“Let me prove I can love you the way you deserve.”
Less than impressed by Bad Romeo, I went into Broken Juliet with low expectations. I really hoped I would like the characters more since I really disliked them in Bad Romeo. So while I can say that I didn’t hate Broken Juliet, I still didn’t like the book, or the characters, very much either.
“What do you want?”
I want him. Can’t want him. Need him. Hate needing him.
“I don’t know,” I whisper.
“I do,” he says, leaning forward. “Invite me in. I promise, I’m here to stay this time.”
Broken Juliet picks up right after the end of Bad Romeo, with Cassie deciding whether or not to finally give Ethan another chance. In Bad Romeo, we know that Ethan broke Cassie’s heart twice, and here we finally get to know the details. Through the flashbacks, we discover the repetitive hurt and anger that make up Cassie and Ethan’s tumultuous relationship and the reasons why Ethan could never commit. He loved her, but his reasons for leaving her were so shallow and eye-roll worthy, I couldn’t like or understand him.
Past-Ethan was such a moody asshole. (FYI: Being an asshole doesn’t make you a bad boy – being an asshole makes you an asshole.) I found myself skimming a lot of the flashback chapters. They were incredibly repetitive and full of angry and/or angsty sex. Past-Cassie was a doormat, and even worse, a horny one at that. She kept giving in to the lust she felt for Ethan that I wanted to shake some sense into her. They had such an unhealthy relationship that I couldn’t get behind it or support them at all.
Thankfully, present Cassie and Ethan have grown up. Well, Cassie still rightfully harbors anger, hate, and hurt, but Ethan, thank god, has finally changed. Still, it took SIX YEARS for them to finally arrive where they are in Broken Juliet. I wouldn’t say I loved the new Ethan, but I was definitely looking forward to the ways he would prove his love for Cassie once and for all. Still, I would have enjoyed the present timeline much more if it weren’t for the many awful flashbacks full of bad decisions being made over and over and over again.
This series had so much potential, but the flashbacks just ruined it for me. I hated the Ethan and Cassie of six years ago so it was hard to like them in present day even though they weren’t as awful. Leisa Rayven’s writing, though, was a definite perk to reading this series, but it just wasn’t enough to let me fully enjoy reading. I really wish the flashbacks had taken a step back so that present day Cassie and Ethan could shine more.
I don’t think I ever fully understood before what a profound ability humans have to change, especially with the right motivation. We’re capable of remarkable evolution. Not just physically, but mentally.
All in all, I had a difficult time with Broken Juliet. I can see fans of Bad Romeo enjoying Broken Juliet since they are pretty similar angst- and character-wise. I really wanted to love this series since so many people seem to enjoy it, but I can’t see how or why. I’m a big fan of the author’s writing, so I’m hoping her other upcoming books will have characters with much healthier relationships.
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.