Title: The Boy I Hate
Author: Taylor Sullivan
Published by: Good House Publishing
About This Book
Samantha Smiles finds herself in a tight spot when she’s forced to drive cross-country to her best friend Renee’s wedding with the last person she ever wanted to see again: Renee’s brother, Tristan. To top it all off, her deadbeat boyfriend of six years has given her all the reasons to fall prey to Tristan’s charm, the same charm that left her sixteen-year old self heartbroken many years ago. With 3,000 miles ahead of them, Samantha discovers that maybe there is more to this blond-headed hottie than meets the eye – things that may be just what she needs – leaving her to decide if Tristan is worth risking her heart over.
What I Liked:
- Sullivan’s writing is truly engaging since page one. I picked up this book when I started reading The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden to use it as light reading material if I needed to escape the fantasy world for a while and by the third chapter, The Boy I Hate became my main current read. The plot wasn’t anything new or extraordinary and I sort of already knew how the story was going to unfold, but Sullivan’s writing style was very relatable and kept me wanting to know more and more. I had a really long time without reading a good New Adult contemporary romance novel without it being too over-the-top fluffy and stuffed with amateur writing.
- Normally, I don’t like it when two love interests just seem to have a preternatural attraction to each other for no apparent reason which seems to be very much the case in this book but Sullivan managed to create such chemistry between these two characters I found myself not caring wether it made sense for them to be together or not, I just wanted them to have a happy ending.
- Like I said, the chemistry between these two characters was on fire, and so was their sexual tension. Sullivan knows how to write one hell of a love scene. I find that when two characters that are fraught with sexual tension finally get to satisfy their desires, their love story usually just dulls and gets stuck in limbo, and every sex scene thereafter doesn’t add to the story. However, in Tristan and Samantha’s case, both their relationship and the plot of the story seemed to be strengthened by it.
- The portrayal of Samantha’s current situation in life hits very close to home for many newly-graduated people that have no idea what to do with their lives. Samantha is stuck between pursuing what makes her happy in life and a ‘real career’, between what her heart wants (fun, adventure, thrill) and what is safe and practical. Very crucial decisions that could make or break a person.
- “Never judge a book by its cover….” Yes, okay, but this cover is HOT and GORGEOUS.
What I Didn’t Like:
- Sometimes it seemed Sullivan’s tactics for plot resistance were forced. The reasons for Samantha holding back on Tristan and shutting him out seemed a little weak. Yes, Sam and Renee’s friendship started over their mutual dislike for Tristan. But Samantha put too much weight on that. No matter how much Renee claimed to dislike Tristan, they were still siblings and sort of their duty to hate on each other but Samantha talks about their hate for Tristan like a big, serious thing that could potentially break up their friendship.
- The main character was Samantha and yet she is the character the reader knows the least about. We know about Tristan and Renee’s youth, family and backgrounds and none of Sam’s. All we know is she spent a lot of time over at Renee’s house during high school. I know it isn’t crucial to the story for us to know Sam’s background in detail, but a little information would’ve made her a more substantial character, something more than just a young woman with an attraction to a man and existential problems.
What I love most about these types of books is you can always know what to expect from them and you know they’ll be a fun and entertaining way to pass the time. Sometimes they deliver, sometimes they don’t. The Boy I Hate does, so go check it out!
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