Antonia is leaving the last shards of her life in Tucson behind to find her mother and start over. Turns out that’s easier said than done. London is a pretty big city, a hundred bucks don’t get you far and you can’t just make your past disappear.
When sweet and caring uni student Wesley gets her a job and a room in his father’s pub, Tony is unprepared for his older brother Trace who despises her at first sight. She’s unprepared for someone whose secrets might be darker than her own.
Following a path of breadcrumbs and tangling up in Trace’s past, Tony slips back into a world she thought she’d escaped the day her father went to prison.
These Things About Us is a touching story about an eighteen year old’s struggle to find her mother and discover who she truly is. I found myself being able to relate to Antonia (aka Tony) throughout the story. We all have things about our pasts that we are embarrassed to share and/or want to hide from the people around us, which makes Tony’s story a universal one.
After Tony’s father is thrown in prison she becomes a “bad girl gone good.” She desperately wants to separate herself from her old life to the point of resisting everything and anything that reminds her of her past. While to the people around her Tony may seem perfect, on the inside she struggles and hates that she is drawn to “bad boy” Trace.
I liked Tony as a character and found it easy to get into her head and become immersed in her story. However, I wanted to learn more about her past, more about what made her take such a drastic 180° change. My favorite thing about her was that she grew as a character and you saw the person she wanted to be vs. the person she truly is.
Trace on the other hand, is a bad boy with a huge chip on his shoulder. He immediately dislikes Tony, has a violent and unpredictable temper, and has a string of women in and out of his room. While Trace is a jerk, I like that Laura Beege has given us a glimpse of his past and home life. Similar to what is seen in the real world, Trace acts the way he does for a reason and while I don’t feel that this justifies his abusive and violent behavior it helps to explain his issues.
I like the way that the author has developed the characters in These Things About Us. She shows the good and bad sides of them and doesn’t leave them as one-dimensional cookie-cutter characters. They each had their faults and flaws which I thought made them extremely realistic. While I was left with questions, I genuinely cared about the characters in this novel and wanted to know what happened to them long after I finished reading.
The plot was paced well and I wasn’t bored with the action for one moment. Actually I read the majority of the book in one sitting and surprised myself when I looked up and saw how much time had passed. While this wasn’t an extremely emotional read, there were some very gripping scenes in the novel that tugged at my heartstrings.
Overall These Things About Us was a very good Summer read and it left me wanting more (please give us a sequel). There were a few slight issues I had with it, but nothing worth complaining over!
Rating 4/5 stars! A great summer read for people ages 17 to their midtwenties!