Beside Your Heart by Mary Whitney

Beside Your HeartBeside Your Heart by Mary Whitney
Published by: Omnific Publishing on June 17, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 256
Source: Author
Buy on AmazonGoodreads
Rating: ★★½

ate one night Nicki Johnson plays with emotional fire and Googles her high school love, only to find his name splashed across the British gossip columns. Back in his native England, Adam Kincaid is successful and dating a woman from an aristocratic family like his own. With a career in politics, Nicki’s no slouch, but she knows Adam is living a world away from her life.

Yet there was a time he was no farther than the next locker. Nicki will never forget their year together in high school—the year of her sister’s death, the year her mother checked out. Adam helped Nicki through suffocating grief, and she led him through a coming of age. Was it just high school, or was it something more?

This review is painfully difficult for me to write, because I had such strongly mixed feelings about Beside Your Heart. It wasn’t a perfect book and there were a lot of things that I didn’t like, but there were also a few things that I did like.

The Bad

The worst thing about Beside Your Heart is that we get the end of the book at the beginning. From the synopsis, I thought this book was going to be about Nicki googling her high school love (Adam), and then running off to England to meet him again. But that wasn’t the book at all. We get the prologue, which is about Nicki googling her “old high school love”, but then the entire rest of the book is about her high school relationship with Adam (sort of like a book-long flashback). But the problem with that was we knew at the beginning that their relationship didn’t last, so I never felt motivated to actually read about a high school relationship doomed to fail. There were no surprises in the book and I knew what was going to happen at the end from the very beginning, because it was in the prologue.

My other problem with the book was Nicki. At the beginning, I had the hardest time relating to her. She has a crush on Adam, but Adam has a girlfriend. So she spends MONTHS moping around, avoiding Adam at all costs because she “can’t bear to see her with his girlfriend”, and just feeling really sorry for herself because she can’t be with Adam. But the way she was acting made it seem like she had a huge history with Adam (like as if he was her ex-boyfriend), and that’s why she couldn’t stand seeing him with another girl. But in reality, she had never dated him and was barely even friends with him. And yet, it was “so painful” for her to see him with another girl. The whole thing just felt a little dramatic and exaggerated.

The below paragraph isn’t really a spoiler because we know from the prologue that Nicki and Adam’s relationship doesn’t last, but I’ll put it in spoiler tags just in case.

View Spoiler »

The Good

Beside Your Heart by Mary Whitney - In love with a Brit

The thing that really saved Beside Your Heart was the romance. I know I didn’t understand Nicki’s obsession with Adam at the beginning, but once they finally got together and started dating, I loved their relationship. They were so cute together, and they just clicked! There were lots of sweet kissing scenes, some sex scenes, and just sweet romantic moments! And I really liked how Adam had a “no lying” policy, which he followed through with even when it wasn’t easy…

Overall

So, overall, I’m extremely uncertain about Beside Your Heart. I didn’t like how the ending didn’t provide us with anything we didn’t already know from the prologue ( View Spoiler » ), and I didn’t quite click with Nicki at the beginning. But there were some parts of the book that I did really enjoy. When the romance was at its peak, it was incredibly sweet and really fun to read about. I think I wish that the book was structured differently, or at least that the prologue had been cut out completely to keep some element of surprise in tact. Then I think I would have enjoyed it significantly more.

The Verdict

okay

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I'm a 28 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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4 comments

  1. I really, really hate when you are given the ending in the beginning. I find I don’t feel as motivated to finish the book or get into it.

    But I don’t think I would have picked this one up anyways. I read half of the blurb then got bored and gave up, lol. Maybe I just have a short attention span today.

    Jennifer Bielman recently posted: Kindle & Nook Freebies #44
  2. Blah. Doubt I’d like this one much. I’m not a super fan of stories ending at the start – I don’t mind like a prologue of the ending that gets you in the mood but this one sounds odd to me. Especially if you know they’re not together at the end.. why would you attach yourself to a couple you know is doomed? Oh wells.

  3. Hm. I love the premise of this story (I think we’ve all wanted to check up on those we were particularly close to in high school from time-to-time) but it definitely sounds as though the execution was lacking. I hate the idea that there is absolutely nothing surprising about this novel. It sounds like a similar problem that I had with Unbreak My Heart – If you know a relationship is doomed for failure, why would you bother to invest yourself in it?

    This is one novel I think I’ll be steering clear of. On the plus side, at least this is one less novel I don’t feel compelled to read! My ever-growing TBR list can always use a little break 😉

    Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted: Review: Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

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