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BOOK REVIEW: Addicted To You (Addicted #1) by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Title: Addicted To You (Addicted #1)
Author(s): Krista & Becca Ritchie
Genre: NA
She’s addicted to sex. He’s addicted to booze… the only way out is rock bottom.

No one would suspect shy Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own.

Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment.

But as they sink beneath the weight of their addictions, they cling harder to their destructive relationship and wonder if a life together, for real, is better than a lie. Strangers and family begin to infiltrate their guarded lives, and with new challenges, they realize they may not just be addicted to alcohol and sex.

Their real vice may be each other.

*silence reins, a chair squeaks, someone coughs* 
Me: "Eh, hem. Hi. Uh, you can call me Jabberwocky—" 
Group: *chorus* "Hi, Jabberwocky."
Me: "—and I'm addicted to ... this book."

Sorry, for the not-so-punny joke, but I couldn't resist! But seriously, though: I loved loved loved LOVED Addicted To You by Krista & Becca Ritchie. It quite literally gave me the nerdy-problem called a 'book hangover'. It was the kind of book that haunts you; that lingers in your mind for days after you finish the last page.

Krista and Becca Ritchie's writing was incredible. You'd think with a sex addict for a main character, this book would be bogged-down with smut—but on the contrary, any heated scenes are written tastefully; more emotional than physical. Even with two authors, the writing flowed smoothly, and was jam-packed with emotion. There were pages that made my heart soar; paragraphs that made my breath hitch; and then moments where an inky black ball of dread curdled in my belly, making my grip tighten and finger flick desperately for the next page.

This book is about a pair of childhood friends, Lily and Lo. And while she's addicted to sex, he's addicted to alcohol. Together they hide their addictions from their wealthy, controlling families with a carefully constructed lie. By day, Lily and Lo pretend to be a normal couple. But by night, Lily tumbles into bed with a stranger while Lo cuddles his bottle of whiskey.
"We lied for each other and hid our infidelities, playing the role of doting boyfriend and girlfriend. The deeper we sink, the harder it is to crawl out. I fear the moment when… someone discovers our secrets. At any moment, everything can crumble beneath us."
For years they've lived this lie. Each touch and kiss they share is a fabrication, fake—although sometimes it feels more real than anything else in their effed up lives. For years they've lived this way, walking hand-in-hand on the dangerous line of their addictions. When one of them stumbles, the other one pulls them back from the brink—but secretly they've already fallen, both drowning in their lies and addictions.
"And I suppose, the fear of losing each other is always stronger than the pain we cause."
Lily Calloway isn't your average protagonist, and it would've been really easy to hate her. But seemingly effortless way the Ritchie sisters wrote Lily, it's impossible not to love her. I came to understand her sex addiction—and that's what it clearly is for Lily; an addiction. I felt her dependance on sex, and the conflicting self-loathing that came along with it. I could easily sympathize with Lily's shy, awkward nature, and grew to love her silly quirks (i.e. not washing her hair, and her cute inner comic-book shout-outs).

The secondary characters were awesome, too. Although nearly all of them straddled the line between endearing and not-so-endearing (i.e. social-climber Conner and ice-queen Rose), I never didn't like any of them. Each one had a unique personality, and felt so very real. Their interactions were amusing, and their relationships to the other complex and engaging.
"He's my drug that I gladly consume, and I think that's what he fears most." 
But my favorite character—hands down—was Loren Hale. He stole my heart from the very first chapter. Lo reminds me of a bittersweet, bourbon-filled chocolate. He can be as sweet and touching as sugar, but then as bitter and harsh as the strongest alcohol. But the danger of that bitter side is part of his allure. Whether he was teasing Lily or spitting out one of his spiteful comments, I adored Lo.
"Cheekbones that cut like ice and eyes like liquid scotch. Loren Hale is an alcoholic beverage and he doesn't even know it."
More than once, Loren Hale had me biting my lip or giggling uncontrollably. It was as if Midas had touched his words; everything that spilled out of his mouth was pure gold. Despite that, you could tell he was an undeniably tormented character; it showed with each swig he took of his liquor. While there was an air of emotional mystery surrounding Lo, there was no doubt in my mind how very much he cared for Lily. 
"Then let me try," he says, his hand cupping my face. "Let me try to be enough for you."
But addictions are ugly things, and no one can live peacefully with them forever. And as the end of Addicted To You grew near, Lily and Lo's battles with their addictions became a full-out war between not only sex and alcohol ... but their new-found romantic relationship. 
"He's here. I'm here. That's all we need. It's our greatest lie."
Altogether, Lily and Lo's relationship was as beautiful as it was heartbreaking. Even with romantic feelings aside, they cared deeply for one another. In fact, Lily and Lo's connection was one of the strongest and truest that I've ever had the privilege of reading. They loved all of each other—addictions, flaws;  e v e r y t h i n g  and  e v e r y  piece of one another was treasured. Their journey from friends to lovers was one I'll never forget, and Addicted To You is a gritty, real romance that will remain as one of my favorite reads for years to come.