Author: Cindy C. Bennett
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing for letting me receive a digital copy before the official release.
Eighteen-year-old Benjamin Nefer seems to have it all: great looks, incredible football skills, and smooth moves that have won—and broken—the hearts of countless girls at his high school. But his hellish home life has left him feeling empty inside, unable to experience real feelings. He thinks he’s fine being this way forever…until he meets a beautiful and witty seventeen-year-old girl named Charlotte “Charlie” Austin. She may be new in town, but she’s already been warned about Benjamin’s reputation, so it’s easy for her to shoot down his advances.It's January 2015 - let's note that. And then we'll speak about how awesome this book is and why it's one of my favourite reads of the year already (and probably forget that I read it when it was still 2014, haha).
Like him, she’s happier keeping people at a distance, especially since she, too, has secrets she’s not ready to share with anyone. But as the tentative friendship between the charismatic football captain and the new girl grows, Charlie finds herself feeling closer to Benjamin than she’s ever felt with anyone—and he wonders if he’s really capable of loving after all. Can they drop their guard, or is this so-called romance just another game?
I always planned on reading a Cindy C. Bennett book, somehow I didn't find the time yet or whatever other crazy reason there is. However, I am so glad The End Of Feeling was the first book I read by this author. Of course, it's very young adult like, but sometimes we all need that - the light and romantic stuff. And please don't be fooled by me. I say this is young adult fiction, and it is, but the main characters' problems are so heavy. It was really emotional and heartbreaking to read about those.
So maybe that's why I think Cindy C. Bennet created a real masterpiece here. She proves that YA books don't have to be all funny and all imature or something like that (hello to all you YA haters out there). Young adult books can be pretty amazing - the story, the writing, the characters. Everything about it, really.
Both characters are pretty strong, I liked that very much. None of them seems immature to me. In fact, they seemed very much like adults (except their behaviour when it came to each other). And yes, there are cliché parts in it as well. Football, shy girl - I mean, come on. All good stories need to be based on a little something we can relate to, right? Who doesn't love these typical football players that fall in love with the girl next door? You may have read thousands of books concerning that, but I don't believe you if you say you're so sick of it. Good teenage conflicts are the main part of any young adult book out there.
What I didn't like about the book... Well, I didn't like Charlotte's friends that much. That's probably because I seem to have an unevitable problem with any character's closest friends. Doesn't matter what kind of genre, what author and what book. I should work on that. Charlotte's aunt, yeah.. Uhm.. Spoiled? Definitely! Likeable? Perhaps during the end of the story, yes. Of course, I also didn't like Benjamin's dad, and I first disliked his mother, too. But then, as the story came to its end (which was way too fast, by the way) I tried to understand her and accepted her and her decisions. I think that's what Benjamin's character tried to do as well.
So, since I already said something to almost every character included in the book (I am not talking about Charlotte's friends, nope), I can safely say that Charlotte's mother is the cutest character I have ever read about. I loved how sweet Benjamin was whenever he was with her and how great they seemed to get along. A tragic story behind Charlotte's mother being her mother, wow. But that's what I said about this story being heavy. Young adult, so unlike any other young adult.
I recommend this book to everyone, and I mean everyone, out there. I'm sure fans of Jolene B. Perry and Nyrae Dawn will love this book as much as I did. One more thing I am sure of: This wasn't the last Cindy C. Bennett book I read.