Sunday, August 24, 2014

Book Review: Dear Jon

Title Dear Jon

Series Choisie, book 3

Author Lori L. Otto

Release Date August 19, 2014

A summer with his family in Utah is all Jon Scott needs to pull himself together. It's time to focus on his mom's sobriety and the continuing education of his two younger brothers, Will and Max. For once, things seem to be on track with that part of his life. For the first time, he sees real hope for his family.

This family time is a much-needed distraction from the relationship he walked away from in Manhattan. Livvy Holland, the girl he's loved since they were children, has let him down for the last time. He doesn't want to waste his time dwelling on the fight they had, or the shocking incident that happened the next day, after her graduation. It's something he'll never forget, or forgive.

Things never go as Jon plans, though. Despite her actions and a distance of two thousand miles, Livvy has every intention of keeping Jon's attention throughout the summer with a series of 30 letters: three a week for every week he's gone. He doesn't have to read them; there are times when he simply doesn't want to. He has plenty of things keeping him busy: a job that requires long hours, family friends that come over for parties, brothers that ask too many questions, and a girl that's very unlike anyone Jon's dated before.

But there's something about Livvy Holland that keeps drawing him back to her. Reading the letters will either break the ties, or eventually reunite them. His brain wants one thing; his heart wants another.

By the end of the summer, Jon will return to Manhattan. He's come to terms with his past. He has a bright future. Back at Columbia, though, he must accept choices Livvy has made without him that will change his present plans.

I've had such mixed feelings about the Choisie series. I've enjoyed Lori's writing consistently since I started reading her books (the first being Not Today, But Someday). She so easily captures my attention and immerses me into the story. It's safe to say that I'd likely read anything she writes. However, I haven't particularly liked any of the main characters (Livvy or Jon) in this series. And while I've liked the storyline mostly, my dislike of the characters has affected my opinion of it. Things may have slightly changed with this book.
Since the very beginning, I've had less than fond feelings for Jon. I don't really trust him and there's something that constantly nags at me whenever I think about him and Livvy together. The two of them together seems wrong. It reminds me of how I originally felt about Emi and Jack being together (though that opinion did change). I don't believe that's the case here. I don't (currently) feel like there's going to be a turning point in their relationship that makes me *want* them to be together. Dear Jon only reinforces my opinion that I don't want them together. I like Jon as a person. He's smart, opinionated, and independent. However, I do not like Jon with Livvy. I just don't do it.

That leaves us with Livvy. This is where I noticed my opinion shift. Throughout the series, I've had a rather negative opinion of Livvy. She's been a spoiled and childish teenager. She's been needy and annoying. I just didn't care for her. And, to be honest, throughout the majority of this book I felt the same way. We're able to read the numerous letters that Livvy wrote to Jon and, until the end, she reminds me of the same girl from the previous books. By the very last letter, though, we experience a change within Livvy. It's a chance that I was absolutely delighted to see. It's a change that makes me hopeful for Livvy's future and the next book in the series.


4 out of 5 stars

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