I now have to reorder my favourite Adrien English books. This still doesn't top A Dangerous Thing for me, which remains my favourite book of the series. But I think this comes in a close second. (Followed by Fatal Shadows and then The Hell You Say).
Adrien - his usual sarky, snippy self (I love how the opening paragraph gets you straight back into Adrien's head) - is a little more petulant in this one. Possibly because he's recovering from pneumonia and his heart is causing him more trouble than usual. I think on a re-read you'd definitely pick up on what's being said between the lines when Jake and Adrien are talking. In some cases it felt like Jake was saying one thing and Adrien was hearing what he wanted to hear. But considering how they left things two years ago, you can't really blame Adrien for the assumptions he's making.
Two years have passed and I think Jake has changed (I am kind of rooting for him, I know not everybody does). For instance he does say this (one of my favourite lines)
"Listen, I know you think I'm an asshole - I am an asshole..."And I don't think he would have said that before.
Previously I think they had great chemistry but were not at the right places in their lives to meet up relationship-wise. Now although things have obviously changed in Jake's life, Adrien is not at the right place, I don't think he's forgiven Jake for what he did. He still thinks he's dealing with the 'old' Jake.
I wasn't in the mood for chitchat - and I didn't remember it being Jake's style either. At this rate he'd be asking about my mother and I'd bounce my juice glass off his head.I think because of the way Paul Kane manipulates Adrien, he is more susceptible to making assumptions. Jake is in a way to blame as well because he chooses not to explain himself. Which is his right, he and Adrien aren't together, but I think if you hadn't read the previous three books it may leave you a little frustrated thinking - just talk to each other. Whereas being aware of their previous history you know where the attitudes are coming from.
I love how the Adrien's relationships with his now extended family are developing, and especially like the newest member of the group - the Book Store cat. (And Adrien's impromptu Dr. Seuss impression).
I thought towards the end, we slipped a little towards melodrama. But hey, a little melodrama never hurt anyone. And I think at the end the stakes needed to be raised really high. One of my favourite endings to a story this year. Kind of cliffhangery but also perfect.