4.25*When I saw two of my friends ( *waves to Susan and Kris* ) had read and LOVED this book and then a humongous buddy read was called into life I knew I wanted to join in.To be honest by the time the book came out I had forgotten what I had ever read about the story and went in without any knowledge what it was about.I knew I liked the cover, something about it makes me keep going back to look at it.Ok, where to start, I had parts of this book I loved and parts I didn't like as much and some parts left me wanting.There have been some awesome reviews written and I have no hope of even coming close, so I'm just going to give a few small impressions and let a few quotes that really spoke to me, speak for for me. Ash was an interesting, annoying, heartbreaking asshat, and at times such a contradiction, but I liked him. Darian, I really really wanted to know more about him. He alluded to things in conversations with Ash ( like his mother/parents) but Ash was too busy thinking about Ash to even really listen or show an interest. I am glad that was cleared up about his mother, cause that was nagging at me since the beginning.I really felt that I was left wanting as far as Darian's character and personality goes, I got just enough to think he's a really fun, great and really good person, but I wanted to know him better. Ash, when he was thinking about himself, or mostly about his illness he was very wordy and 'deep'. I realize he was a writer and possibly that's why, but I also thought it kept him and me sort of at a distance, since the way it was written was so descriptive and more like storytelling. But I liked that. I can see how it would annoy people but it made me feel for him even more, like he wasn't even able to face it head on, without using all these flowery descriptions. He mourns the person he was before his first episode so often in this book, I can literally feel his longing.“In the past, the universe is a glitterball I hold in the palm of my hand. I am the axis of the world.”And now :“I was nothing but a ghost hunter, chasing the wraith of the man I used to be”.I felt for him, felt the weight he constantly seemed to be carrying.He must be more or better than what we see of him, because despite how he is and behaves ( and I don't think a lot of that can be attributed to his illness, just his asshat personality) he has longstanding and good friends, so there has to be more to him, more to love and appreciate I would have liked to see more of that side of him, really.Niall, I really liked him, he pulled an asshole move, but I got his motivations and when he finally explains them to Ash, I loved Niall. I want him to get his HEA, that boy deserves one more than anybody. Max and Amy ( and whatever that triangle thing with Naill is) confused me.At first I thought Max was going to be the token guy we can hate, but he isn't, not at all.But what is that with Niall, Amy makes it seem like it's all Niall, but I remember Ash saying Niall has 'love bites' and you know they sort have to be made by another person..so..I felt a little 'left hanging' by that situation. If it's going to be cleared up in the next book (*hint*) great, if not, I wish that whole side issue had been totally left out. At least the part where we are lead to believe there is consensual sex between them, then not.On another rambling side note, I thought it was cool, how all the *glittery orange*Essex gang loved and treated Ash kindly and him being with Darian was more than accepted, and Niall's revelations was met with understanding and no drama, yet those asshats at Cambridge thought they were sooo much better, couldn't even begin to be as mature as the 'less classy crowd'.I also have to say, the Essex-speak was a little hard to get into, I had to concentrate more than I liked and by the end I was missing the letters *th* wif my whole heart. So all in all I really liked this book. Ash was flawed in many ways, but he finally got his act together and it was great to see. Darian is a sweetheart who loves his Nan, but I do so wish I could have gotten into his head. The supporting characters were very interesting and definitely helped round out the whole picture for me.I have now found a new author ( thank you Susan ) I will be on the look out for and I really would like to read Niall's story and see more of Ash and Darian and how they are doing together. Mentally orange hunjed pahcent.ETA: I on occasion try and learn new things and while doing that came across this word :Cherophobia and thought that it sort of fit Ash, at least in the beginning, but he over came it. Cherophobia is the fear of being too happy because you think something tragic will happen.