran from my throat to my stomach as he tilted my chin up with his forefinger.

here was some blood on the white sheets and I gasped, thinking maybe there really was a cherry down there.

And that's just a few. I won't go much deeper into this. It's simple: Eliza was terrible, the story disjointed, bad writing, and clichés everywhere. (I mean, traumatized, experienced rockstar and abused, virgin heroine? never heard that one before.)