Title: Addicted to You (Addicted #1)
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Released: 22nd August 2013
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Addicted to You was not a book I was expecting to enjoy. It was not even one that I was going to
pick up, as I really didn't think it would be for me, until I happened across a few reviews that persuaded me to give it a try. Even then my hopes weren't high. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it...and yet I did. Immensely. The novel is, in some ways, quite a dark one, and I was left impressed with the way the authors dealt with their subject matter.
Lily Calloway and Loren Hale are both addicts. The past three years have seen them pretending to be in a relationship, a solution they came up with to help them hide their addictions: this way Loren can help Lily hide the fact that she's addicted to sex, and Lily can help Lo hide his alcoholism. For three years, this solution has worked. But now it's becoming harder to pretend, and the lines aren't so clear anymore. The possibility of them sharing a real relationship hangs in the air, but their addictions, combined with the arrival of new people in their lives and the demands of family, mean that too easily everything could fall apart. Even so...being with each other for real may prove too hard to resist.
Addictions are something we generally realise to be extremely serious affairs. Drugs, alcohol, these are the addictions we come across the most in media and fiction. Krista and Becca Ritchie do a highly commendable job in showing us the extent to which an addiction can take over someone's life, allowing the reader to truly appreciate what the character is going through. They take this one step further in exploring something rather less addressed: Lily's sex addiction. It's quite easy to dismiss this as something unimportant, either because we think it doesn't really compare to the life-threatening nature of, say, the other two types, or because the idea of being addicted to sex seems somewhat absurd and self-indulgent. In reading this book, however, I could see that Lila was also a victim; in its own way her addiction was destroying her life. Having sex was not just an activity to pass the time, nor was it just a trivial concern. It was something she needed to function.
With this in mind, then, Lily and Lo were characters, if not easy to like at times, easy to relate to. I was invested in their story, and some part of me was glad when they finally decided to make this relationship work for real, even though I knew it would only prove even more destructive. The authors never once shy away from the dark realities of their characters' lives. The secondary characters, too, have been well thought-out. While at first I didn't appreciate the intrusion of Connor and Ryke, neither of whom I could really connect to, my feelings toward them did change. What I really liked was seeing the complex family dynamics of the Calloways, particularly when it came to Rose and Lily. The range of characters here is wonderfully complex and adds to the emotional depth that the novel offers, all of which made me enjoy it even more.
This is not a light tale, and neither is there anything half-hearted about it. It is dark, gritty, emotional. There is much more to appreciate and consider than I had expected going into the book, and I am certainly looking forward to reading the next one.