Title: Instead of You
Author: Anie Michaels
Genre: Contemporary New Adult/ Teacher-Student relationship
Overall emotions: Roller coaster
Cory was my best friend, the boy who I’d resolved to spend my entire life with. I’d grown to love him, gotten used to the idea of our life together, even if it wasn’t the all-encompassing, soul-crushing, heart-shattering romance it appeared to be.
Hayes was the boy who seemed entirely out of reach. Untouchable. He stole my first kiss, a secret I’d hidden away in the recesses of my heart, protecting the memory and hoping it would be enough to last me a lifetime. When he became my history teacher, it was impossible to hide from him any longer.
There was no way to anticipate just how important both Wallace brothers would become to me, how deeply they would change my life, or how the loss of one would propel me into the arms of the other.
If you’re looking for a new adult book that is full of mushy goodness but also has a load of family drama, this is the book for you. Makenzie has been destined to marry her best friend, Cory, from the day she was born. Their parents told them it was pretty much written in the stars for the two of them. Kenzie isn’t allowed to date until she’s 16 though, and that’s when things get a bit confusing. What happens when a decision you thought you had to make gets taken from you?
I ordered this on Kindle because it was pretty cheap and the synopsis sounded fantastic, so I went for it. I didn’t have super high standards, just wanted something easy to read. I was oddly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book that I had never heard of. It wasn’t the best piece of literature, but it was enjoyable and I didn’t find that many bad things about it.
If you’ve read this book, you can continue reading but if not, I suggest you stop because this review is going to contain a decent bit of spoilers. This book is kind of hard to describe without spoiling.
I loved how the first few chapters are certain milestones in Cory and Kenzie’s life and then we continue on at a normal pace once Cory turns 18. What I didn’t like (not the authors fault) was how Cory thought he just earned Kenzie when he turned 16, he assumed that she was going to love him as more than a friend because his mom told him they were going to be together forever. I hated that Kenzie tried so hard to make everyone happy, even if she couldn’t be happy herself.
Hayes’s mom goes through a big loss in this novel, not only does she lose her son, but also her husband. I know that she needed to mourn, but I was getting really tired of everyone walking on egg shells around her, letting her sleep in bed all day and wasting away. I hated that Mrs. Wallace made Kenzie feel awful without even meaning too.
Though this book is supposed to be a teacher-student relationship, it didn’t feel like that at all! I think that’s because we really only see Hayes as a family friend most of the time. The first time he kissed her, he wasn’t a teacher. In the end though, I was so happy Kenzie’s mom supported their relationship, whether he was a teacher or not. This book wasn’t really scandalous in that sense. Yes, they fooled around in school (which was really idiotic of Hayes to do, he could have lost everything).
When we flash forward three years after Hayes and his mother leave for Montana, that part was perfect. I think it made the book. Hayes realized that he needed to get his life together and let Kenzie grow into the woman she wanted to be without him as her older boyfriend holding her back. I respected him so much at the end of the book for doing that.
I recommend this book to girls over the age of 18, due to the sexual content. It does get a bit steamy at parts, not 50 Shades, but close enough for a New Adult book. And let me just say, this is not a love triangle, nor a novel about cheating. This is definitely one of those books that sticks with you after you’re finished reading.
How do you guys like the new review set up? Do you want me to give synopsis and overviews at the beginning or just give my opinion? Do you like summaries? I’m still trying to figure out how I want to do these reviews but I’d love to hear your opinions. I can also go back to doing rubric reviews if you like those better!