Their relationship has been exposed, and now their lives are changed forever.
For Cadence Miller, the fast track to adulthood proves intimidating and frustrating. She’s a little girl lost—abandoned by her parents and uncertain of her future. She doesn’t think she “fits” anywhere. She’s eighteen. She wants to be older. And the result is both comical and heartbreaking.
Mark Connelly will do anything to provide Cadence a stable, loving home—to be her protector. But he’s just as broken and lost, and his heart won’t let go of his past so easily. He knows he must share his secret with Cadence. And he hopes his revelation won't tear them apart. He hopes it will draw them closer, and make their love better.
Add to GOODREADS.
Man, I do not know where to start with this review. If you have not read the first book in this series, avert your eyes! Go get it, read it, and then come back here and commiserate in all that is the intense chaos of this story with me.
“Better” picks up exactly where “Good” left off. Cadence has basically run away from home to shack up with her “old man”(sorry, couldn’t resist). Mr. Connelly finds himself jobless, while Cadence is just shy of graduating. This book follows the pair and the adjustments they must make to work out whatever relationship they intend to have. The pace of this book was completely different from the first, and it was also written in third person, so we get more than just Cadence’s perspective. Actually, we even get a little insight into the mind of Mark from the first book.
“How could he ever forget that name? Cadence. Rhythmic. His song. His life. He decided that afternoon on the side of the road. She was his cadence.”
So, that is the gist, the short of it. The long of it, well, let me tell you, I will not be done second-guessing myself in regards to this book for a long time.
After reading the first installment, I was left feeling razzled. I had no idea if I liked the dynamic between the main characters and what they were doing. I knew I disagreed with the age thing, though more so because of Cadence’s immaturity than the actual number difference. Don’t get me wrong, it’s quite the difference, but had she been more mature it would have been a little easier to swallow.
And like with the first part of this couple’s journey, throughout “Better” I was still wondering, what is with that, anyhow? This girl should be so hard-core. She has done a stint in juvie, after all, yet she seems socially and emotionally to be on the level of the average sixteen-year-old. Honestly, I found her maturity levels slipping and thought she acted like a spoiled brat most of the time. Not that Mr. Connelly is any better. His behavior definitely does not reflect that of a man of his age and stature. It’s positively mind-boggling.
But for some sick reason, I can’t get enough of these two. They’re inappropriate, morally corrupt (I think?) and, at times, sweet as freaking heck. Like, I can’t believe how much these idiots annoy the crap outta me one second and the next I’m over here all “aww!!”
“He picked her up and carried her to the bedroom, laying her gently on the comforter. ‘Covers?’ She shook her head. ‘PJs?’ She shook her head. ‘Me?’ She nodded and reached for him.”
But at the same time, theirs is an obsessive, possessive, all encompassing love. It’s borderline absurd.
“’There’s a big difference between needing something and wanting it. I need to make love to you all the time. That’s a need.’” —Mark
No, it’s crossed so far over into absurdity that the line is a dot.
So, during this time of restructuring, we get to the bottom of Mark’s secret, and though it is pretty much exactly what I expected it to be, Cadence’s reaction is not. She proceeds to throw herself half-heartedly into a downward spiral, avoiding and lashing out at Mark like he is a parent as opposed to her live-in boyfriend—which by the way, sometimes he acts disturbingly like the former though he is the latter. She even manages to damage her friendship with Avery, again! I really hoped that the huge, massive, life-altering decisions she was making in the beginning of this book would push our little fallen angel into growing up a tad.
"She wanted to bury Mark under his lies. She wanted to bury Avery under her own anger and jealousy. She wasn't growing older and wiser. She was moving backwards because of the hurt she couldn't rectify."
I am not saying she doesn’t, though. I am also not telling if any other events happen that may cause her to re-evaluate her behavior, and maybe even those choices. All I am saying is the only way you can understand my twisted, frustrating fascination with this series is to just read it for yourself. Yes, parts of this story were a four star for me, some maybe even a little less than, but anything that riles me up this much deserves more than that! So, since the plot and style of writing had me so engrossed in the first book, and the story remained just as enticing throughout this one, I would give the series 4.5 stars.
FOLLOW UP TO -
Good by S. Walden