Desperately Seeking Epic by B.N. Toler

Available on * * Goodreads

Paul James loved Clara Bateman. 
Hating her would have been easier.
She was the past, and he was hell-bent on keeping her there.
Or so he thought...


You’re my father.
I don’t know much about you. I know your name is Paul James, you’re a thrill seeker, and once upon a time you did stunts and people called you ‘Epic.’
I’ve been told you don’t know about me. That it’s complicated. 
But for me it’s simple.
Here’s the thing: I’m twelve years old…and I’m dying.
And as much as this could crush my mother, I have to meet you before I go. 
In time, I’m sure she’ll understand. She’s still in love with you.
So, Epic, if you read this, please come back. You don’t have to be my dad. You don’t even have to tell me you love me or you’re sorry. Just come see me. 

Patiently waiting, but running out of time,



Desperately Seeking Epic was a bit of a mess for me. It was not at all what I expected it to be. I thought going into it it would be the story of a girl who is dying and trying to find her birth father. I figured the ad she placed would play a role in finding him and maybe eventually he comes back, builds a relationship with her, maybe falls in love with her mom again, whatever. But the dying girl would be a main character. Instead I got a dying girl as a side plot, a ploy to get the main characters together and then kind of just pushed to the side. It was not good. Really you could have replaced Neena with any stupid reason to get Paul to come back and you still would have had this story. I don't even know why Neena was there or why there was even an ad that she placed about trying to find Paul. The ad didn't do anything to further the story. Paul never even saw it until he was back so...

So Paul and Clara were in love. Only Paul can't settle down. He has this need to move and wander and whatever, or so I am told. I never really saw that. I never really saw most things with this story. The author would tell me things, but I didn't see the characters actually acting that way. It was definitely more tell than show. Also there were a lot of things added, then dropped when they weren't needed anymore. Like a scene with Paul's mom, though only the one scene then she wasn't mentioned again. I don't even know why she was in there. I mean why didn't Clara ever try and see her or have her know Neena at all? I get Paul left, but to keep his family out of the loop as well? Really? I kept forgetting Paul had living relatives because they were so non-existent. 

Also Paul comes back and it instantly realizes this is where he is meant to be and he can settle down and be there for Neena and Clara. It didn't work for me. Really I could choose to believe one of two scenarios - first that Paul does have this crazy need to wander and not settle down and so he could stay away from everyone for thirteen years, but then when he comes back it takes him a while to figure out that he can be there and not go crazy. That he does love Clara and over time realizes that. That staying won't stifle him. Or the second scenario - that he leaves, but then after a year or two realizes he made a big mistake and comes back to be with Clara again. Not that he goes away and stays away for thirteen years then after two seconds of being back realizes he doesn't need to wander and be carefree anymore. I wasn't buying it. It didn't work for me. It was way too easy for him to suddenly change. Nope.

So this is really the story of Clara and Paul and them falling in love again, with their past being told to this teen reporter girl for some reason (maybe that was the reason for the ad? To get this awkward telling of their past?). That whole thing, their past being told in this interview format to this teen, made me roll my eyes. It was just like of course this is what we are doing. I did not care for it at all. Really as you can tell I didn't care for this book overall. Oh there were also these weird times where the author would explain things that are to me common knowledge. Like one instance when someone calls Clara "Babe" and then it is explained that that is the guys pet name for Clara. Yep, Clara and about a billion other people. It would throw me off a bit as it was like did you really need to clarify that? If people didn't get it I think it would be okay. I mean based on context he is obviously talking about Clara so obviously that is what he calls her. It was odd. I didn't like it.

So yeah. Not my favorite read. Probably the most unforgivable for me was using the dying girl as a cheap ploy and then pushing her to the side. I really didn't like that. Not cool man, not cool.



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