I really wanted to like this book but I think it was just a case of us not being compatible. I loved the author's writing style, I loved the setting and the use of British slang but I just didn't get on with the characters. I do think this was more down to personal taste and experiences though rather than a problem with the book so I don't want to put people off of giving it a try.
My main issue was the fact that I could see nothing likeable about Marcus. I know from reading the blurb and other reviews that he turns out to be an abusive boyfriend and I think the author was trying to give us warning signs to his potential behaviour in the way he acted towards everyone around him. The trouble is that his attitude went so far into asshat territory that I couldn't understand what would draw Frankie to him in the first place. Literally the only nice thing about him was his good looks and that will only get you so far when you are so horrible to everyone around you. I started losing respect for Frankie because she seemed to fall instantly in love with him just because he was gorgeous.
The author is tackling a really important subject by dealing with abusive relationships and I have to applaud her for that. I think if she had made Marcus a little more likeable to begin with it would have made an even bigger statement about how relationships can go so horribly wrong down the line. These kind of abusive jerks tend to be the kind of guys that everyone loves, people who have all the banter to become popular with the people around them but who turn into someone else entirely behind closed doors. Yes, there may be warning signs but often the worst of their behaviour happens when nobody is around to witness it apart from the partner they are abusing or conditioning to accept their abuse. I have seen that first hand so I'll admit that probably clouded my judgement towards Marcus.
I didn't read far enough into this story to see the abuse start, I read 26% before Frankie did something that made me want to scream and I had to stop reading. Marcus admits he already has a girlfriend but she doesn't even question him about it before proceeding to have sex with him. They don't even use a condom because he asks if she is on the pill! OK so Frankie mentally chastises herself for not using protection which was something but she doesn't really think about the fact that he is seeing someone else!
That hit one of my major hot buttons and along with the case of instalove I just couldn't bring myself to carry on.
Like I said, I do think the story has a lot going for it and I think people who are less forgiving than me about the issues I mentioned will really enjoy the story. This is a debut novel and I think Alix Wenmouth has a lot of potential as an author, I will certainly be watching out for more from her in the future but I'm afraid this wasn't the book for me.