As I get more familiar with blogging and writing reviews, I have signed up for a number of blog tours recently and I’ve found that this can lead to a mixed bag of average reads and some that are really enjoyable. Complicate Me by M. Robinson well and truly falls into the latter. I am very pleased to be involved in the promotion of this book because it is an absolutely fantastic love story.
Complicate Me is a bildungsroman of sorts. The story is about Alex and Lucas, along with their best friends “The Good Ol’ Boys”, Jacob, Austin and Dylan. Friends from early childhood, Alex has always been keen to be one of the boys, and with a little friendly teasing along the way, the boys have embraced her as part of their group. Their parents are best friends too, so they continue to have a tight connection with each other throughout their childhood and the boys are fiercely protective of Alex, particularly when it comes to potential boyfriends. The plot of the story takes the reader through their childhood and illuminates the budding romance between Alex and Lucas. However, with their parents and friends discouraging them from being anything more than best friends, they find themselves trying to fight against their feelings for each other.
On the face of it, a book about a group of children growing up may not seem a great adult read. However, this is a beautifully written narrative, for the most part told in hindsight, which gives an adult viewpoint of how they felt about the trials and tribulations of childhood, and later on, adulthood. Robinson’s tactic of having an alternating narrative between Alex and Lucas is a brilliant one. The two perspectives draw the reader and the reader is left in no doubt about the love these two characters feel for each other. From the opening prologue, the tension is palpable and the reader knows that this is an intense relationship built on memories of the past. As the reader is taken back to Alex and Lucas’s childhood, it doesn’t take much convincing that these two characters are meant to be together, even if they are avoiding the inevitable.
Robinson packs in all the usual teenage pressures and obstacles that they would encounter as they grow up, but the benefit of hindsight adds an extra layer of emotion as they reminisce about how they felt at particular times, good and bad. I was invested from the start, desperate to know what had gone in the past of these two characters who seem made for each other in just a few paragraphs of narrative.
This book is one of the best romantic novels I’ve read in a while. The premise is simple yet beautifully executed. The double perspective is what really gives this novel its edge. I engaged with the characters from the first page and I loved the ending. There are enough reasons throughout to think that the obstacles are just too large and too many for Alex and Lucas to overcome, but the moral of this story is clear: true love can overcome any obstacle, no matter how long it takes. I will definitely be reading the rest of The Good Ol’ Boys series.
Nigel Slater (Author) Release Date: 24 Sept. 2015 Buy new: £30.00 £15.00