Genre: Young-Adult/New-Adult, Romance
Series: Harper Boys #1 (Standalone)
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Little Miss Write
This is a special-case one star. Usually, my one stars are of the nothing-in-this-book-works variety. But here, it’s a case of one thing bothering me so much that I can’t, in good conscience, give it a higher rating. Even though the writing and story are okay.
The story is told in first person, from the perspective of Kensington Worth, who’s just moved to a small town from the city and is having trouble adjusting without her friends. Her neighbour is Owen Harper, a boy who goes to her highschool and has a bad-boy reputation. He’s trouble, basically. Initially, Kensi and Owen do not get along. But slowly Kensi sees that there’s a different side to Owen, a deep and hurt side. Which is why she simply gets over him being a dick, and the romance kicks off.
As you might be able to tell by the way I phrased the previous sentence, I was not overjoyed. But the problem goes beyond that.
In the beginning, Owen is a total ass and is very mean to Kensi for no reason. Like seriously, we never get a real reason as to why Owen decided to fuck with her especially, other than maybe to move the book along. Boy-meets-girl has to happen some way, right? So what if it makes your male protagonist look horrible?
Anyway, after the little meet-not-so-cute was done and the two could interact without a plot device, Owen was suddenly no longer a douche. He never apologised and that bothered me, but I observed over time that he’s more of an apologetic gesture kind of guy than the traditional ‘saying sorry’ person. I could get behind that. Kind of. And I could get behind him being hot and cold all the time because even though it made me want to hit him, after he really committed to the relationship, he was pretty solid. That’s progress.
All that can be attributed to the character development (for the most part) and that’s not the reason for the one star. The reason is the relationship, mainly from Kensi’s side, because we only read from her perspective. Basically, it was obsessive.
After the first 5-10%, Kensi’s every thought was of Owen. Her thought process was, in a nutshell: Is Owen awake? Is Owen asleep? Is Owen at home? Is Owen playing basketball? Did Owen come to school? Where is Owen, if he’s not at school? Is Owen okay? What is Owen thinking? Is Owen angry? Is Owen sad? Is Owen hurt? Why is Owen not here? Did I accidentally upset Owen? Is Owen mad at me? What’s the expression on Owen’s face? I should go visit Owen. I want to be with Owen. I want to help Owen. I love Owen. Owen is everything. Owen owns me. Owen is this, Owen is that. Owen. Owen. OWEN.
If that’s not obsession, I don’t know what is. All Kensi wanted was to be with Owen and to make sure he was okay. Even when he hurt her, she made excuses for him and found a way to blame herself, that maybe she did something that made him to ignore her. It was very unhealthy. Talking of how he owned her and breaking apart because he was upset with her, I could say it was his fault but it was really Kensi’s obsession.
The whole thing, from how the book started to how the relationship was, it was very Twilight. Which, believe me, is NOT a good thing. Thankfully though, Owen was not a creep like Edward and he definitely did not sparkle. Not even a little bit. Didn’t even use glitter for fake sparkly-ness.
But sparkly jokes aside, the relationship was a problem. It already would have been with how dramatic it was shown to be. But when it got obsessive and took over every other plot point, things got really bad. Kensi was more broken up over an argument with Owen than she was over the whole shit-fest that was going on with her parents. In fact, everything that wasn’t the relationship was simply a plot device to help the relationship along. And to think that this book has gotten so many positive reviews because people think that this kind of toxic relationship is romantic? I truly do worry about people. You know, when I’m not thinking that people suck and should be avoided at all cost.
In the end, we have another long review, but this was necessary. The kind of relationship depicted in this book is unhealthy and people need to see that. There are more important things in life than getting a boyfriend/girlfriend. Spread the word, please.