Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [YA]

Review: Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith

Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith is a first for me... For the first time that I can remember, I have nothing that I wish to say about a book. Oh, there are things that I'm thinking, thoughts that I'm having, but none of them are anything I actually wish to share. I always have far more thoughts and opinions about the books I read than can possibly fit into a review. I'm pretty sure I could easily come up with two reviews worth of stuff for most books I read. With this book, it's a struggle to find enough I want to share for just the one. But, I shall try-

I'm going to start by admitting that if this was not one of books written by one of the authors who are The Contemps, I would not have been interested in reading this book. I do not read books about girls who go chasing after boys, especially after they've been dumped. I do not read books about girls who base large parts of their identity/self-worth around their boyfriend. I knew that this was that book before I picked it up. So I can't blame the book for being things I don't love. But it didn't make it easier to read about. I have never been the type to pine. It's not in my nature. I have never understood characters like Joy — people who tie their self-image, self-esteem, self-worth, self-identity, well... their self into their relationships. I don't understand people like that, and I have absolutely no patience for them either. I've known too many people IRL who do this and it always ends badly. Can't say it worked out any better for Joy.

So, already this book is a little... iffy for me because I'm rather put off by the premise. Sometimes, this works out great and I end up finding a complete gem that I would have otherwise overlooked. But this book wasn't really like that. All the things about this book that I didn't think I'd like when I read the synopsis were things that bothered me about it while reading it. This makes me sad. I wanted to like this book more than I did. But it's hard when every time Joy said or did something I thought — I would never be friends with someone like her.

This is going to be a book that some people will love. There is a lot of good to this story and it's a pretty fun read. There is also lessons to be learned here, if you choose to read for lessons. Joy needs to learn that her identity isn't dependent on her boyfriend, that our first impressions are often wrong, that being too quick to judge means you miss a lot and more. Joy learns a lot about preconceived notions.

This is a hard review for me to write, because I just don't know what to say about this book. I didn't love it. I didn't have it. I didn't really connect with it, and I doubt I will remember much about it later. But it is a book I would recommend to people, especially to those in the younger YA crowd (and/or their parents) wanting to try some more 'grown up' books, but being nervous about running into questionable content, because there isn't any. There is a sweet story in here. There really is. It's just not one that really hit home for me.

So there you have it... Apparently, my idea of having nothing to say is still significantly longer than when most people have things to say. I shouldn't be surprised at this point... Story of my life. Ashley talks... A lot.