Everything about this book felt so.... realistic, from the characters, down to the actual death of Cooper Bartholomew. I honestly, didn’t know what to expect from this book, but I absolutely loved it. The prologue (I’m not even sure if it is a prologue, but still, let’s just call it that), completely reeled me into the story and was the perfect way to start this book. I loved the layout of this book, how it is set in parts of ‘Then’ and ‘Now’. It gives us a brilliant view on Cooper, and it makes us connect with Libby a whole lot more, especially while she is trying to figure out exactly what happened to Cooper.
All the characters felt really realistic to me, and I could easily come to understand them. I absolutely loved Cooper and Libby. I loved how we got to see how they first met and their time together. We got to see them as individual people as well as a new couple. Although their relationship felt really rushed for me, I still enjoyed it. I didn’t like Claire at all. After we find out why she hates Libby for, she still doesn’t get any better on me. She seriously is a complete and utter nutcase, and not in a good way. She complains about people backstabbing her, and not wanting to be her friend, yet, she doesn’t respect anyone who is trying to be her friend, and she is just a manipulative bitch in general. Sure, she starts to come around towards the end, but she is still the same, and I still don’t like her. Bitch. The same kind of goes with Sebastian, I get that he is ‘needy’, but seriously, you shouldn’t get the shits when you know you are gay, you want your best friend to “love” you, yet you don’t tell him that you are, and he doesn’t realize it, and you get sulky because he has a girlfriend and doesn’t want to go to your party and get high? Seriously, you are not a baby. Grow up. In saying this though, these two didn’t bring the book down for me, I still hate them, but it was good to see their POV as well. The book honestly wouldn’t be the same without these two lunatics in it, as well as their POV.
That is kind of where it got a bit weird for me. I went into this book thinking that it’s YA.... yet as I’m reading, I start thinking that it’s NA because of their ages, how much they are out of control, the sex scene/s. But then I start thinking it’s YA again because of how they all act and how dumb they all are...... This wasn’t the bad thing in the book, but it did get my confused, because a lot of YA readers would like this book, but then they wouldn’t like the NA side of it. Like, the sex scenes weren’t Erotic-detailed, but they were still detailed, and felt strange in a YA book when it describes seeing boobs as coming out of the bathtub..... Yes, I’m serious hahaha I know it was from Cooper’s POV, so he’s horny etc. It didn’t turn me off the book or make me like less, but I know that it would do that to some readers, so just be warned. I know I said that it was realistic and all, but I’m curious..... does everyone who go to Uni basically drink all the time and half the people do drugs? I’m only curious because their whole lives seem to be revolved around drunk/tipsy or doing drugs. Anyway......
So, they bad thing about this book. It was predictable. Sorry, but it was. I guessed from half way through the book the big secret that shattered everything. Despite everyone in this book having finished senior school, they were all so dumb. It was right in their faces and they didn’t get a thing until it was basically put on a platter. It kind of annoyed me, because Libby was supposed to be the smart one, yet she didn’t see it when it was staring at her in the face, and it was staring Claire and Sebastian in the face too! I had a feeling of what actually happened to Cooper and who was involved, but I didn’t know exactly until the very end, so that was good because I had predicted everything else, and it still made me shocked.
Overall, it was a brilliant mystery novel, and even though I hardly read mystery, I really enjoyed this one. It was a fantastic standalone, and it leaves nothing out. A great read that leaves your mind reeling for hours on end.
Want to know about how Rebecca James wrote Cooper Bartholomew? Find out as part of the Aussie blog tour!
This novel was received for review via Allen & Unwin Australia. This review is entirely my own, no bribery or any deals have been made to sway this review or change my personal opinion of the novel.