Author: Anita Pius
Thank you so much to Autranum for providing a copy of Anita Prius’s It’s Just Love in exchange for an honest review.
After their parents died, Crystal only has her older brother Christian and he is her world. Before Christian turns thirty, Crystal tells her brother to find a wife and marry but Christian disagrees and they end up arguing. Crystal leaves the house and refuses to come home not until Christian marries. Christian is forced to agree and finds a wife.
I am writing this review with the knowledge that:
1) the copy I have is likely an nth draft of this short story, therefore, I will not be commenting on the grammar and punctuation mistakes; and,
2) the copy I have may be far different once it is published and therefore this review is only about the copy that was given to me and my opinions might change once the book is published.
I picked up this book sensing some clichés based on the synopsis given to me. That’s not so bad though, we need some clichés once and a while. When I read the book, it did not meet those clichés I thought it would have. It definitely gave something different but it was…bad. I only managed to finish it because it was short.
The relationship of the siblings was not one commonly seen between siblings. I didn’t even know they were siblings until the third chapter or so. I always love the relationship of siblings, whether it’s full of love or love and hate but Christian and Crystal’s relationship is just… downright annoying. Their voices as well are so similar I sometimes don’t know who is talking. Actually, almost all of them have similar voices except perhaps Gerard and Tovia. The other side characters are also lifeless and seem to have been forgotten by the second half of the book. The characters don’t have distinct qualities that can make you distinguish them (except Christian’s constant babying of Crystal) or can make you love them or root for whatever they are fighting for.
Christian and Crystal’s relationship is just unhealthy and problematic. Crystal is a blind spoiled brat and their relationship is basically damaging their ability to socialize, have their own life, make their own decisions and it’s basically hurting themselves (it’s actually hurting Christian more) and the people around them. I wouldn’t be able to discuss this without mentioning I hate Crystal and I have never hated a character as much as I hate Crystal. She claims she loves her brother yet forces him to marry, a decision that should be Christian’s choice alone and not hers, before he turns thirty (which only leaves him days). Christian disagrees and she throws a tantrum, leaves the house and lives with a total stranger (and alone with said stranger) and threatens her brother that she won’t go home unless he marries. Christian is left with no choice and finds a woman to marry. She can’t even understand why her brother got angry! Not only is she against her brother’s wishes, she is also endangering the life of two humans as she forces them to tie the knot and settle down because she wouldn’t end her tantrum. Another thing I hated about her was that she was aware that the wife is not getting any attention because Christian keeps babying her (despite her being a college student already) but she does not protest and does not understand why his wife suddenly hates her and she rattles on her friends that her brother’s wife is a witch. And, while I’m not defending the wife because she did her own shit too, I was so close to gouging my eyes out to Crystal’s ignorance of the people around her. I can’t even feel any sadness for her in the end (which should have been an ultimate shocker plot twist-esque but it just came off as a device to justify all the shit the siblings have been doing, which did not justify them at all). I also hated how the wife had to be told to be thankful to Crystal because if she did not insist Christian marry, she (the wife) wouldn’t have married Christian. I screamed.
Another thing I hated is the constant breaking of the 4th wall. It was unnecessary given the book’s format and could have been spent on describing what makes Christian ‘handsome’ or what they feel. This book was more tell and less show which contributed to its lifeless characters and bland prose. Heck, I don’t even know what they look like except that ‘we could pass as twins’.
Basically this book is about how love arrives in just a simple snap and love and trust is guaranteed once you’re married. Where everyone is a multi-millionaire, Christian can’t see any fault in his sister, Crystal can’t see shit and understand the people around her, and what should have been a quarrel between newlyweds turned into a gang fight. All the relationships in this book are unhealthy and are basically a nightmare to any human being.