Published by Emma Doherty on July 5th 2016
Genres: Enemies to Lovers, Young Adult
Becca McKenzie is just trying to make it through her senior year of high school. She has good friends and a gorgeous boyfriend but Ryan Jackson, the bane of her existence, keeps popping up everywhere.
She doesn't care that they were best friends for years. She doesn't care that their moms are close and therefore she hears more about him that she'd ever care to know. She doesn't care that their mutual friend, Jake, keeps pushing them all to hang out together, and she especially doesn't care that the rest of the school bows down and worships him.
Becca decided years ago that he wasn't worth her time and nothing, NOTHING, is going to change her mind.
When I first started this book, I was thrilled; tickled pink even. Between the premise of friends who turned away from each other, enemies to lovers, and high school angst, this is right up my alley. The first 10% or so, I was smiling like an idiot because this book reminded me of Bully by Penelope Douglas, but in a much more realistic way. These incidents could and do actually happen in high schools these days. People do at times act like this towards each other and have these feelings, where as in Bully, as entertaining as it was, it wasn’t always realistic. This is part of what allows the reader to connect with the story so easily, simply because Emma writes a topic that so many have witnessed.
Ryan was a freaking saint for putting up with this heroine, it was a little painful to watch Becca’s reactions to him time and time again. Other than a few small moments, he was amazing. A nice guy, friendly, dreamy, star quarterback, and he was constantly trying to get Becca’s attention. Every single person in this book knew how he felt, EXCEPT Becca. Because she’s clueless. If you have a guy like this chasing after you, trust me lady, you need to pay attention!
“Well, remember your old neighbor when you’re an NFL superstar.”
His eyes find mine and his gaze is so intense I daren’t look away. “You really think that’s all you are to me? My neighbor?” My mouth opens, but no words come out. He turns to look back out to the ocean. “I’m not likely to ever forget you, Becca.”
Becca. Oh Becca. She started out so strong in my eyes, such a badass little heroine with a take no prisoners kind of attitude. I felt sorry for her, but was mentally giving her a high five for holding her ground and standing up for herself, but then it started to fall apart. She became not only annoying, but for lack of a better term, an idiot. She was quite happy in her own little world, completely oblivious to EVERYTHING that was going on around her. But wait, there’s more. She’s a know it all, and more stubborn than a mule, so of course in her eyes she’s right about everything. It doesn’t matter what she sees, it doesn’t matter what her friends say, she made her mind up when she was twelve, so therefore, it can’t change. This was so aggravating, but I have to be honest, it was kind of entertaining. Her character was like a car accident – it’s bad but you can’t help but to watch, you have to see how it plays out.
I’m glad my high school wasn’t like this in relation to the gossip and the cruel popular girls. Is this actually a thing in America? I’d like to think that Canadians are generally pretty nice, but even the popular girls in school were nice enough to everyone. I can’t think of any big scuffs that happened, major rumours that had been spread, or any of the other drama that happens in Four Doors Down. Thank goodness for that.
I loved the premise, but the execution may have faltered a bit. Becca had the same issue over and over again and no matter what happened, she wouldn’t let go of it. Her stubbornness is truly the only reason there’s a book. If she would have just opened her eyes, listened to her friends or talked to the poor hero, this all could’ve been resolved early on. It was annoying and could be irritating. I kept thinking that this clueless girl needs to get a grip.
Four Doors Down holds a nice twist that helps to really solidify and shape the story. Is it predictable? Sure, but it’s well written, and then Emma expands on a familiar twist and makes it her own. It was entertaining for sure, and this is really where the story started to pick up for me again. Ultimately, I just wish it had happened earlier on.
If you don’t like books where the characters don’t get together until the very last chapter or two, this may not be the book for you. I was hoping through every page, every chapter, that Becca and Ryan might get together.
‘Maybe this is finally the one!’ No.
‘Oh I can feel it! Something’s going to happen right now!’ Nada.
I apparently suck at guessing. There’s a few other infuriating characters in this story, so trust me when I say, you’re routing for these two a lot.
The last few chapters I really liked. I think they were executed in such a way to answer any questions and wrap up all the loose ends. Plus, we find out that there will be a sequel called Four Years Later (hopefully Becca will be a little more mature here!) so I’ll definitely be looking forward to that one.
It bothers me to have to point it out, but the epilogue wasn’t actually an epilogue, it just gave a little info about what was happening in Ryan’s head earlier on in the book. However! I enjoyed the perspective that it gives and helps to fill in any remaining blanks that you had about his character or motives.
There’s something to be said about a book that’s formatted well. Not only does it make everything easier to read, but it’s so pleasing to my little neurotic brain. Plus, the colours are super cute, nicely done!
I spent a few days waffling about whether to rate is at 3.5 or 4 stars, and ultimately it could tip either way on any given day. I loved Ryan, enjoyed the premise and twists, but wasn’t a huge fan of the heroine and her stubbornness which took up a large chunk of the book. Today I’ll pick 3.5, but it could easily be a 4. I’ll be on the look out for the next story about these two and maybe that’ll help clear it all up for me.
Four Doors Down is not only well paced, but it reads quite fast, I did it in one evening after work. On top of reading fast, this is freaking addictive! I don’t know what Emma did, but I was running through these pages faster than a kid at a carnival. It doesn’t matter that I found Becca insufferable at times. It doesn’t matter that she may be one of the most dense heroines I have ever read. Emma has a talent in creating real life characters that the reader can connect with. She makes you WANT to keep reading, she makes you NEED to keep reading.
*An ARC was received by the author and Enticing Journey in exchange for an honest review.
I turn to the side and see Ryan approaching with Jake and try not to pull a face. He’s glancing at Katie and his friends suspiciously. “What are you guys talking about?” he asks as soon as he reaches us.
I wait for Katie to reply, but she just stares back at him smiling.
“Just about how much we can’t stand each other,” I inform Ryan.
He glances over at me. This is the first time we’ve spoken since our fight at the beach. I mean, let’s face it: we definitely didn’t speak in Sal’s, we just shot each other dirty looks, and I’m still annoyed at him for the way he spoke about Charlie.
I don’t understand him. Was he always this interfering?
“Oh come on, Becca, he’s not that bad,” Jake says, slapping Ryan on the back and coming to his defense.
“Well not compared to Adolf Hitler, he isn’t,” I instantly reply to chuckles from his friends.
“You guys are back to being friends again,” Jake continues.
“Please,” I scoff. “I’d rather go for a sleepover at Jessica Murphy’s.”
Ryan snickers and crosses his arms. “Yeah? Maybe you could play dodgeball again?”
My mouth falls open as I hear the laughter from his friends. I can’t believe he’s just brought that up again. I’m already humiliated enough over that whole incident.
“Fuck you, Ryan!”
“He wishes,” someone says from behind me. I swing my head around but I have no idea who said it and they’re all looking away, trying not to laugh. I immediately get nervous and have flashbacks to teen movies where the popular kids play a prank on the dork to make everyone else laugh.
Something is definitely going on here.