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Book Review: Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

Dear Aaron had a great premise of pen pals who fall in love with each other and have to deal with the distance and the fact that they don't really know each other outside of the scope of their IM messages and emails. Ruby joins a pen pal program that sends emails and sometimes packages to oversees marines. She gets paired up with Aaron and soon (after a few unanswered messages) they start a very wholesome friendship over IM and emails. They get to know each other's darkest secrets and funniest moments and for Ruby, that slowly starts to become more. However, she is aware that she needs to understand that her relationship with Aaron is merely platonic. Until he asks her to meet her in Florida, after he ends his tour with the army. After much thought she decides to go and finally meet the man in her emails, and is surprised to find the hottest man she's ever known and all her thoughts of maintaining a platonic friendship goes out of the window.


"If a little distance is all that it takes to tear a relationship apart, that should tell you something"


My main issue with the story was Ruby and her immaturity and character. She was very whiny and although she was 24 she acted as she was a child right out of college. I am 24 and reading about a character from the same age as me who was so inexperienced in life and in everything and complained about everything was a little bit of a turn off. Her life story is interesting and I found her interesting as a human being. Yet, her self deprecation at times turned to be too much. She thought too low of herself and her actions and when things started to get interesting she would just deny that anything good could happen to her.


The story is also very slow burn. I went in blind for the book and later discovered that Mariana Zapata is the queen of slow burn. I am not against slow romances and sometimes enjoy them. However, this one did feel too slow. I think mostly it was due to the fact that 40% of the book is told in IMs and email conversations rather than actual scenes and dialogue. So what I enjoy about slow burn, which is the tension and the glances, were not really apparent with this relationship until the very end and still we didn't get a lot of tension.


I really liked Aaron as a character (at times) but I did feel that I didn't get enough character development out of him. This might be due to the fact that we never get his POV, which would have been a nice addition. I really wanted to see his POV when they met. Because all we really get is Ruby freaking out about how hot he is and how she's overwhelmed, but it is obvious that he was surprised about her too and I wouldn't have minded seeing that scene in his POV too.


Overall this wasn't my favorite romance but I am for sure going to give Mariana Zapata another chance as I have heard that some of her other romances are incredible. This might not just been the book for me, but if you love slow burn it might be for you!


Overall rating: 3 stars


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