Items ticked off: 10
Despite what my status updates on this book might imply, I did like this one. When it comes to NA, I rarely say that. For a New Adult story this is a really good one. It never felt too tropey, and that's one gigant plus in my book these days. A New Adult story that isn't tropey, believe that I will be all over it. And I was. What's Left of Me is much enjoyed by my friends and I had high expectations, maybe a little too high.
What's Left of Me is the story of Aundrea. She's been fighting cancer for the better part of her life and is getting tired of the way the illness dictates her life. Her character is easy to feel for, and unlike some NA heroines, I was rooting for her all the way through. Despite her luck, or lack thereof, she tries to make the best out of it. Sure, she has her issues and that's understandable. All in all, she's a great character. Truly, she and all the other characters were lovable with all their ups and downs. Heck, this might be the best set of characters in a NA story I've read in quite some time.
The thing though, bringing this story down to a three star rating is the romance. I know, I sound cold-hearted. Promise, I'm not. As said, I liked the characters so I should be loving the romance. However, insta love isn't for me, and that's what we get (more or less). It's hard to feel chemistry between characters when it's put into words rather than shown. I need a little substance to my romance. The hero fell too fast for me to understand his infatuation with Aundrea in the first place. So I never fell for them as a couple, and since the story focused mostly on the relationship and Aundrea's reactions to it more than it focused on her struggling with her illness, the story lost some of the deeper emotional substance.
I want to make it clear that despite my issues, What's Left of Me is much better than the average NA story. It offers more than trivial issues and isn't littered with stereotypes and constant slut-shaming. The characters are well developed, the general story has substance, and the writing is decent. I believe people will like this more than I did since it's mainly personal issues I had with this one and other people will react different to the romance (perhaps enjoy it more than I did). All in all, a great NA story, and I don't say that lightly.