These are all books that came very highly recommended but, for whatever reason, I just wasn’t able to connect with the same way that everyone else seemed to. I feel very black-sheepish on all of these. If you’ve read them and loved them, I’m so glad. I really wish I had too. And if you haven’t read them, just remember, my opinion seems to be very different from most people on these. Clicking on the book cover will take you to the Goodreads page for the book if you’d like to learn more about them. These are all books that I either purchased or borrowed from the libaray.
Everybody loves this book. I mean, everybody. It has ~45,000 ratings on Goodreads and still has a 4.35 star average. That’s pretty amazing. So I had no reservations about picking up the ebook and diving right in. Unfortunately, I think I read a completely different book than everyone else did. I was expecting a light and fluffy college romance. Instead a got a book about a girl who was raped and a boy who’s father beat him. Except it wasn’t even about those issues. It just used those issues to create problems and “broken” characters who needed each other to fix them. And I hate books like that. Hannah’s rape is just thrown out there in one sentence like she broke her arm or something but now she’s over it. Except she hasn’t orgasmed with a guy since. Until she meets Garret. Garrett is, of course, the hockey jock who asks Hannah to tutor him so he can keep up his grades and not get kicked off the hockey team. That was the story I was expecting. Enemies become lovers. It’s a trope but it’s one I love and can deal with it. But then these other issues popped up when they needed some drama. Rape and abuse are not issues that should be used as plot devices, in my opinion. But they most definitely were here and I just couldn’t get past it. But the characters had great chemistry and some enjoyable banter and I think I would have really liked reading that book. I should have known when the synopsis read “she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction”. I just really had no idea that that was how we were describing rape these days. But yes, overall I was disappointed that the book was different than what I was expecting and very surprised at how it dealt with rape and abuse. 2 stars
Fair warning, this book and I did not get along. I didn’t know anything about it when starting and if I hadn’t been told it was a feminist book, I would definitely not have gotten that from the book. While I’m a huge fan of strong, smart female characters who are in charge of their own destinies and reject patriarchal societies and favor equality for all women, I don’t think any of the female characters in this book represented that. Frankie is supposedly our feminist main character but all she wants is to be a part of the boys club and has them running around pulling pranks without them even knowing it’s her. She lets a boy take the credit for her work and in the end it seemed as if she only wanted to impress the cute boys, not raise women’s standing in the school and it’s alumni. And the way she (and the author) treated the other females in the book suggests that it’s not women she thinks that should be seen as equals but just her. And I fully support being proud of yourself and asking for what you deserve, but the way Frankie acted was not even close to appropriate. Her relationship with Matthew was terrible throughout the book on both sides (she thinks it’s okay to lie to him because he’s been lying to her and she never acts in a way that he doesn’t like) and she totally dismisses her only real friend. I had other problems with the book, including the writing style, but overall, I just did not like it. Again, I’m in the minority here and most people love it so I’m sure I read it completely wrong or am just too dumb to really “get it” but luckily we’re allowed to rate based on our feelings. And these are mine. If you do read this, I hope you enjoy it more than I did. 1 star
I’ll be honest, I’ve stayed away from these until now because those covers kind of weird me out. But I’ve loved the Lucky Harbor books that I’ve read so I finally decided to give this a try. I know I called these books disappointments, but don’t worry, this one isn’t quite along the same lines as the other two. This one is here just because it has been my least favorite so far. A lot of people have loved these books and as I said above, I’ve become a quick fan of Jill Shalvis, so I think I expected a lot from this one. And it just didn’t quite deliver on those expectations. I did really like the two main characters as well as their friends. I’m really looking forward to reading the next two books that focus on Dell and Adam. And I thought the animal thing was actually pretty cute. But there just wasn’t really anything that made this book stand out from many of the other adult contemporary romances that I’ve read. Small town girl and an out of town, no roots guy start a no strings attached relationship that knows will end when he leaves town. But she’s unlike any woman he’s ever met and he’s new and interesting. And they fall for each other. It’s all very predictable. And I’m fine with that, like I said, I still really enjoyed this book. I just didn’t love it. It didn’t stand out from the pack for me and that’s why it’s here. 3.5 stars