Review: Can’t Lose You by J.R. Brown

can't lose you -jr brownMy name is Elizabeth Grace Payton. I just graduated high school and am looking forward to enjoying my last summer with Jayce before we go off to college together. Jayce isn’t just my boyfriend, he’s my everything.

I’ve heard stories about people saying there can be one moment that changes their entire life. As if this moment flipped their entire life upside down. They said that once that moment happened things never went back to what could’ve been, what should’ve been. I always thought these people were being a little dramatic. I mean, how could one moment change everything? Change your entire life?
Well, apparently I was naïve because that’s exactly what happened to me and I never even saw it coming.

One night changed everything. I ended up in the wrong place, at the wrong time. My dreams, my future, and my life were taken away from me. I can no longer be Elizabeth Grace Payton.

I am now Riley Lynn Anderson.


4 Drink Me Potions


Thank you Xpresso Book Tours for this copy in exchange for an honest review

I am left with a lot of emotions after finishing Can’t Lose You. It was most definitely an easy read, and particularly enjoyable in the midst of studying for midterms.

I really liked it, yet there were things that annoyed me endlessly at the same time. If I wasn’t so busy and craved the distraction, maybe my rating would’ve changed. However, as it stands right now, Can’t Lose You made my heart skip a beat here and there and had me craving to dive back into Riley’s life. Her relationship with Jayce was definitely the highlight of the book. Which is a good thing ’cause that pretty much takes up the majority of the plot.

It was well-done in my opinion. What would happen to a couple who thought they knew exactly what their future plans were going to be like, only to have it suddenly change overnight? Yes, I will agree that the synopsis’ vague description of the “inciting incident” poorly tried to build-up the suspense when it really shouldn’t have. This was by far NOT a suspenseful book. I don’t expect it to. It’s a romance novel, for goodness’s sake. Half the things that happened on the more “scary” side of the plot was BEYOND predictable.

Good thing I only cared for the romance. If you want more, don’t expect much beyond that.

Anyway, meeting again way across the country after years apart, how could Jayce and Riley expect it to be the same? I loved that J.R. Brown really explored their feelings, the unresolved issues, and hard decisions that came with this second chance. She didn’t jump the gun on anything. It wasn’t like they immediately had it all figured out, and just wanted to be together, like some insta-love stories I’ve read.

No, a good romance story dives deep into the heart of the relationship, and that is what you get here. A beautiful love story of two people, against all odds, getting their second chance.

Now, Jayce and Riley may have captured my heart enough to get 4 generous stars from me. It could’ve been higher – if Brown had just written in a manner that did not bug me incessantly.

Listen. Who writes down everything a protagonist does? Honestly. I write stories too since I was barely a teenager. I loved the concept and plot of the story because it reminds me of something I would’ve loved to write myself.

But the style? Here’s an example of it.

“I pull into the parking lot, grab my things, and head to class. I get to my seat just as the professor comes into the room. I like that the classes are small, but if you’re late then they usually notice. I pull out my notebook and pen and prepare to take notes. Thankfully class goes by quick, and before I know it I’m walking out the door towards my car.”

And this.

“I walk over to my closet, grab some clothes, and head for the shower. After I shower and dress I begin fixing my hair…Instead of drying my hair I decide to use some mousse and leave it curly. After I fix my hair I put on some black eye liner and mascara and call it good. I rush out of the bathroom to my room, grab my things and head out to the kitchen.”

Honestly. It’s exhausting reading everything little thing she does. I see this. I pick up this. I put on this. I do this. Oh. My. Goodness. Do we have to know that she puts on black eyeliner and mascara 3 times in this story? I get that in some way it helps us see what her life is like, but it dragsssssss it out. And this is how it’s like for the WHOLE story, by the way.

It’s not to say I hated it so much I couldn’t continue reading. In fact, the writing style was reminiscent of something. My old writing style, actually. When I was thirteen. I’m being generous. One star docked off for adolescent writing only happens when I’m in a good mood.

And ’cause Jayce has captured my heart. Who wouldn’t want a guy like him? Who fights for you no matter how hard you push him away?

I’ll leave this off with probably the cutest quote in the entire novel.

“Jayce: Don’t worry about the storm, I’ll be there to keep you warm. No need to check the time, you’ll be forever mine.”

Overall Recommendation:
Can’t Lose You was a gorgeous love story centred on a couple who was separated due to one fateful (but not that exciting) incident that changed everything. Getting their second chance years later, their relationship was carefully and realistically explored, which really pulls at the heartstrings. Brown’s writing style was a challenge to get over as she writes in a simple fashion that literally describes everything that Riley is doing throughout her day. If you can survive that, I do believe this little romance may just pop out a tear or two.

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