[Review + Excerpt + Giveaway] I See You by Molly McAdams
Title: I See You Author: Molly McAdams Genre: New Adult
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’ powerful new novel offers one of the most memorable love triangles in fiction since Twilight—perfect for fans of New Adult fiction like Jamie McGuire, Abbi Glines, and Tamarra Webber.
What if… Aurora Wilde’s life feels like a series of what ifs, forks in the road, and doors unopened. What if she hadn’t gone to the party that night? What if Jentry Michaels hadn’t captured her interest, or disappeared the next day? What if Declan Veil hadn’t been there to sweep her off her feet?
And as she goes down the list to make her perfect forever, Aurora is happy with her life and a future that seems completely secure. Until, one day, suddenly it’s not. Now she’s stuck between the man who has been there for her and the one she never stopped thinking about.
As the consequences of each of her choices comes to a head, Aurora begins to realize that, sometimes, one tiny decision can ripple through a life and change everything. But when what once felt like a safe and reliable future becomes something else, will Aurora have the courage to make a final decision that could alter the course of her entire life?
He reached for me, but I shot my hand out in a silent plea for him not to. I was already shaking from keeping myself from him. I didn’t want to think about what I would do if he touched me now.
The past was standing right in front of me, begging to be seen. As if I had ever stopped seeing him. As if I had ever pulled myself from the embers of that night. That night was a dance of flames that had no ending, only respites. One touch from him and those embers would roar to life again, burning hotter and higher.
I wanted it.
I couldn’t allow it. Not now, not with everything going on.
I dropped my head and took quick steps to leave the closet, but Jentry’s arm shot out to stop me, his hand curled against my waist possessively.
“Don’t. Please don’t.”
He ignored me and pulled me against him so my side was pressed to his chest. My body trembled as those flames got higher. But with the flames that guilt grew and grew, threatening to cripple me.
“You hurt, I hurt,” he reminded me. “And, Aurora, seeing you like this and not being able to fix it is killing me. I’m sorry for what happened. I’m so damn sorry, and I’m sorry I wasn’t here sooner.” Each word was laced with pain, echoing the aches in my heart and my soul. “But you are out of your mind if you think it was easy for me not being here. I have regretted letting you go, every minute of every fucking day. If I could do that first night all over again I would, and I would’ve been there for you. I would have been here.”
The tears that had filled my eyes finally slipped free at his words and the memory of that night. “But you did let me go, and no matter how much we beg time to reverse, it won’t.”
His body deflated against mine as regret leaked from him. “No, it won’t. But I’m here now. I’m here, and we’re going to get through this.”
So much indecision and confusion wove through me. Wants and needs at war with one another as they had already been for an agonizing amount of time.
My heart had bled out through each battle until I’d made a life-changing decision, a decision that Declan and I didn’t speak of, and one that Jentry still didn’t know. Now any move I could make from here on out would be the wrong one. I was sitting in a minefield, waiting.
“I tried to forget that night,” I whispered before I could stop myself. “I tried to forget you, but somehow you embedded yourself so deeply into my soul in just one night, that forgetting you—forgetting that night—was impossible. I don’t need a lifetime with you to know that no one and nothing will ever compare to what’s between us. But it’s too late for anything involving us even if it’s just us getting through this, because that night and you are now some of my biggest regrets.”
Want to know how the music matches to the book? Here are the songs linked up to the parts of the story!
Tonight – Mitch Lee, ft. Jocelyn Alice [Ch. 5: end of]
Whisper – Chase Rice [Part II]
Come Wake Me Up – Rascal Flatts [Ch. 6: Jentry’s POV]
9 Crimes – Damien Rice [Ch. 9]
Fallout – Marianas Trench [Ch. 10]
Over You – Ingrid Michaelson, ft. A Great Big World [Ch. 11]
Playing With Fire – Thomas Rhett, ft. Jordan Sparks [Part III]
Good To You – Marianas Trench, ft. Kate Voegele [Ch. 13: end of Aurora’s POV/beginning of Jentry’s POV]
With Love – Christina Grimmie [Ch. 20 – Ch. 21: Aurora’s POV]
Powerful – Major Lazar, ft. Ellie Goulding, Tarrus Riley [Part V: first half]
Falling Slowly – Glen Hansard, ft. Marketa Irglova [Part V: second half]
Foolish Games – Jewel [Ch. 22: second half of Aurora’s POV]
Don’t Go – Jake Coco, ft. Caitlin Hart [Ch. 23: second half]
Perfectly – Chelsea Lee, ft. Jason Reeves [Ch. 25: first half]
We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off – Ella Eyre [Ch. 26: second half]
4 Stars! Super Angsty
Like most Molly McAdams books I've read, I See You isn't an exception to her angsty writing, or lack of the OMG moment. I wasn't too sure about this book at first, then when I hit that moment, I was all in. You can see things were gonna get real messy before the dust finally settled.
"There were girls who stayed with you for different reasons. Body, face, lay...whatever it may be, good or bad. Then there were girls who destroyed you for anyone else after that, because they were so far from your world that having them again consumed you."
That quote times two, one for him and one for her, is what this book is made up of. One night. One fleeting moment where she wanted to be wild and crazy and not look back. To have that random fling before her senior year at college. One night and he will be gone for good. One night that she still plays in her mind a full year later, even though she is "happy" with her boyfriend.
"I had fallen for him, and I knew I loved him. And while I knew I could have a happy, safe life with him, I would never belong to him."
It was sad. While I am not a fan of the love triangle, Molly McAdams makes it work so I don't end up hating any of the characters or the book itself. The set up was perfect and getting through the finish was a struggle. There were so many ups and downs, as well as surprises thrown in (that awful mother) I wasn't sure who was going to end up with whom by the end.
We are given three strong characters. Characters that are easy to like and sympathize with time and time again. While I did favor one guy over the other, neither deserved the situation they found themselves in.
The book was well written and is all over the place with a time stamp. I will admit to skimming over "that night" as I felt it was getting repetitive and honestly, I was more interested in the present rather than the past. There are interesting supporting characters to help move the story along as well as maybe garner their own book. I See You reads as a standalone with a nice epilogue to wrap things up.
Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.