Sunday, 8 January 2012

Where You Are - Tammara Webber

Only read this review if you've read the first book in this series: Between the Lines.

3 Stars.  
A great follow up but sort of overloaded with a lot of game playing and exhausting manipulations. Not as good as the first but had some awesome moments!

Where You Are was a nice followup to Webber's previous book Between the Lines it followed all the same characters and opened at the exact same scene the first book closed so that was a great treat. In this book, although we follow the same characters, as readers we get two additional perspectives to shine light on the emotional turmoil and movie set drama and scheming. Graham, who I absolutely loved in book 1, opens book 2 and gives readers a sense of what all is going on in his head in terms of Emma, Reid and Brooke. Brooke is another character we get more of in this book although I have to say I hated her pretty much from her first segment. 
Girl is psycho and needs to get a clue!

I enjoyed the fact that we got a lot of Graham and Emma face time! It was great to see these two finally come to terms with their feelings for one another and try to make an honest go of a relationship. Given the bomb that was dropped on Emma at the end of book 1 I was really interested to see how it would all play out between Graham and Emma, what kind of problems if any it would cause their new relationship. For better or worse it didn't really seem to cause any, if anything Emma was supportive and understanding and very sweet which made me like her character more. I honestly would have liked to see more interaction between Graham and Emma and Cara or at the very least Graham and Cara, but the scenes we did get were great. In a way I thought that the author did drop this huge twist in the story and then didn't play it out to its full potential but I guess with all the others drama going on it was nice that the whole Graham's home life adage didn't get blown out of proportion.

Now for the Drama! Whew this book was full of it, emotional ups and downs, manipulations, scheming, fights, moments of mistrust. There were accusations flying all over the place and honestly it got tiring for this reader. Graham and Emma are just starting their relationship, they're happy and in love but have to get through the next four months of distance while Emma gets ready to move to New York for University in the fall. Until then they're doing long distance and blissful. Until Brooke sets her sights and scheming on Graham and enlists Reid's help to tear Emma and Graham apart. So what unfolds is chapter after chapter of manipulations spearheaded by Brooke and helped along by a semi-clueless Reid who at the end of the day only wants another shot with Emma. In a way I could understand and forgive his actions because he wasn't the master manipulator. He was following instructions - sort of - and in reality didn't do much more but flirt with Emma and show her he could be a good guy. There was one moment when he sort of stepped over the innocent line, but he was tricked by Brooke as well. I don't know maybe I'm being too understanding of the guy but I just couldn't hate him.

Brooke on the other hand was a downright - Beotch and I hated her just fine. She was clueless, selfish, manipulating, mean and just got in the way. I didn't get any more depth from her when the story was being told from her perspective like I did with Reid. There was nothing to tell me she was better than all that underneath, nothing to tell me she had her own demons to deal with, nothing that told me she was anything other than a spoiled brat who just wanted to get her own way. So I guess it was easy to hate her and not sympathize with her at all.

It was aggravating to me the way Graham and Emma so easily mistrusted one another. I know they're new and new relationships are hard especially when you throw in the distance they have to get through. But really, at the end of the day, if the trust isn't there what's the relationship built on. They both had reasons to feel insecure, Emma was being pushed into faking a possible relationship with Reid for the sake of the movie they were promoting, and given their previous history, Graham worried. Emma also had reason to worry as she started noticing all the ways Brooke was cosying up to her boyfriend - being too touchy, hanging out at his house, ingratiating herself in his life. Yes, there was reason both could feel insecure, but I still hoped that they would trust one another and talk it out and reassure the other. Instead, the communication failed and Emma for her part played the immature part by at one point choosing to ignore Graham and assume the worst. COME ON!
It got boring and tiring and frustrating and I felt so emotional overwhelmed with all the underhandedness going on, I can't imagine how the character felt.

Anyway, I think the fact that book revolved solely around Brooke's schemes and their impact on Graham and Emma is what brought the book down for me. There were some awesome moments between the two in the first bit of the book and I was squealing and clapping my hands for them like a fool. I want these to kids to be happy. You get invested in their story in book one and I wanted them to get their happy ending. Webber was great with their characters and I felt like I got to know Graham so much better in this book. He was tender and loving and sweet with Emma and who wouldn't want him as a boyfriend. I loved that he was the one thinking long term. I have to say that I think there could have been more emphasis on the two negotiating the distance, their personal lives, Graham's personal live and all that without the constant intrusion of Brooke and Reid. I think it would have been much more interesting to get into the heart of what is really going to matter to these two down the line when they start to make their lives together, and have all that developing on the backdrop of the movie premiere. But alas, it isn't my story to tell and although I had my issue with this installment I still found enjoyment in it.

On a final note, the ending was abrupt and even if the third book is about Reid, this was most definitely Emma and Graham's story and I didn't like that we didn't end off the book with them! Readers should have gotten just that extra bit to let us know they were happy and settled in New York in their new lives. For all that, 3 Stars.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this book so much better than the first one! Which I didn't think possible because the first one was absolutely incredible. I was dying to know how Emma and Graham's relationship worked out but what I mostly curious about was Reid. In the first book I was a bundle of uncertainty because even though it was clear that Graham was the better guy, I had hope that Reid would change for Emma and clean up his act. Even if he is a complete jackass, Reid Alexander is such a complicated and intricately whole character that I can't help but to ache for him and love him.