Friday 19 June 2015

'Did I Mention I Love You?' By Estelle Maskame (***.5)

Hello, readers! Today I’ve got a very exciting post for you- a review of Did I Mention I Love You? by the mega-talented Estelle Maskame. When I was first asked if I wanted to review the book by Black&White Publishing, I researched it and was absolutely staggered by the fan base it already had, months before publication! That was when I saw that this epic teen romance was originally self-published on WattPad, and after thousands of frenzied and emotionally charged ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ by hundreds of pre-teens and teenagers, Scottish-based publishing house Black&White Publishing snapped it up like lightning. 

This story is unbelievable in itself, and surely every young aspiring writer’s dream, however what I found the most inspiring in all of this is Estelle Maskame herself. SHE IS SEVENTEEN (well, eighteen now actually- her birthday was this week). That makes her around one month older than me. So for me, personally, I wanted to review this book not only because it sounded like a stonking good read, but also because I wanted to expose further a novel written by a teenager. Estelle is surely a young person that every teenager who has a dream should look up to.

Intrigued? Here’s the blurb…

When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what she’s letting herself in for. Eden's parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she's about to meet three new step-brothers.

The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego. Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler's group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can't understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn't – her step-brother.

Throw in Tyler's clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there's secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler?

Did I Mention I Love You is the first book in the phenomenal DIMILY trilogy, following the lives of Eden Munro and Tyler Bruce as they try to find their way in an increasingly confusing world.

So not only do I hugely admire Maskame, but Did I Mention I Love You? was an amazing read that I absolutely zoomed through. If I am completely honest, the writing style took a little getting used to (it sounds like it is written by a teenager- and obviously I am not so used to that- there are not many published teenagers about!) but once I got into it I honestly could not put it down. The protagonist, Eden, is hugely likeable and easy to relate to, and has quirks that every young person can identify with. The writing is incredibly cinematic and I could envision each scene unfolding in my head- let’s keep our fingers crossed for a movie deal! The opening gave a great introduction to the characters and the underlying tension between Eden and her father, which is a recurring theme throughout the entirety of the book.

The only point I could complain about- and it is a picky point- is the realism. It seemed as if in every single chapter Eden would stay out all night, and the next morning would argue with her father, and then by lunchtime all would be well again. This is entirely subjective and a lot of people will probably not agree with me, but I found it a little repetitive.

That being said, I loved every other aspect of the book. All characters were well thought out and worked really well together, and the complex (to say the least) relationship between Eden and Tyler was tumultuous and perfect. I liked the fact that it wasn’t made the sole element of the novel, and there were plenty of other points to keep the reader on their toes. There were many twists and turns and I loved the moments of shock and surprise. The ending was flawless and a great cliffhanger- I could not have wished for a better ending and it made me desperate to have the sequel already!

Altogether, I loved Did I Mention I Love You?, and if you love teenage romance novels, you will love DIMILY. Also, the fact that it is written by a teenager makes it all the more special.

Want to grab a copy? You can pre-order it here:

Check out Estelle Maskame here:

Until next time :) 

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