Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Simon Pulse (July 8, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 2.5 to 3 Stars
Opposites attract—and then complicate—in this romantic, relatable novel from the author of Two-way Street and Sometimes It Happens.
It starts with a scribbled note in class: I like your sparkle. Harper had casually threaded a piece of blue and silver tinsel through her ponytail in honor of school spirit day. And that carefree, corny gesture is what grabs Penn Mattingly’s eye. Penn—resident heartbreaker of the senior class. Reliably unreliable. Trouble with a capital “T.” And okay, smolderingly sexy.
Harper’s surprised by Penn’s attention—and so is Penn. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend. Or even a friend-with-benefits. The note is not supposed to lead to anything.
Oh, but it does. They hang out. They have fun. They talk. They make out. And after a while, it seems like they just click. But Penn and Harper have very different ideas about what relationships look like, in no small part because of their very different family backgrounds. Of course they could talk about these differences—if Penn knew how to talk about feelings.
Harper and Penn understand their attraction is illogical, yet something keeps pulling them together. It’s like a crazy roller coaster—exhilarating, terrifying, and amazing all at once. And neither knows how to stop the ride…
This was my first Barnholdt book and I thought it was pretty adorable although angsty at times.
It has everything you would expect from a young adult still in high school, first love, kind of read.
There is heartache and miscommunications, secrets and misconceptions and of course, those fluttery feelings we all remember from our “firsts”.
This wasn't exactly the light and fluffy read I was expecting to get although it was light at times, in fact Penn and Harper argue and fight quite a bit throughout the story as they feel each other out and really get to know one another. They are opposite in every way, she is a good girl who follows the rules and questions everything while he is the typical rule breaking bad boy that has had a not so easy life and is totally misunderstood.
I wish I could say I loved Penn and Harper but this book was over before I ever felt like I really got to know or even like either character and by the end I felt like I didn't know or even really care about either of them.
I think this one moved just a little too fast for me and the plot had too many holes while the ending tried to wrap it up a little too neatly.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*
Aw, it's disappointing to know that you didn't feel quite connected to the characters and the resolution felt too neat for your liking. It affects my feelings about the book as well if I didn't care or get attached to the characters. Thank you for honest review! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!Delete
Ah it's difficult when you're not able to really enjoy the main characters. I didn't know this one but I would have expected something light as well. Thanks for the review!ReplyDelete
Yeah, it really is hard to connect to the story when you can't connect with the characters.Delete
Thanks for the review Kindlemom. I know that a review is a personal opinion but I trust yours so I think I'll pass on this one :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Deb, that means a lot! You never know though, you might like this one more than I did. ;)Delete
Aw, I'm sorry this one was a bit of a disappointment for you. It sounds cute, like a nice ya romance, but sounds like the pace threw it off. I have a hard time connecting with characters too if the pace and ending is too rushed. Thanks for the thoughful review :)ReplyDelete
I have this on my pile but I think I'll shelve it for now. I read one of her books and didn't like it much. It sounds like this has a bit too much angst and will frustrate and annoy me.ReplyDelete
It sadly probably will Candace. :(Delete
This book sounds okay, but with all the holes you mentioned I think I'm on the fence with this one. Still, you had a great review. Sometimes it's good to know why to avoid certain books. I like books with well developed and rounded plots :)ReplyDelete
I really do too and this just wasn't one of them even if the characters were likable.Delete
Barnholdt's books do tend to be angsty. I've read 2 but I have noticed that while adorable, they can be very angsty :P I still want to read more of her stuff though because it is still pretty light and fun :PReplyDelete
I am sorry you didn't enjoy this more though :(
Great review, Ali! :)
Rashika @ The Social Potato
Thanks and I am still holding out hope that I will find one of her reads that I like.Delete
Sorry it fell short and you're right, looking at the cover I'd expect it to be a melodrama and not full on Lifetime.ReplyDelete
LOL, that is a great way to put it!Delete
I have never read any of Benholdt's books but I don't think they would work for me. I don't like angsty reads. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one as much as you hoped. Great review, Ali :)ReplyDelete
I really like the cover of this one, but angst-ridden books and I just don't get along, so I'll definitely be skipping over this. Sorry you had such a disappointing experience with it, but wonderful review, Ali--so helpful!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much Keertana!Delete
It's always so difficult to connect to a book if you feel the pacing is too fast in your opinion. The character development always tends to get glossed over during these types of books, and this definitely seems like that happened here.ReplyDelete
Sorry this was disappointing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf
Oh lord, I struggle with this miscommunication theme. I just want to hit them in the back of the head and yell stop being so stupid...LOLReplyDelete
I know exactly what you mean Kim.Delete
Ugh.. I hate miscommunication it drives me crazy too. I am sorry this wasn't as light and fluffy as you hoped either.ReplyDelete
Doesn't sound like one for me....thanks for the review though :). I really do like the cover though :)ReplyDelete
Awww, it's a shame this one didn't work for you. I have a copy but still haven't got to it, I am a little nervous. The angst in it will really bug me, I know that before I even begin. Sound okay but not a read that I am going to really enjoy all that much. Thanks for the honest review :)ReplyDelete
Maybe you will like it more if you are prepared for it now?Delete
I've read a few of Lauren Barnholdt's books, but for the most part I've struggled with them because like you said, her books are on the short side and it's hard to really feel anything towards them. I was curious about this book when it popped up on EW, but I controlled myself and didn't request it. I don't think it would have worked for me because I like to get to know characters better in contemporaries.ReplyDelete
Great review! :)
I agree, it is so hard to really care about them when you never have enough time to get to know them. ;)Delete
Thanks so much for stopping by!!
I pretty much felt the exact same way when i read this one. I just couldnt connect with the story and i guess for a lazy day beach read it was okay but if i had been looking for more depth that day i wouldnt have liked this kne very much,ReplyDelete
I completely agree Lily!Delete
Boo. I'm sorry this was a bit of a disappointment for you. The only Barnholdt book I've ever read was pretty MEH for me too (and for similar reasons), so I think I'm going to skip this one. Thanks for the heads-up!ReplyDelete
I have been hearing that a lot lately. Too bad because I really do like how most of them sound. :(Delete
Bummer! I've been dying to read this one! I'll give it a try anyway and see if I feel the same...ReplyDelete
Hopefully you like it better than I did Tressa!Delete
This one reminds me of a light and fluffy read too, but it is a shame that it was so fast that you had trouble connecting. That would really irritate me.ReplyDelete
Michelle @ Book Briefs
Thanks Michelle! Yeah, I think the cover and synopsis are deceiving!Delete
Thanks for your honest review. I don't think I will be checking this one out.ReplyDelete