Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Anything To Have You by Paige Harbison: Review

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Buy This Book: Book Depository 
Nothing should come between best friends, not even boys. ESPECIALLY not boys.
Natalie and Brooke have had each other's backs forever. Natalie is the quiet one, college bound and happy to stay home and watch old movies. Brooke is the movie—the life of every party, the girl everyone wants to be.
Then it happens—one crazy night that Natalie can't remember and Brooke's boyfriend, Aiden, can't forget. Suddenly there's a question mark in Natalie and Brooke's friendship that tests everything they thought they knew about each other and has both girls discovering what true friendship really means.(Goodreads Summary)

First of all, this books title should just be changed to Your Teenage Years: What Not To Do. The amount of ridiculously stupid, irresponsible and cliché things the characters did made me want to launch my Kindle across the room in utter frustration. It makes me want to stop anyone under the age of sixteen from reading this, for fear they might assume that that's a normal way for a seventeen year old to act. It isn't! 

If I was to describe this book in one word, I think I would pick cliché. From beginning to end, this was just one giant cliché made up of individual clichés and pointless plot twists that you see coming way before they are revealed. I can't name them all in the review on here without giving away spoilers but I will definitely be posting them on Goodreads. Honestly, looking back on my notes, I have written CLICHÉ in big letters seven times next to different events in the book. One I can use, that isn't really a spoiler, is that Aiden and Natalie get paired together for their senior class project... of course! 

I requested this because I thought the premise sounded quite good and I'd enjoyed another one of the authors books. But, I was struggling with this book from the very beginning because I found the dialogue felt really forced, which makes it difficult to read. It also makes it harder to really connect with the characters because they don't seem very believable.

Our main character is Natalie, the quiet girl who'd rather stay at home than go out to party. Seeing as the last time she went to a party she got so wasted that she blacked out and ended up having sex with the local man whore, it's totally understandable why she doesn't want to go out. (See what I mean about terrible choices? That was her first time! *Shakes head*). But, of course, Natalie is absolutely gorgeous, beautiful, stunning and sexy and everything else you can think of - pretty much like EVERY character in the book.

I liked Natalie at the beginning, until it got to the blacking out at parties part. I just found her to be a bit of an idiot and that made her really hard to like. She gets ridiculously drunk again and wakes up in a bed, half-naked with her best friends boyfriend. She can tell she had sex the night before but immediately believes she slept with another guy and not Aiden, because she would obviously never do that to her best friend. This alone made me hate her for being so stupidly dense. But, then she goes on to not even ask or check with Eric or Aiden to see what really happened, or to see if they used any protection or anything. Nor does she think to go get the morning after pill, just in case and I'd probably have suggested an STI test too. How am I supposed to like this character?

About 40% of the way into the book it suddenly switches from Natalie's POV, to her best friend, Brooke's POV. This seemed really sudden and totally threw me off. I didn't particularly like Brooke as a character either and her life choices made about as much sense as Natalie's did.

Every plot twist that was thrown at you was one that you'd already seen coming about ten chapters before. The biggest one, and the most obvious, really had me rolling my eyes and shaking my head. The way this was pulled off was really not good in my opinion. I believe this book could have actually tried to teach a lesson or highlight a serious issue but just doesn't. I can't really explain properly without spoiling anything.

My reaction to practically every decision a character makes in this book:


1/5 Stars

Natalie was a really irresponsible character and I couldn't like her. This book had a chance to teach a lesson or highlight a serious issue but completely fails too. I want to keep this away from anyone under the age of sixteen out of fear that they will assume this is normal teenage behaviour. The book was one cliché after another and I saw every plot twist coming.

For Goodreads review with spoilers & reasons why this only got 1 Star, go here

*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.

13 comments:

  1. I attempted this book myself a few weeks ago and I couldn't finish it, but gave it 1.5 stars up to where I'd gotten. This really wasn't a good book was it? You covered everything really well, and I'm glad I try to force the issue :)

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    1. I definitely wish I had given up on it and didn't finish; the end wasn't worth it and just ruined any chance of me giving it more than one star. Thanks for checking out my review :)

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  2. I don't know. I definitely agree that you could see all the cliches coming at you, but I still liked it. It reminded of a soap opera. I know I'm probably in the minority with my opinion, but I thought it was good, because even though it's filled with cliches, I liked the tension. I don't actually get the POV change though, if it was supposed to convince me that Brooke was a good person, or at least, a complex one, it didn't. I also thought the end was hastily tied up together.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

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    1. I think the soap opera side of it was what I didn't like. I really hate soap operas, so that's probably why I really struggled with it. But I know people who love those will probably love it. I really loved the sound of this one and am glad to hear you loved it, I'm sure you weren't the only one :) Thanks for checking out my review.

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  3. Boo for cliches! I am sorry to hear the book wasn't great.

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    1. Thanks, I really hate it when a whole book is predictable :)

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  4. Omg, I kind of want to read this book now just to see for myself what you're talking about xD But there are just too many books on my TBR list already. Someday I will though. Someday in the summer when I'm bored and have nothing else to read (yes, because this will totally happen with my obsessive book buying habits *sarcasm*).

    Great review though! (:

    I want to read Side Effects May Vary sososososo bad <3

    T
    YA Book Queens (:

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    1. oops, I had copy and pasted the T YA Book Queens thing from this other comment, and apparently the Side Effects May Vary part got added too. I'm so sorry!

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    2. Haha, I completely understand. With my horrible book buying habits, working in a library and being too enthusiastic on NG & EW - I never have nothing else to read either. Thanks for checking my review out :)

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  5. I couldn't get into this one either, thanks for your honest review!

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  6. "Your Teenage Years: What Not To Do"....*snickers* I think I will be avoiding this one. >_< Yikes. I really can't connect with stupid characters. It bothers the heck out of me! Intelligence isn't weird, it's actually handy to have. *sigh*

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    1. After reading your reviews for lots of different types of books, I feel kind of confident in saying that you should definitely avoid it. This was just filled with stupid characters, and the decisions they made had me eye-rolling far too much.

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