Headstrong Like Us is the 6th installment in the Like Us series and continues Maximoff’s and Farrow’s story. And if you’re like me and have read the first five books in the series, you’re already hooked and will love this one as well.
I adore this series. And I love Maximoff and Farrow. The world that the Ritchies have created in the Like Us universe is completely captivating. I just can’t get enough of all the intriguing characters of the Hale, Cobalt and Meadows families, or their bodyguards. Whenever there’s a new installment, I dive in and love every minute of it.
I can’t deny that Maximoff and Farrow – so far – is my favourite couple in the series. And continuing to read about them and the progression of their relationship is simply awesome. In a way, this book was almost like a really extended epilogue in that it’s a continuation that extends way after the initial ILUs. You get to follow them living in a solid relationship. It’s beautiful, sappy and wonderful.
So, trying to be somewhat objective in my review of this book is hard, but I’ll try.
As all of the previous books, Headstrong Like Us is written alternating between Maximoff’s and Farrow’s respective viewpoints. And I really like the dynamics between the two. They’re so obviously and helplessly in love with each other, but they express it in other ways than sentimental, flowery declarations. It’s depicted in such an understated, typically guy-way that is absolutely perfect. There couldn’t be a more suitable writing style to describe Maximoff’s and Farrow’s love story.
However, there is also a tendency to skip, or gloss over, significant incidents. At least incidents that I, as a reader, find important. Like Maximoff getting hurt, or conflicts that are resolved but without any details being provided. It’s a bit frustrating and annoying. Because really, it’s those juicy parts that keep the story interesting, and I felt a bit cheated on information on more than one occasion.
And also, I did have trouble with the baby.
Sure. It’s a big step to become guardians to a baby and you might say that it takes away some of the focus from the Marrow relationship. But most of all, it’s so bloody unrealistically described. It’s too picture perfect. Ripley, despite constant wailing is apparently the easiest baby in the world, having no effect on Maximoff’s and Farrow’s relationship. Which is bullshit. Because a baby up-ends everything. Mostly in a good way, but still. Sleepless nights, having another human being glued to you 24-7, vomit, pee and poop, incessant colicky screaming. The sleepless nights. And oh, yes, the sleepless nights. But in Headstrong Like Us, little baby Ripley is portrayed, not like an actual baby, but like a cute accessory. Something to be brought along anywhere or handed off when inconvenient. I can only surmise that the Ritchies don’t have kids themselves and haven’t met many parents with infants.
Still, despite these things, Headstrong Like Us is a great read. I particularly admire Farrow’s hair quality. His hair must be as strong as steel, the hardcore way he alternates between colouring and bleaching it without it dissolving into dust is enviable.