Collide by Gail McHugh

Collide - Gail McHugh

Girl with boyfriend moves to boyfriend's city. Girl meet boyfriend's best friend, one of the most sought after bachelors in New York City. Girl falls in love with said best friend. Girl can't make up her mind, cheating on both of them in her adventure toward deciding who to stay with. Girl continues to be unable to make up her mind.

I must say, I might be stretching it by saying that description would fit into Thoughtless when in reality, this would match with almost any romance story with a love-triangle. Nevertheless, having read Thoughtless and this, Collide, I can't help but compare the two. It's been a while since I readThoughtless and I'm sure that if I read it now I would probably give it two stars rather than three. The problem withThoughtless, for me, was how much it dragged on and that Keira couldn't make up her mind. But at least I believed her. I believed her reasons for staying with her boyfriend, and why she was so confused.

I do not for a second buy that Emily, our heroine in this one, had any reason to stay with her boyfriend. These stories are strikingly similar: both deals with a young woman moving to a new city while trying to stay with her boyfriend, but finds herself drawn to the boyfriend's friend, because, you know, he's hot. And they also happen to share similar pasts regarding their families. Where Thoughtless drove me insane for Keira's selfishness by lying to both her love interests, Emily was plain dumb. Even when her current boyfriend, Dillon, treats her like crap, she makes excuses. Even when it's obvious he's cheating, she stays with him. Even when he physically hurt her, she stays with him. Whereas her new interest, Gavin, is nothing but kind and loving toward her.

Fine, abusive relationship, it's not that uncommon. The thing is though, that he wasn't, or so I believe, quite this bad before the beginning of the book. Then he was normal, with the problem of being a cheater, but still. Emily loved him for some reason. A reason the reader never understand. The moment when I was supposed to understand, oh, that's why she loves him never appeared. It was glaringly missing. Why Emily then chose to stay with him, even when he treated her like shit, when her friends warned her off, when every details screamed at her to leave him, she stayed.

I'm not opposed to unlikable characters. Gone Girl, anyone? I don't need characters to like to like a book, but I want to understand them. Given that Dillon, the anti-hero, was the only character with explainable emotions didn't help things. And, in a close to 400 pages story (according to GoodReads), there's a point when I simply don't give a damn anymore if the heroine is that stupid. Never once did she have a real reason to stay with Dillon, because while she proclaimed her love for him, it was never shown through actions nor words.

You know, I mentioned how this could be any story with a love-triangle. Change that to any romance story, movie or book, because this one had all clichés. They even kissed in the rain at one point! Besides that, these people never spoke to each other. They laughed. They chuckled. They whispered. But forbid they'd ever speak to each other. And really, none of the characters were funny. At one point I wondered if someone might have hit them on the head, or was high, considered the terrible things they laughed at. And some of the writing. Well... I'll just leave this here:

Her own indiscretions with Gavin tore through her as she looked into Dillon’s brown eyes, oxygen seeming to evaporate from her lungs.

Evaporate, really?

He slid two fingers into her syrupy wetness as his thumb circled her clit.

Syrupy? That might just be more cringeworthy than some scenes in FSoG.

Sorry, I had to comment on those lines. Maybe I'm unfair, it wasn't that bad all the time. At least it didn't abuse the ellipses the way Thoughtless did, and overall it might have been decent. It's definitely better written than FSoG, and maybe Thoughtless, or at least in the same level. But there comes a point when I don't care anymore about characters such as Emily.

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