This cover is so pretty!
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
How can a book be cute and infuriating at the same time. I can’t figure it out.
This novel is the story of Paige, who lost her boyfriend a year ago. She wants to prove to the world that she’s finally okay and for that, she makes a plan. That plan includes dating her long-time crush, Ryan Chase. But when she meets his cousin Max, after he recruits her for QuizBowl, her perfect plan stops seeming so perfect.
Quite a simple plot. Nothing you haven’t heard before. But one that also promises cuteness and that’s why I decided to read it.
And it was cute. Max was a wonderful guy, his friendship with Paige was great, as was his relationship with Ryan, who was also great. The friendship and family aspects that were included in the book were unexpected but appreciated since it’s not that common (sadly) for YA to show female good friendships.
Things were good. The writing wasn’t bad, the place was good, the book was funny and interesting. Even Paige wasn’t nearly as annoying by the end. Sure, some things were predictable, but that was expected. And yet, it gets 2.5 stars. Why?
Because of the exaggeration.
I swear to God, Paige would cry for an hour if she lost her pen, that’s how excessive the reactions were. It was like the author wanted to make the book exciting but couldn’t find the proper way to do so. The conversations often came off stilted for at least the first half of the novel and Every. Single. Emotion, or reaction, was exaggerated.
But the worst part was Paige’s trauma. I can understand her being upset over her boyfriend’s death and occasionally crying about it. But I will not, ever, accept that she has nightmares about drowning because a her boyfriend (a guy she knew two months) died over a year ago in a drowning incident that she didn’t witness. All that was only for a conflict that wasn’t even very good. It was beyond pushing it.
Note to all authors: If you can’t properly research trauma then don’t include it in you novel. It is not a convenient plot device for you to use. There are people out there who actually do live with traumatic nightmares and I’m pretty sure they do not appreciate you turning their pain into a plot device.
*deep, calming breaths*
Overall, this was a read that had me very divided. It had good parts, but I was tempted to ignore those because of the negatives. The ‘big’ moments felt anticlimactic and I rolled my eyes so many time, I was afraid my contacts would get dislodged. And yet the novel wasn’t terrible. How?
I am still so confused. And that’s why I don’t know if this is something I would recommend. Read it if you think it sounds interesting, I guess. Because I’m stumped.