"Unrequited" is the dark side of romance. Not bunny boiler dark but certainly not a fluffy romance with lots of laughs either. It's unforgettable and impossible to put down. January's search for love in all the wrong places leads her to Jack, a high school friend of her brother who she first spies perched on a barstool in a beach side bar. The chemistry is instant, a lightening bolt strike, and from that point on the game is on. Never mind everyone warns her that he's an a-hole (even his friends call him that), she has to have him. I found the location of their first tryst to be ironically appropriate too, as if the relationship was dead before it even started.

I don't know a woman alive who can't relate to this story. I think we've all run across our own Jack at some point, an otherwise unremarkable guy who somehow makes us lose our minds and dignity in our determination to make him ours. If he'd shown slobbery interest in January she probably would have moved on quickly, but his callous regard addicts her. He tells her outright she only wants him because she can't have him but what she tells herself is he really likes her, wants her, and she'll have him. She calls him cocaine in the flesh and it's clear she won't walk away until she's hit rock bottom. As January goes through a slew of men, her fixation on Jack intensifies. It's unhealthy, unhappy, but she seems powerless to put a stop to it... until Cress comes along.

The drama and pain of January's journey was as addictive to me as Jack was for her. She's a beautiful disaster, the girlfriend we've all had, and you just can't help but stick with her and root for her to get back on her feet and get on with her life. And when at last she does, you cheer. Excellent writing with an ending that lets you breathe again.
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