I hadn't read anything by this author before, but I know she's pretty popular based on my Goodreads newsfeed. I wasn't ready to jump into her popular Mitchell Family series so this new stand alone novel seemed like the way to go to get my feet wet but not invest too much time. Most of the reviewers gave this book a 4 or 5 star ratings, saying it was the author's best work to date. In my world, that's a serious claim! Even though I have become very jaded where New Adult books are concerned, I was all set to enjoy this book because a number of those 4/5 stars were given by bookie friends of mine with whom I share similar tastes in books.
After finishing Love's Suicide, I might have to cross a number of people off my "reliable source" list when it comes to recommending books. I trusted my peeps to know and call BULLSHIT when it was right in front of their face.
Love's Suicide didn't start out bad. Branch and Brooks are twin brothers who are childhood friends and next-door neighbors with Katy. These three are inseparable and their lives are even further entwined by the fact that their parents are close friends too. At 12 years old, Katy's parents are killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon thus Katy goes to live with Branch and Brooks' parents. I was pulled into the story right away and the author made it obvious who Katy would end up with early on, so I was very eager to read how things would go between these three.
As the years pass into their adolescence, the brothers grow apart because they both have feelings for Katy (and she loves them both as well), but she can only be with one of them. For many reasons, Katy chooses to be with Branch. She even gets engaged to Branch with plans to marry him upon their college graduation. Fast forward to the night before Branch and Katy's wedding when she finally comes to terms that she's not in love with Branch and should have picked Brooks all those years ago. Of course, Brooks and Katy sleep with one another and are caught by Branch the next morning.
This is where things jumped the shark for me. Katy was one of the most TSTL heroines I've read in quite some time. Instead of facing what she and Brooks had done, Katy runs away and ends up in South Carolina for almost three years without any contact with Branch, Brooks, or their parents (who raised Katy). During those three years, Katy proceeds to make one bad decision after another which results in a serious pickle by the last third of the book.
Oh, and there's the predictable secret baby plot here to add to the epic mess. Of course every man in Katy's life, except Brooks (who wasn't exactly an innocent), is painted as the most horrible monster ever to walk the earth-- Branch is a liar who tricked Katy into a relationship/engagement in addition to being a horrible lay; Bobby is at first an understanding friend when Katy needs help but turns into an abusive husband. All the while Katy is never responsible for her part in everything bad happening to/around her. Katy's only transgression is that she didn't tell Brooks he had fathered a child, but all is forgiven because Brooks was on military deployment at the time anyway.
I found myself skimming parts just to get closer to the end. Instead of creating tension and/or suspense, the middle third of the book (before Brooks and Katy reunite) rambled on and on for me. This portion only succeeded in frustrating me further regarding Katy's bad decisions. I kept hoping the author would get to the point already and reintroduce Brooks into the story. Then when I thought things would be better, Katy's bad decision-making continues so I didn't know why I wanted them reunited in the first place.
Overall, this story was just too much drama for one book - there a love triangle, cheating, domestic abuse, secret baby and more. Additionally, the story was way too long-winded at points. I will say that the book is aptly named because it killed whatever little bit of love I had left for New Adult genre.