Genre: Young adult, romantic fiction
Haley Howell has had a hopeless crush on her brother’s best friend, Jake Lexington, for as long as she can remember. Too bad to him, she’ll forever be off-limits. But with senior year and acceptance to a college outside their tiny southern town of Culler, South Carolina, comes new confidence. Haley’s ready to get Jake to notice her—whatever it takes.
No one in Culler notices the real Jake anymore—to them, he’s nothing more than the star football player or the kid with the family tragedy. When one mistake lands him in community service, he’s shocked to find his best friend’s little sister there, too, looking cute as hell and threatening all his no-friends-with-benefits rules. But Jake isn’t ready to take a chance, no matter how crafty Haley’s willing to get to prove him otherwise…
With large helpings of real-life problems, this is contemporary romantic fiction for the realists, with plenty for those wanting their romance escapist too…
Haley Howell – or Other Howell – comes second to her twin brother in everything, and the shadows suit her… most of the time. When her long-time crush – her brother’s best friend – ends up in forced community service at the same place she volunteers, it’s time they both faced their fears, and discovered each other…
The characters were beautifully flawed yet inspiring, the realism heavy with hope, and the background noise of highschool keeping it all in check. Sure, the dialogue was occasionally strayed from the realism (how many times have I used this word in this review?) that grounded the rest of the novel, but one can’t have everything. An inspiring and hopeful romantic YA drama with a happy ending – recommended!
About the Author:
Danielle Ellison is a nomad, always on the lookout for an adventure and the next story. In addition to writing, she’s the founder and coordinator of the NoVa TEEN Book Festival. When she’s not busy with books, she’s probably watching her favorite shows, drinking coffee, or fighting her nomadic urges. She is newly settled in Oklahoma (for now) with her cat, Simon, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.