Friday, July 12, 2013

{Tour Stop} Book Review: Addicted to You by Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie (+Giveaway)

Title: Addicted to You
Series: Addicted #1
Author: Krista Ritchie, Becca Ritchie
Pages: 324
Pub Date: July 01, 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Book Source: From the author for review
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars


Best friends Lily and Loren enjoy a life of luxury thanks to their rich parents, but hidden underneath the sparkling exterior, they each struggle with an addiction.

Lily has a sex addiction. One night stands, excessive amounts of porn, masturbation, etc. She thinks about sex almost every second of the day.

Loren's addiction is a more common one: alcohol. He drinks all day and all night. The are stashes upon stashes of liquor in their shared apartment.

To keep their addictions hidden from their families, to avoid scandal, and avoid loss of trust funds, they've pretended to be a couple for years.

“[...] we lied for each other and hid our infidelities, playing the role of doting boyfriend and girlfriend. The deeper we sink, the harder it is to crawl out. I fear the moment where neither of us can breathe again—when someone discovers our secrets. At any moment, everything can crumble beneath us.”
They help each other hide, cover-up, and feed their addictions. They enable one another only because if one tells the other to stop, they may be faced with giving up their own addiction in the process.

So they continue on a downward spiral of addiction, hidden feelings, and broken relationships.

- - -

I am going to preface my review with this tidbit from the author's acknowledgement page:

“It's important that as female readers, as women, we empower each other. Sex addiction for women is a tricky subject. There's a fine line between being a destructive sex addict and merely exploring sexuality. By being aware of that line, we can support other females in their sexuality, not shame them. We're all sisters, [...] start celebrating that bond we all inherently share.”

Those words match my thoughts exactly, and I applaud these lovely authors for their opinion and having the guts to say it out loud and express it with their stories. I am very much against “slut-shaming” (and the word “slut” in general, really) and putting down women who wish to explore their sexuality. I hate the double-standards put out there and though it is something I doubt will ever go away, it's not something I have to agree with or support. Women can enjoy sex just as much as men, and they can also, like men, take it too far. Such as the case of our protagonist, Lily.

To make this clear: Lily doesn't live a life of fun sex. She needsit. It's a mental and physical addiction. She hates herself for it at times and feels ashamed and embarrassed. Her addiction controls every aspect of her life, major and minor. She can't go more than a handful of hours without a fix, and this has ruined her family life and left her with no friends except Loren.

Loren, also an addict. Alcoholism. This is a tough subject for me. I have an alcoholic parent and it was difficult to separate my personal life and opinions from the book. I had the biggest annoyance with Loren. Drunk all the time, passing out every night, choosing alcohol over Lily, etc. I know they say alcoholism is a disease, but I have trouble wrapping my head around that. I feel like it is a choice and once made, hard to get out of. You can't be an alcoholic if you never choose to take a drink, right? Is crack addiction a disease as well? What about heroine? Meth? I mean, this is just my personal opinion. I admit that I may be a bit cynical about it due to my own experiences, but my point is that I had trouble liking Loren because of his choices.

Now Lily, on the other hand, I did feel connected to. I was much more able to sympathize and empathize with her. She narrates, and I really enjoyed reading from her POV. She has loved Loren for a long time, and when the two finally decide to try a realrelationship, I feel that she gives it her all while Loren does not. During their relationship, Lily begins the first stages of battling her addiction. She wants to stay loyal to Loren, so having sex with strangers is a no-no. If Loren denies her (which he does), she is forced to relieve herself, which is a watered-down version of what she really needs.

The romance was very angst-ridden and intense. It's clear these two love each other, but neither one is truly willing to give up what they need and want for the other. It hurt me emotionally to see it happening. I felt so very connected to these characters and their personal struggles (more so Lily than Loren though). I really feel that the authors did an amazing job in making them seem real and relatable even with their respective addictions making them seem like less-than-savory individuals. Loren is sexy and sensitive. He is a caring friend and loyal son. Lily is quirky and funny. She's smart and sociable. They both have things going for them, but the ball-and-chain of addiction forever holds them back from reaching their potential (both together and separately). Both characters were very well written and so were their background stories.

There are some other elements to the plot than just the romance and addiction. I won't spoil it, but it's a twist of sorts, and I think it added a lot to the story. I also really enjoyed some of the people introduced later on in the boon such as Connor. Ohhhh, Connor. Cocky, snarky, hilarious Connor! Connor starts out as Lily's tutor, but ends up a very close friend for both she and Loren. I honestly LOVE this guy. I found myself wishing he was Lily's love interest instead of Loren. I really can't wait for more of this guy in the upcoming installment. :)

Overall, I enjoyed this book a great deal. Loren pissed me off a bit, but hey, no one is perfect. I think the characters were multidimensional and very well written. I feel they were easy to connect with and to understand. I fell absolutely in love with Connor and Ryke, the only two guys who break into the mess that is Lily and Loren's fake relationship and befriend the broken-souled couple.

This book is filled with crude humor and I loved it! It starts out on the lighter side, but darkens quickly and becomes very intense. It does end on a positive note, though very much a cliffhanger.

Addicted to You is the story of two college students each suffering their own addiction while enabling the other to do the same. They journey through love and friendship together. They hit rock bottom together, and with the help of new friends, decide maybe they need help. I recommend this book for fans of Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Disaster as it's packed with intensity and unconventional, dark relationships.

Definitely not suitable for readers under 18 years of age!