I apologize that this is a little late, work has kept me pretty busy! But here’s a review for a book I also read while I was in England; I hope you guys like it!
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“If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that nobody is here forever. You have to live for the moment, each and every day . . . the here, the now.”
Author: Simone Elkeles
Genre: YA Romance
Themes: Gangs, violence, crime, forbidden love, death/murder
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Days I took to Read: 5
ABOUT THE BOOK
Alex Fuentes and Brittany Ellis are from two totally different worlds, and the only thing that changes that is when they get partnered up in chemistry class. Brittany can’t stand Alex’s attitude, and she doesn’t have the time or patience to deal with him when she has to keep up with her perfect lifestyle, her perfect boyfriend, her perfect everything.
Alex, on the other hand, comes from a rough gang background on the wrong side of the tracks, and can’t stop himself from taking his buddies up on a bet to hook up with the school’s resident princess, Brittany Ellis. The only thing he didn’t count on was falling harder for her than he has ever fallen before.
Brittany and Alex are a modern take on a star-crossed lovers’ story, and they break down stereotypes and walls they never thought possible.
The hype for this book was massive, and was in pretty much every BookTube video about contemporary YA romance books that you have to read. People couldn’t get enough of it, so when it was on sale at my bookstore, I couldn’t help but pick up a copy and get to reading.
Unfortunately, it didn’t hold up for me.
The first thing I had issue with was the dialogue. I completely understand that the characters are young, and that they come from background I personally know nothing about. But even so, the way they spoke sounded corny and canned, and I honestly couldn’t take it seriously. As I mention in my early Goodreads review, I found myself more than once lifting my head up from the book and staring off into an imaginary camera like on The Office.
The characters themselves were constantly changing, and not in the sense that they were growing with development, but in the sense that their characterization was inconsistent. Even if Alex fell in love with Brittany at first sight (which is outrageous enough), there’s no way he would make the decisions he made in the way that he made them, just because of a girl he started liking.
Plus, the “plot twists” just felt cheap. It just seemed like they were written more for the shock value and less to actually change the characters themselves. I couldn’t help but feel absolutely nothing when I should have been affected by the events in this book, because I just didn’t care about the people in in.
There was even a ridiculous book trailer, and if I’d seen it before I read the book, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up in the first place. Many people said it didn’t accurately portray the story and characters, but I thought it actually hit pretty close to home.
All in all, if you’re looking for a simple teen romance book, this might be a good pick for you. But it definitely didn’t live up to how much people talked about it, and I wish that I could rewrite it myself and do the characters and plot justice.
However, I will be reading the rest of the books in this series, in the hope that the rest of the characters can evolve with the writing, so we’ll see how that turns out.