The Lake by AnnaLisa Grant
The Lake (The Lake Trilogy, Book 1)
At 17, Layla Weston is already starting over. Having lost both her parents and grandparents, and with nowhere else to go, Layla is moving from Florida to a small town in North Carolina to live with the only family she has left: her estranged uncle and aunt. The last five years of Layla’s life were spent appeasing her less- than-loving grandmother, followed by being her grandfather’s caretaker. Growing old before her time, Layla lost her identity, she must learn how to allow herself to be loved and cared for once again. Life takes an unexpected turn when Layla meets Will Meyer. His breathtaking good looks are enough to catch her eye, but his sincerity and passion are everything she needs to find the strength and confidence she lost — and lead her into love. When tragedy once again strikes Layla’s life, her hope is all but completely crushed. Through it all, Layla learns what it means to truly love and be loved.
Ugh...I have no idea how I made it to the end of The Lake. Well that is not true, I used it to read at night when I couldn't sleep. Something I knew I wouldn't get drawn into. This book was so long and drawn out and skipped over like everything that happened.
So it starts with Layla moving in with her aunt and uncle after her grandfather dies. They are the last relatives she has and she wants everything to work out. She doesn't really know them, but they seem nice and caring. Of course at the first event she goes to in town she sees Will and they are instantly attracted to each other. They quickly fall in love, but they have to hide that because his father is evil and will do anything to stop them from being together.
The plot seemed like it would be good, but man it dragged on and on and on. Layla blames herself for her parents death, she caused the accident. It is obvious it was going to be something stupid and she didn't really do anything, but you have to wait for most of the book until you get to what that was. She goes on and on and on and on and on about her life and things that have happened. She goes on about how when her parents died it was horrible, her grandmother was horrible to her, her grandfather was nice but needed a caretaker (her), how she is so happy to be with her aunt and uncle now. How her time with her grandparents was penance for killing her parents. Which fine, I understand all of that, but I don't need it repeated again and again and again. That is one main issue I have with the book, Everything gets repeated again and again and again so much so that by halfway through I was just like enough! I get it! I understand!! You don't have to keep having the same thoughts/conversations for me to remember what she is thinking/feeling! I GET IT! Please stop repeating everything. This book could have been significantly shorter had it not just repeated everything over and over again. It was too much. It just went on and on.
Another issue? The characters were very one dimensional. I didn't really care about any of them. I really didn't like Will. He seemed like kind of a jerk, but somehow everyone liked him and he was so magically amazing. I don't get it. I didn't see it, but everyone keeps saying it. That is what happened with all of the characters. You would hear again and again and again how someone is x, but they wouldn't really show you they were. The dad who is evil? Well....for most of the book I didn't see it. So he helps beat up someone and Layla sees, but even after that she is again and again and again told that he will do anything to keep her away from Will and she is just like well he won't really do anything bad...then he doesn't really. He is the boogie man, but never really seems to do much. I was very disappointed in his terror he unleashed on the family. I expected more, especially after being hit over the head time and time again with how horrible and evil this guy was. Then Layla and Will in love? I didn't see that either. We just were told again and again that they are. They can't be without each other. I didn't see why they liked each other.
One other thing with this book. Layla is moved into this world where people are super rich, but we never get to see that world. We don't really get to see many of the day to day things she has to get used to. She goes to this super fancy school, but we never see her interact with her classmates or see how she tries to fit in. We just get her going on and on about Will and her past life and how she loves Will, but his father is horrible. So much repeating of the same thing, when the story really could have used more story. More something to show the characters and what they were really like, instead of just telling us. It was a wasted opportunity. There is not much I liked about this book. Really I am trying to think of anything I did...it just was not very good. I am not sure why there are so many amazing reviews for it. It was boring and repetitive and slow and I just didn't care about any of it. I didn't realize this was part of a series, but I will not be reading the next book (even though this book does end in kind of a cliffhanger. You don't find out what happened, but I don't care enough to try and read another long drawn out story).