One Last Thing
One Last Thing by Rebecca St. James and Nancy Rue is a very brave novel in today's world. It explores how pornography addiction and its related tentacles (strip clubs, prostitutes) can affect, and even destroy, a relationship. This book isn't afraid to take a hard stand against all of the above, which is really unpopular in today's culture. I admire and appreciate the bravery of basing an entire novel on this topic, which in Christian circles can be a "hush-hush/sweep it under the rug" type of topic. The book description reads:
"Tara had always imagined her happily ever after. But her fiancé’s secrets are changing this story into one she doesn’t even recognize.
Tara Faulkner and Seth Grissom grew up next door to each other in Savannah’s historic district. Their parents are best friends. They finish each other’s sentences all the time. Their fairy-tale wedding is a foregone conclusion . . . until Tara discovers another side to Seth three weeks before the wedding.
Reality has crashed in on Tara’s fairy tale—but hope will lead her to a future she couldn’t have planned for herself."
So, first the good: I really liked this book. I read it on my Kindle and couldn't put it down. I kept flipping the pages wanting to know what would happen next, whether Seth and Tara would still get married, and how all the other subplots would resolve. The story was really engaging and was skillfully written, unfolding one layer at a time, till what you thought was a simple book about Seth's struggle with pornography turned out to be so much deeper and so much more. For that, I'd give the book four stars.
However ... next, the bad. I almost had trouble pushing through the first few pages because the characters in this book don't tend to be very likeable (at least at first). They're all incredibly rich, the "young adults" (aka people in their mid 20s) are all spoiled by "Mama and Daddy", except for the token dirt poor friend on a scholarship. Tara and Seth are physical perfection. The book goes into a lot of lavish detail about how rich they are, how much money they have, etc etc. Also, a lot of the characters are extremely unlikeable. Seth's mom is supposedly Tara's mom's best friend, but she's a ballbuster attorney and treats Tara like a piece of dirt throughout the entire book, even before Seth's problem is revealed. Seth's dad is a megachurch pastor, but he certainly doesn't behave like one. And on and on. If you can get past the eyeroll-worthy filthy rich nonsense, this is a really good book.
My other big problem with this book (which is kind of spoiler-y, consider this your spoiler alert) is that there is no real resolution with Seth and Tara at the end of the book. We never get to find out if they ever get married or even if they get back/stay together, which is what kept me turning the pages to find out. Also, near the end a twist is thrown in with Tara having a new potential romantic interest, which honestly I would love to see her get married to instead of Seth, but we never get to find out if that relationship goes anywhere, either. We're basically left at the end with certain things resolved. but the main basis of the story (ie, Seth and Tara's marriage) completely unresolved. It felt kind of unsatisfying - almost like it's open for a sequel, except as far as I know, there isn't one. Based on all these issues, my true rating for this book would be a 3.5. I do recommend this book for anyone looking for a good read that's a bit on the darker side.
I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.