Review Rating: 3.2/5
Hi everyone! I just finished Stepbrother Dearest this afternoon. This review is a spoiler, just so you know. I didn’t give Penelope Ward’s Roomhate a high rating because I didn’t really love the story and her characters. And, since this was recommended to me by a friend, I read it. And, since I started it, of course I had to finish it. Likewise, I didn’t really enjoy the book as much.
The thing with Penelope Ward is that she focuses too much on her main characters that she forgets the rest of the people in her book. I think one big impact a book has is the theme relating to family. And, it’s one thing Penelope is lacking focus on.
This story revolves around Greta and Elec. They are step”siblings”, supposedly. But in reality, they are not really step”siblings”. Elec is a son of a man named Patrick and an artist called Mami (by Elec). Elec was born as a result of rape. Patrick raped Mami because the latter was cheating on the former. Patrick originally has a son named Randy. Mami cheated on Patrick with his son (who is Randy). This led Patrick to rape Mami, and thus we now have Elec. But, Patrick dies after the rape (assuming it was caused by Randy who attacked Patrick). But, since Mami was already pregnant, Randy stood as the father. Elec did not know this at first until later on in his life. Randy cheats on Mami one day, marrying Greta’s mother. So basically, Randy and Elec are brothers…
Elec is forced to live with Randy while his Mami is in rehab due to his obsessiveness to Randy. There, Elec meets Greta who ruins all his plans of making the latter’s life miserable (as the daughter of the woman his “dad” cheated on). Basically, he first tries to make her life hell, but ends up falling for her in the process. The night Elec leaves for California to go back to his mother, he takes Greta’s virginity because it was something Greta asked for. You see, Greta was also in love with him already. This is a total insta-love story. IT was so instant that you don’t even get a chance to fall in love with the characters at all.
When they separate, they are both heart broken, leaving pieces of theirselves to each other. They reunite when Randy dies in the second part of the book. Things seemed like it were just “yesterday” (quote and quote, here). In short, they pretend to be okay with not being together, then end up being together in the end. SOOO frustrating.
Elec also is a writer here. He wrote his autobiography which he lets Greta read. So, this is a way we see his POV. And OMG, it bored me to hell because it was just basically repeating the whole first part of the book. What is even more pissy is that Greta’s worked as a literary agent. Like it was purposely done so that Elec could get his book published. I think there is just soo little creativity in this book.
Also, during one of their “reconciliation” scenes in the book, Elec receives a text with “22” written. It wasn’t even revealed who sent the text. IT was soo annoying.
Though yes, it was about love and all…I think they way it was being built up was done with little foundation.