The Summer He Came Home (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake)

The Summer He Came Home - Juliana Stone 2.5 starsThis was the first book I've read by Ms. Stone, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I enjoyed the characters she created--especially the group of "Bad Boys"--but I can't say the same for the heroine, Maggie. I never really connected with her character, and it was hard for me to believe her sincerity in her actions, considering the things that had happened to her in her life.And I guess that was the main problem I had through most of this book. Of course it's fiction, so not everything has to be perfect and a mirror of real life, but unless it's a fantasy, I want my books to be realistic, and I just didn't think this one fit the bill.I also found the storytelling to be repetitive and a little boring. Their feelings were talked about ad nauseum, and the back and forth was exhausting. I was skimming huge chunks of text because...I just didn't care. I don't care what the trees look like with the wind blowing through them. I don't care what everyone is wearing or what highlights they've put in their hair or what make-up they're wearing. I found this book to be bogged down by details that were completely unnecessary to the plot. Instead, I would've rather read more about the conclusion. It was this huge climax (one of which I'm sure you'll see coming from 15% into the book), and then it was wham, bam, thank you ma'am, and we were done. I still had many, many unanswered questions--for important pieces of this book.What is Cain going to do? Is he planning on staying in Crystal Lake? What about his career? The author went on and on about how much playing to a crowd means to him--how he lives for that. I don't think playing the dive bar in a town of five thousand is exactly what he had in mind.Besides that, the "resolution" with her husband was lack-luster. All that build up--and entire book full of her fear--and then...that's it? Also, it was hard for me to buy her battered wife on the run story when she wasn't more careful about what she allowed her son to do. Through half the book, she didn't even know who he was with, just being passed off to different people for them to watch him. And you have three deadbolts on your door, but you let your seven-year-old son open the door to whomever? Nope, not buying it.In the end, while this could have been a cute read, it just didn't have enough realism for me, was bogged down with inconsequential details and didn't focus on the pieces of the book I think this really could've benefited from fleshing out.That said, she did create an interesting group of guys, and I am intrigued to read their stories. I'll probably give book 2 a go, hoping the storytelling has gotten a little better.