By D. Kelly
The Evolution of Us is a second chance romance set in present time, but also told through flashbacks to the couple’s teenage years and early twenties. Declan and Holly have been friends since childhood. Then they were lovers. Then a horrible fight broke them up. Declan‘s grief sent him into one hookup after another, trying to forget the love of his life. Now he’s tired of playing around and wants her back.
I’ve read several D. Kelly books. Most I’ve liked, a couple I’ve had problems with (I’m still a fan, D!). This one falls into the latter category. I liked the characters well enough, but I felt that Kelly was glancing over the parts of the story where she should have delved deeper and spent too much time on things that didn’t shape the story.
For example, Declan has a really close relationship with Holly’s dad. I would’ve liked to see more interaction between the two of them. How did Pops take the breakup? Also, it is mentioned that Holly’s dad and Declan’s mom are dating, but no effort is given to exploring how/if that changes the couple’s relationship or how Holly even feels about it. It made me wonder why it was brought up in the first place.
Much time is spent on a “secret” that Holly is keeping from Declan. Sadly, I guessed the secret from the beginning and felt so very let down at the end of the book. It was predictable.
And that’s my biggest complaint with this novel (and, coincidentally, with the other D. Kelly novels I didn’t love): Points were predictable and others too convenient. I wish some parts of this story would’ve taken less obvious routes.
That said I’m still glad I read it. I liked Declan. Do I think the reason and way he broke up with Holly was stupid? Yes! But I liked that he was honest and straight but not narrow. His friendship with his gay best friend, Baxter, is fun and refreshing. I loved the two of them. I don’t feel like I got to know Holly very well though. I would’ve like to have learned more about her friendship with her friend, Sage, and more about what it felt like to have a mother with addiction issues.
The Evolution of Us is a total beach read. It’s light and fun. Which is great. But I think the story had an opportunity to make the reader think and maybe feel more deeply. But it was an opportunity missed. As Randy Jackson would say on American Idol, “It was just ok for me.”