REVIEW: Just Don't Mention It by Estelle Maskame

"Tyler Bruce – hell raiser and bad boy – tells his story in his own words."

Alternating between past and present, Just Don’t Mention It is narrated from Tyler’s perspective. We see his life as a twelve-year-old boy suffering physical abuse at the hands of his dad. He is younger here than when we first him in Did I Mention I Love You?, where he is the daredevil seventeen-year-old stepbrother who falls head over heels for Eden.

In these parallel timelines we finally understand the enigmatic Tyler’s complex story and his innermost thoughts – on his parents, on Tiffani and Eden – all the things Eden wasn’t witness to. And, crucially, the reader gains heartbreaking insight into why Tyler becomes the self-obsessed, angry and unhappy guy we encounter in Did I Mention I Love You?

Having followed Maskame’s DIMILY trilogy from the very beginning; waiting week after week and reading it chapter by chapter on Wattpad, you could say I’m pretty invested in Tyler Bruce’s story, so when I heard we were getting a new book from Tyler’s perspective… Let’s just say I might have screamed my lungs out just a little.

Just Don’t Mention It gives readers a deeper insight into the not-so-bad boy we know and love, as well as providing a new perspective on the original Did I Mention I Love You? story. While this is officially considered the fourth book in the series, anyone could dive into it - though you really should read the whole trilogy anyway. You’ll be desperate to after reading this!

Written in two alternating timelines, in the present we follow Tyler Bruce, the bad boy meeting his stepsister Eden, and eventually falling in love, and in the past we see him as a 12-year-old kid who is abused by his father.

This topic is sensitive and it’s difficult to read in parts, but Maskame deals with the subject respectfully and provides an understanding as to why some people don’t speak up about what they’re going through. The book also contains information on organisations that can help should the book affect anyone.

Just Don’t Mention It is the perfect summer read. You can escape to Santa Monica and enjoy a hike up to the Hollywood sign, 4th of July celebrations, and a wild party or two with an awesome cast of characters. Every character Maskame writes feels real, and the two antagonists of the series Dave and Tiffani are so damn evil that, I must admit, I get a little too worked up. They might be fictional but they can boil my blood faster than anyone I’ve ever met.

It’s a no brainer that this book was a five-star read for me and I truly wish Estelle Maskame received as much recognition both at home in the UK as well as the States as she does internationally. I’d say if you enjoy Jenn Bennet, Abbi Glines, Kasie West, and other contemporary/romance authors, or just a good fast-paced and drama-filled book then you will love this series.

By Emma F.

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