Book Review: Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein

Posted December 15, 2013 by Lori in Books / 3 Comments Tags: ,

SneakingCandybyLisaBurstein

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Sneaking Candy by Lisa BursteinSneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein
Published by EntangledTeen on 2013-12-09
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 280
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
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three-half-stars

Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein. A new adult novel from Entangled's Embrace imprint...One taste is never enough...All I ever wanted was to make a name for myself as Candice Salinas, creative writing grad student at the University of Miami. Of course, secretly I already have made a name for myself: as Candy Sloane, self-published erotic romance writer. Though thrilled that my books are selling and I have actual fans, if anyone at UM found out, I could lose my scholarship...and the respect of my faculty advisor, grade-A-asshole Professor Dylan.Enter James Walker, super-hot local barista and—surprise!—my student. Even though I know a relationship is totally off-limits, I can't stop myself from sneaking around with James, taking a few cues from my own erotic writing...if you catch my drift. Candy's showing her stripes for the first time in my real life, and I've never had so much fun. But when the sugar high fades, can my secrets stay under wraps?

Sneaking Candy is adorable and sexy and fun. It’s not my favorite Lisa Burstein book I’ve read, that honor still lies with Dear Cassie, but it is a good addition to the New Adult genre and it was fun to read a different kind of book from the author. It was interesting reading about a self-published author and her relationships with bloggers and readers and professors and her feelings about traditionally published authors. I wonder how much of this is truth. And it feels a little weird to be reviewing this book after reading about it from the character’s POV. But regardless, it was a fun a read and it has James. So consider me a fan.

The best thing about Sneaking Candy was just how fun it was. From the first page when we’re introduced to Master’s student Candice, we also find out that she has a funny, slightly dirty side to her as well. Candice wants to be an author and has gone to the University of Miami to study under (no, not like that) Professor Dylan, a respected author and her faculty advisor. Candice, however, is actually already a published author. A self-published erotic romance author, but still, published. But she writes under a pen name and has kept her writing a secret from everyone except her roommate. She’s afraid it might ruin her reputation and make it difficult for her to make it as a legitimate author. Also making it difficult for her to accept herself, her parents refuse to support her desire to be an author. So she moved away from New York and her parents and her old boyfriend and started a new life for herself in Miami, hoping to prove herself as a worthy student and writer. 

I liked Candice as a main character. I liked that she had the courage to stand up for herself before the book had even started and followed her dreams. It was a nice change seeing what happens after a character has already taken that step in learning what they want and going after it, even if they aren’t supported by the people they love. In this part of her life, Candice is dealing with accepting the fallout of her choices, working hard to gain the approval of her advisor and peers at school, and still trying to figure out who she is and wants to be. Candice literally has two sides, the academic and the erotica author. Finding a way to combine the two has been difficult. And her arrogant advisor hasn’t helped at all. Stuck between a crush and admiration for him, Candice just wants him to like her writing. But he despises self-published authors and thinks they are ruining the entire industry. So she continues to keep her erotica a secret from him. And as the book progresses, the secret wears on her. Like most people in their early 20s, Candice is still working on accepting who she is and standing firm for what she believes. She felt real and authentic.

And luckily for Candice, she meets James. James has his own past and his own worries but never gets too serious. The two meet while James is working in the local coffee shop and Candice finally gets the balls to slip him her number. Before she knows it, the guys she’s been watching and admiring from afar (and maybe even writing dirty stories about) and now has her number becomes her student. James works hard to impress Candice. He’s sweet and thoughtful and sexy and smart and a little mysterious and everything you want in the male interest. I wanted to see Candice and James together from the beginning but because of their teacher/student relationship, it took a little longer to work out. I won’t reveal any more of the story, but just know that James was a great character. And very good for Candice. And if you’re worried about the student/teacher thing, you shouldn’t be. In the book, she is his TA, not his actual teacher, their relationship isn’t against school rules, and she’s only about a year older than him. 

Overall, Sneaking Candy was a very fun book. It was a fast read and sexy and had good characters. It wasn’t hugely unique and was pretty predictable but it was nice seeing a different kind of book from Lisa Burstein. I still like her YA books better than this one, but I’d definitely read more NA from her in the future.

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