Come See About Me by C.K. Kelly Martin
"Twenty-year-old Leah Fischer's been in a state of collapse since the moment police arrived on her Toronto doorstep to inform her that boyfriend Bastien was killed in a car accident. After flunking out of university and cutting herself off from nearly everyone she knows, Leah's saved by Bastien's aunt who offers her a rent-free place to stay in a nearby suburban town.
Initially Leah keeps to herself, with no energy for anyone or anything else, but it's not long before her nurturing neighbours begin to become fixtures in Leah's life and a much needed part-time job forces her to interact with other members of the community. And when Leah is faced with another earth-shattering event, her perspective on life begins to shift again. Soon Leah's falling into a casual sexual relationship with Irish actor Liam Kellehan, who has troubles of his own, even as she continues to yearn for her dead boyfriend. Clearly she's not the person she thought she was—and maybe Liam isn't either." (from Goodreads)
The subject: a 20-year-old girl dealing with the aftermath of the death of her boyfriend.
The setting: primarily the small town of Oakville, Ontario (yay for a Canadian setting! It's nice to actually get a lot of the references for once.)
Shutter speed: a snail's pace. Unfortunately, this book really dragged for me (admittedly I was in a bit of a reading slump, which probably didn't help matters). Perhaps the author wanted to keep the realism factor high, but most of what Leah discusses is very typical, day-to-day kind of stuff. Can I relate to having to go to the dentist or the supermarket? Sure. Do I want to read about it? ...Not really.
What's in the background? Some true-to-life personal insights about things like grief and connecting to others. I think C.K. Kelly Martin nailed it in terms of highlighting these nuggets of truth without being patronizing.
Zoom in on: Leah's friendships (aside from Liam) and interactions with her parents.
Also, it would've been nice to have some more humor (provided by side characters, if not Leah) since the tone of the story weighs quite heavily towards the serious, depressing end of the spectrum.
Anything out of focus? The relationship between Leah and Liam. Their no-strings-attached, friends-with-benefits "understanding" made this less about romance and more about sex. I like a good dollop of romance, so I just didn't find their relationship swoonworthy. I also took issue with some of the decisions Leah made regarding Liam (spoilers, highlight to read: I'm sorry, but having unprotected sex with a virtual stranger, Leah? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???)
Ready? Say... slooooooow.
Click! 2.5 shooting stars. I liked the premise more in theory than in actual execution, so ultimately this was kind of a take-it-or-leave-it book for me.
Note: there is some mature content (including explicit sex scenes) and language in here, so this is definitely not a book for younger readers.
Disclaimer: I received this as an e-book for review from the author.
This book counts towards my goal for the "New Adult" challenge.