Out of the Shallows by Samantha Young

Charley and Jake’s story concludes in Out of the Shallows…

Somehow, after everything they’ve been through, Jake Caplin and Charley Redford made their way back to one another. But finding each other and staying together are two completely different things.

When Charley’s world is flipped upside down, she begins to question the choices and decisions she’s made since her arrival in Edinburgh, and in an effort to grip onto what she holds most dear she believes she must sacrifice her love for Jake.

Returning to the States for her senior year, Charley struggles to find peace and happiness. While everyone else seems to be finding themselves in college, Charley is terrified that, along with almost everything else that’s important to her, she’s lost herself.

While friends and family deal with their own tumultuous lives, there is one person resolved to uncover the reason behind Charley’s sudden defection and unhappiness. Refusing to give up without a fight, Jake believes he is the only one who can truly understand what Charley is going through, and this time he’s determined to prove he’s there for her no matter what obstacles are thrown in their way.

However, as Charley strives through the biggest personal journey of her life thus far, there is no guarantee that the woman she is becoming will still need Jake as much as the girl she once was did…

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My Review:
3 stars — Well darn.  I kind of didn’t have my hopes up for this sequel, but I guess part of me was hoping I was just being pessimistic.  But in the end I just didn’t enjoy the characters as much, and so much of the book just felt like drawn out angst…I didn’t find myself empathizing with Charley at all.  She was so sassy and witty and tried so hard in the first book, and that all just disappeared in this book.  I know she was supposed to be a shadow of her former self due to “circumstances”, but I expected her to show up again at some point…and that just never felt like it happened.

This book also reuses the present/past alternating chapters thing from the first book, but I wasn’t as intrigued by it and I lost all my patience for learning what happened that way.  I’d mostly enjoyed it in the first book, but reusing it just felt like trying too hard or something.  I found myself just wanting to know so I could move on and feel something for once.  Plus even when we were in the “past”, it would occasionally have a time jump in that section (like 48 hours earlier).  I’m not entirely sure why it bothered me, but it did.

Charley’s family was also kind of horrible.  I guess in some ways it was realistic, in that not all families are great and people behave irrationally, but I just never got behind the way they were treating Charley, and how they couldn’t see what her decisions because of them was doing to her.  I had already been upset at Andi in the first book for how she behaved when Charley told her about being with Jake again, and I guess that just never really went away.

In the end I didn’t feel like Charley’s reasons were good enough for the way she was treating Jake.  I don’t really think she deserved to have him be patient with her with all her wishy-washiness.

Even Beck and Claudia’s storyline felt a bit tired to me.  I know Claudia was burned and thus untrusting of men, but she really toyed with Beck too.

So yeah.  A lot of drawn out angst that felt boring and repetitive, and not as much character growth as I would have liked.  I didn’t even really get a satisfying epilogue conclusion.  I wish I’d only read the first book and left this one.


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