As the first book in the DIMILY series, Estelle Maskame's debut novel Did I Mention I Love You? is a fun, summer read.
Her writing, and the story as a whole flow well, with little room for reader confusion. Her characters are also extremely believable and realistic. I for one found myself identifying with Eden - I'd much rather be hanging around a bookstore than a shopping mall. She's also not your "typical girl," with little interest in clothes or random girly chatter--instead, as she struggles with family problems (I've been there!) and her own personal issues, she enjoys her space, her freedom, and often pounding the streets as she runs ridiculously early in the morning.
Tyler, meanwhile, is your typical moody teenager, the kind that girls everywhere (and parents) will no doubt find themselves understanding and having been around. That is, of course, until, as the story progresses, Tyler's own back-story is revealed, adding depth to a character who at first appears to be nothing more than an almost-intolerable youth who wants to just go out and get drunk as much and as often he can.
The story surrounding the forbidden romance between Eden and Tyler is another thing which readers will find themselves able to understand. How many times have we all thought about being with someone we shouldn't? It's that realism that makes the story of their illicit meetings and hook-ups even more enjoyable to read, even when, at times, you're badly wanting them to get caught in a compromising position! (SPOILER: they talk their way out of a lot.)
If there's one thing I'll remember from this book it's a quote on page 129, which serves as an encouraging reminder that life is what we make it and that it's up to us to lead the life we want, regardless of what others might think:
"Your life is your life, your music is your music, your choices are your choices."
Despite facing some tough competition within the YA group, notably from the likes of the Hunger Games' Suzanne Collins, at just eighteen years of age, Maskame has proven herself to be just as worthy of the praise and attention she has so far received, and such praise is unlikely to stop heading her way anytime soon.
If you're heading abroad this summer or even just to your local beach, I would highly recommend you pick this up and, hopefully, like me, you'll be eager for the next installment from the moment you read the last page.
The DIMILY series is available now from Amazon and most other retailers.
The second book in the series, Did I Mention I Need You? will be released in September, while the third and final book, Did I Mention I Miss You? follows in January 2016.