Better is the sequel to Good and is the final book in this 2-book series about a taboo student-teacher forbidden romance. This is a direct continuation of the story from Good following the same characters and is not a standalone.
Ok. I wanted to like this, I really did. But for me, it just didn’t have the same spark that the first book, GOOD, had. Please know that it was not the taboo part of their relationship that bothered me – I loved the first book and I have loved many other books that push boundaries.
My problem with this book was that I really felt like I couldn’t respect the characters’ decisions. Who knows, maybe they were realistic? Maybe that is how some people would react to their situation? I don’t know. But I just got overly frustrated with Mark and (especially) Cadence’s decisions again and again and also felt like the religious aspects of the story were heavier here than I would have personally liked.
I guess I just felt like while there were some funny, witty scenes and a few romantic ones, that there were also a lot of scenes that just didn’t hold my attention and for a good chunk of the book I felt like it was one WTF moment after another. For me, it was just too much. I liked Cadence a lot in the first book and understand that she was younger and less mature than Mark and I also get that there’s no ‘standard’ way to act for a certain age but I just felt like she was overly immature and just generally regressed in this book.
I did still like Mark a lot in this one. He made mistakes for sure but he owned up to them and you could tell how much he cared for Cadence (despite that care bordering on creepy every once in a while, but that was to be expected given their huge age gap). He did have two WTF moments too though that rubbed me the wrong way but for the most part he was the highlight of the book for me. I just wish we’d seen more of him in it because a large portion of the focus of this book seemed to be on Cadence.
And, just randomly, I also preferred how the first book was written in first person. This book was written in third person and for some reason something about it just didn’t work for me.
This being said, I’m still a huge fan of this author’s writing. I love that she writes about uncomfortable topics. I love that when I read her stories I never know exactly what I’m supposed to feel. In this book I kind of went back and forth between wanting to root for Cadence and Mark and inwardly cringing. It’s like this author makes me feel things that I’m not sure I’m okay with feeling but I like that it pushes boundaries. I loved both Going Under and Good and will absolutely be looking forward to the next book from S. Walden regardless of how I felt about this one.
Rating: 3 stars.