Since cheating almost certain death as a child, Memory has been doing nothing but living every moment and getting everything she can out of life. Refusing to be seen as anything but the girl she is now, she's kept the illness of her past a secret from everyone and instead become the life of every party. But when the cancer returns, she's not ready to fight it, not ready to let go of the life she's embraced and deal with the treatments and sickness and looks of pity. And she's certainly not ready to fall in love with a man who makes her want every bit of a future that isn't guaranteed.
But... The editing, or lack thereof, hasn't improved with book three. Most noticeably, the author or editor or proofreader or whoever is responsible has no access to spellcheck, any English dictionary published after the early 1600s, or Google. That's really the only logical explanation for the continued use kookoo — which isn't even a word!!! –rather than the actual word of cuckoo. It's a common bird named for the sound it makes, and for the past 97 years, it's been American slang word for crazy. Which is kind of how I feel having had to read past it again.
Judging Covers: The cover's certainly pretty, and it probably would have caught my eye anyway, but I can't quite figure it out. I think I was expecting something more in line with the covers of the previous books. Why'd it go from people in fields (totally Texas) to some girl underwater?
The Verdict: While Stupid Love gives us more glimpses at the couples we fell in love with in the previous books, this story is a bit of a departure from what I assumed was the norm for this series. Whereas the previous stories revolved heavily around college life, Jace and Memory's journey seems to use college as an accessory, not a major setting or part of the plot.
Memory is the girl who beat the odds, surviving a type of cancer that spares few, and ever since then, she's been all about living life to the fullest. She's the daredevil, the one who always speaks her mind, the girl who finds joy in every breath and brings excitement to everything she does. But no one knows about her past battles, and she prefers to keep it that way, not wanting anyone to look at her with pity or treat her differently. And that's especially true now that the cancer is back.
Jace does his best to resist his attraction to the girl he assumes is like every other girl on campus. He first sees her when she's ready to puke up her guts at a party, and the next time he sees her, she turns the flirt on full blast. As far as he's concerned, there's nothing special about her at all. But then they keep running into each other, and he sees more and more about her that's beyond intriguing. Before he knows it, he can't get her out of his head, and despite his reservations, he's falling hard.
The major conflict of the story isn't silly campus hijinks or the usual college student drama, and it's not some past trauma coming back to; it's Memory's avoidance of the truth of her illness, the tumor growing in her brain that she's terrified of giving into, and the surgery and treatment she doesn't want because it might be more devastating than death. But falling in love with Jace was not in her plans, and the aggressive cancer is catching up to her, forcing her to face her fears and her love and everyone she's kept it secret from.
While the logical part of me wanted to slap Memory silly and force her into telling everyone the truth, scheduling the surgery, and dealing with the awful reality of her situation, it was impossible not to understand her denial. Inside her chaotic mind, it seemed that even the simple act of admitting she was in danger was giving up on the life she tried so hard to achieve, and one can hardly blame her for trying to reach her goals despite the odds against her. Fortunately, this is romantic fiction, so despite the pretty terrifying circumstances Memory faced, things all worked out in the end. Stupid Love is an emotional look at the choices one makes when faced with the possibility of no future at all, and the profound impact falling in love can have on facing our worst fears.