Come Back To Me By Coleen Patrick

Whitney Denison can’t wait to start over.

She thought she had everything under control, that her future would always include her best friend Katie… Until everything changed.

Now her life in Bloom is one big morning after hangover, filled with regret, grief, and tiny pinpricks of reminders that she was once happy. A happy she ruined. A happy she can’t fix.

So, she is counting down the days until she leaves home for Colson University, cramming her summer with busywork she didn’t finish her senior year, and taking on new hobbies that involve glue and glitter, and dodging anyone who reminds her of her old life.

When she runs into the stranger who drove her home on graduation night, after she’d passed out next to a ditch, she feels herself sinking again. The key to surviving the summer in Bloom is unraveling whatever good memories she can from that night.

But in searching for answers, she’ll have to ask for help and that means turning to Evan, the stranger, and Kyle, Katie’s ex-boyfriend. Suddenly, life flips again, and Whitney finds herself on not only the precipice of happy but love, too, causing her to question whether she can trust her feelings, or if she is falling into her old patterns of extremes.

As she uncovers the truth about her memories, Whitney sees that life isn’t all or nothing, and that happy isn’t something to wait for, that instead, happy might just be a choice

Whitney Denison isn't alright, she's far from it.

She's spent the summer at Gosley, a rehabilitation center, in order to free her from her alcoholic induced guilt that surrounds the death of Katie, Whitney's once best friend. A drunken hallucination of Katie in the backyard of a party, a night that Whitney struggles to piece together. Katie died without Whitney having made amends, she made a mistake but in Katie's perfect life, there is no room for forgiveness, only perfection, order and control. Whitney never meant to kiss Kyle, her life being one drunken mistake ater another.

Whitney has served her parental induced rehabilitation and now returns to the judgmental world of cold smiles, idle gossip and perfection within the gated community of Bloom. The Denison house has never been a loving and safe environment, with Whitney's parents holding her up to their standard of living, her mother a daytime news anchor and her father a successful, adulterer lawyer. Older sister Lauren has been expelled from the family, her mother erasing Lauren from their lives since her divorce. To cope with the loneliness and avoid self destruction, Whitney crafts, something she's learnt from her time at Gosley. The only problem, she needs to venture into town for supplies.

Whitney shouldn't be surprised that she's been recognised, but by Evan Foster of all people. Evan was her unwanted savior, bringing her home on the fateful night that led to her being shipped of to rehabilitation. If only Evan had of minded his own business. All she needs to do is survive until she can lave for Colton University, where she can start her life over. No dead best friends, no drunken mistakes and no Evan Foster. So why can't she think of anything else but him? The night of the party, there is something she needs to remember, playing Scrabble in the library, waking up in a ditch and Kyle holds the key to unlocking what her conscious is trying free. Whitney needs to stand on her own two feet and decides to find her own volunteer position, rather than interning at her father's office. Following Evan leads her to a small, run down cafe simply known as TEA.

Whitney needs to rekindle her friendship with Kyle, but how can he remember if he can't free himself from his constant state of addicted numbness? Perhaps Evan knows more than he's willing to admit.

Come Back To Me wasn't at all what I had expected. Sadly, it was confusing and anticlimactic... But it wasn't all bad. There were aspects that could have made the difference between an average novel and an incredible storyline that readers could invest in. Whitney's rehabilitation was barely touched upon, as the story picks up on her final day. The characters within her support group were eclectic, but were only touched upon and had the potential to offer the reader an insight into life at Gosley. 

Kyle was... Well... Kyle was a tool. He's a user and Whitney's rekindled friendship is meaningless. He stares into the distance under his drug induced, alcoholic cloud and she sits with him hoping he'll suddenly remember what she can't. For someone who is struggling with addiction herself, how does she not relapse in his company? 

Evan is a decent guy, musical, works with children, straight laced and seems as though he genuinely likes Whitney, without asking for anything in return. But We barely see their relationship develop, as she is only intent on uncovering her memories and only believes that Kyle can help her.  It's frustrating, as the reader will genuinely believe that what Whitney discovers will be an incredible revelation, perhaps an integral plot twist, but no, it isn't. I felt let down by the storyline, as it could have been so much more.

Come Back To Me
Written By Coleen Patrick
Published 05 / 03 / 2013
239 Pages

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