213 – Connected by the Sea by E.L. Todd

Connected by the SeaThe author of this book found me on Goodreads and asked me to read an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) of this book in exchange for an honest review.  The author said that based on my “Read” list, they thought I’d enjoy it.  Here’s the Goodreads summary:

“Sydney is attending University of Hawaii on Oahu where she’s majoring in Marine Biology. She loves her friends, her job, and her school. Since her ex-boyfriend cheated on her six months ago, she hasn’t moves onto anybody new yet. When Coen catches her eye, she’s immediately attracted to him in a very carnal way. She refused to let herself feel that way because he’s a heartbreaker just like her ex was. But when she’s called to her professor’s office because she’s asked to tutor someone, she doesn’t realize it’s Coen. Will he convince her that he really is boyfriend material or will he turn out just as she suspects?”

I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review. SPOILERS BELOW

I felt like I was reading fan fiction. The main character, Sydney, was completely unappealing. At first, I thought I’d like her, but the more the story progressed, the less I connected with her. She turned into a weak and whiny “Bella Swan”-like character. The way her relationship with Coen began and continued was just completely far fetched for me. Not to mention her complete lack of wanting to be honest about their relationship. If she was so in love with him and wanted to be with him so much, why keep it a secret. No woman would really do that, no matter what the reason. Which brings me to her relationship/friendship with Henry. Really? I can’t even put into words how fake it all felt. Henry just felt like an overwhelming and smothering guy. The way he was constantly coddling her creeped me out and made me want to take a shower.

The other issue I had with this book is the random story about Sydney’s step-father and step-brother. Either the author is hoping for a sequel, or they just wanted to bring some random backstory into this plot that made absolutely no connection to anything relevant. That entire piece could have been left out.

There were also several spelling and grammatical errors throughout the book. These bother me from a writing standpoint. There were also a few continuity errors as well. For example…the author makes such a big deal about pointing out that her Jeep doesn’t have doors in the first chapter or two, (to the point where I was sure she’d get into an accident or something) only to then mention her leaning against her car door a few chapters later. That might seem trivial, but continuity is important.

Overall, I wasn’t impressed. There’s potential in this story, but it would need a lot of work.


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