Pre-read: Couple of reasons why I'm reading this book:
1. I've read the author's work before, but unfortunately it wasn't really enough of an experience to really tell me anything about her writing style, so I figured I'd give her another shot and hope my experience with this was better than the last (though my perusals in the NA scheme have been mostly misses, I've had a few that struck me well. Here's to hoping this is one of the better ones).
2. The title's "Come As You Are" - which is the title of a Nirvana song and it immediately leapt to mind as I saw it listed on NetGalley. I'm wondering if that was intentional, because if it's evocative of the tone of the novel overall? I'd say: Good choice.
Post-read: I think "Come As You Are" was a much better read in the scheme of the genres it was written in than a great many titles I've picked up this year. It's not the smoothest read to get through, and it touches upon some tough issues in light ways which I think could've been more developed in a full narrative, but I'll admit I followed Molly and Ian well for the most part. This felt real enough for me to follow and feel for the characters, though again - there were caveats.
I think even quite some time after I've read this book, I'm still conflicted over my sentiments about it. "Come As You Are" is a much better book in the scheme of New Adult that I've picked up in recent measures. And yes, the title is a direct reference/allusion to the song of the same name by Nirvana, which was one of the reasons why I picked up and ended up reading compulsively through this story - there are significant ties to the song (as well as Nirvana's "Nevermind" album) given in the history of the main female character's life. But I'll admit the biggest thing that I had problems with in the beginning of this book was probably the leading female character, despite the compelling reasons behind her grief.
Here's the bare bones of where this story begins: Molly has just lost her adoptive father. She's grateful that the man who tormented her life is gone. It's not certain at first how he tormented her, but I think your first best guess would likely be the right one - I know I called it early on in the story, at least in part. Molly's in a rough emotional place, depressed, wanting to die, drinks herself into something of a stupor.
She meets a guy - a nice guy in fact. She forces herself onto him (yes, by that, I mean she nearly rapes him - and I was not happy with that factor, but at least the guy calls her out), but he's not having it, and he sees she's drunk and vulnerable. The two end up sharing a bed overnight, with Molly confused as to whether or not she slept with him. She leaves, ends up having to go to a meeting over what's left for her in her father's will.
Turns out the guy that she "slept" with is not only at the meeting, but she discovers that he's the adoptive brother (her adoptive father's son by blood) she's never known.
Things get very complicated from there (understatement).
I will admit that I really liked Ian. Some measures in the story made him *too* ideal of a love interest (meaning I almost lost my suspension of disbelief with aspects of his character), but he was far more of a refreshing male love interest than most I've come across in New Adult.
Even when Molly gets undercut by her foster father, Ian tries to give Molly as much as he can to help her out. It's frustrating to see Molly push him (and his efforts) away, but I'll admit it was realistic. I also liked how palpable their relationship was in spurts. I did see what Molly saw in Ian, though it was harder to see the reverse. I did think the additional backdrop of Nirvana references served as a nice touch for the thematics of the novel, and I applaud Weir on that factor.
I wished that the last part of the novel, where the reveals were made on behalf of Molly's tragic background and the truth in that, weren't as rushed as it was. It killed a part of the book for me because it didn't have the same time frame for build-up that the beginning of the novel had. I had a much harder time being able to take in Molly's coming to terms, and Ian's role in that, than I otherwise would've had.
The supporting cast of characters? They weren't as strong as the main two and I'll admit I wanted the characters collectively to have more flesh/presence than they did.
Overall, a decent read, but I had issues with parts of the narrative for theme and the overarching presentation.
Overall score: 2.5/5 stars
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from Belfry Press.