~4 Love Can Be Complicated Stars~
"When you're that young, you don't realize how short life truly is. You think you will have all the time in the world to be and do whatever your heart desires. It will eventually get there; it's bound to happen. One day."-Lucas
Complicate Me is exactly what the title says~complicated! It is a story documenting the life and times of a group of friends stumbling through the awkward "coming of age" stage of life. It is the story of two of those friends who fell in love and didn't know what to do about it. When the pressure of doing what you are told is right or making the choice to be with the one you love is asked, what would you do?
"Our relationship was filled with what ifs, and maybe some days...it was complicated. It was messy. It was us. I couldn't take her in small doses and I couldn't take her in large ones."-Lucas
Alex and Lucas grew up together in small town with a tight group of friends. Alex was the only girl in the group and "the baby" of the bunch. They spent summers swimming, surfing, riding bikes, playing tag, and just growing up. Not only is the crew close but their parents are close as well. As the group begins to age, Lucas realizes that he feels a little more than brotherly love for Alex. Although he is supposed to only love her as a sister, he realizes that in fact, he loves her for so much more. Alex and Lucas are so young. The boys in the group are older and as they begin to mature the pressures of growing up begins to weigh the group down. Although Lucas knows he has feelings for Alex, he recognizes that she is too young for him to act on it. Additionally, he feels pressure from his friends to love her like a sister and protect her. As all boys do (at that age), he meets other girls and experiences the triumphs and fails of all of the "firsts". He maintains his friendship with Alex but begins to explore. While everyone is growing up, Alex is left as a spectator on the sidelines.
"You're a good girl, Alexandra. That's what makes you my Half-Pint. You're the calm to my storm; it's always been that way. You're my refuge."-Lucas
Alex and Lucas maintain a close friendship. There is no doubt that they both have feelings for each other and yet the constant pressure from their friends (and parents) keep them from being together. The story really begins to take off when Alex grows up. All of a sudden Lucas feels a pressure in his heart that he hasn't felt before. Can he honestly sit by and watch "his brown eyed girl" be with someone else?
"She was mine. I didn't want to share her. Not with Cole. Not with anyone. How do you explain something you don't even understand?"-Lucas
Lucas and Alex experience heartbreak every step of the journey. The way that they feel for each other can't compete with the realities of life and in their life time is a bitch! Sometimes time is not on your side. Sometimes by doing what we think is right, we make mistakes and we loose the people that we love. When the damage is done, can we really go back and make everything ok?
"It overwhelmed me and consumed me. It hurt me and slayed me. Like a giant blade was driven directly in my heart."-Alex
What happens when too much time is passed and too many mistakes have been made? Could it be too late to be with the one we love?
"I loved you then, I love you now, I'll love you always."-Lucas
Overall, I truly enjoyed Complicate Me. Days later I am still pondering the journey these two characters experienced. Every time Lucas walked away to be with another girl, I cried with Alex. Every time I thought Lucas was going to declare his love for her but didn't, I wanted to throw my kindle against the wall. This writing is raw and offers an accurate depiction of life. Told in dual POV we experience "both sides of the story!" The friendships are thoroughly felt through the complex character development and intense situations. The sexual tension in this read is intense and the tender moments between Alex and Lucas left me breathless. I would definitely recommend this read to anyone that is drawn to emotional reads with a heavy dosage of angst. I am not going to lie...my stomach and heart hurt the entire time I was reading this book. Once I started it, I couldn't stop until I reached the end. The anxiety I felt for both characters was magnified with every new challenge they were forced to face. However difficult the journey, the final result was well worth it! My only complaint is that we didn't get more time with Alex and Lucas at the end. I can only hope this means we will see more of them in the rest of the series! This is my first M. Robinson read but it will not be my last. (Only now I know I need to get my tissues and favorite bottle of wine ready!) My kindle will be ready and waiting for more.
~ARC graciously provided via author in exchange for an honest review!~