ARC Review: Any Boy But You

Any Boy But YouAny Boy But You by Julie Hammerle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release date: February 13, 2017

Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It’s a very You’ve Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. He can’t be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena’s family out of business. Elena’s mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money’s so tight Elena’s going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can’t win this game.

The girl Oliver’s fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She’s his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad’s business rival, and the one girl he’d never even think of kissing. She’s definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.

When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine’s Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they’ll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.

A Romeo-Juliet-esque plot in a tourist town sounded like just the perfect February read (Valentine’s day is so near). Before we begin, I must admit I was a bit skeptical about the book at first – romance-based plots are not really my thing, but I was in a reading slump (which is the worst) and well, anything goes at that time. I was, still, prepared to be bored or disappointed, but instead was pleasantly surprised that I went on and finished this book in one sitting. The plot kept me involved and interested right until the end of the book, and I was left with a slight buzz of euphoria (that could have also been the fact that I was able to complete a book in middle of said slump).

What made this book stand out for me is that though it is predominantly a romance, it also develops the characters and their other storylines pretty well. No interaction or character feels wasted, and the fact that almost everything looped back to the central storyline kept the story coherent and cohesive. Elena and Oliver are developing this simultaneous attraction to their respective online friends (who are each other) but they are also meanwhile struggling with instability in home life – Elena’s family is losing money in the shop and wants to close up and leave town, and she has to think about college funding, while Oliver is dealing with his parents’ divorce, his mother’s expectations for him, and his introversion. The story comes together beautifully, and interspersed with an augmented reality game that will give you Pokemon Go feels, some comic moments and the short length of the book, this is one novel that you will enjoy to finish in a day. Recommended for all feeling the love in the air!

Received a free review copy from Entangled Teen, via Netgalley

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