Three romances to start off my reviews for the year. I ended 2019 with at least ten books I never got around to writing up, so I am going to try to keep on top of it better this year.
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston: 5/5
I don’t know that I have much to add about this book that hasn’t been said by other Cannonballers. The adjective that repeatedly comes to mind for this book is ‘fizzy’. Each of the books in this review use the enemies-to-lovers trope, and this one does it in such a charming way that I found myself smiling at the book several times. Though the set up- the half-Mexican son of the female Democratic president gets entangled with the ‘spare’ son of the British monarch- borders on overwrought fantasizing, the two protagonists are so endearing that it doesn’t matter. If I have any other quibble, I think that there could have been one fewer abrupt break up, but overall this book was a treat. This was a sweet, fun and funny debut that I will be revisiting in the future.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne : 4/5
Another enemies-to-lovers romance that works pretty well overall. Lucy and Joshua meet on their first day at work for competing bosses and immediately get off on the wrong foot. They spend the next year trying to torture each other and only start to see another dimension to their antagonism when they both decide to pursue the same promotion. The plot was paced quickly- all the events seem to happen over a period of about two weeks, but it can be hard to tell- but there are a lot of other tropes hit in this book. Besides the enemies-to-lovers we also have sudden- illness-requiring-caretaking and confessions-while-delirious as well as brother-marrying-ex-girlfriend and only-one-hotel-room-available. It’s predictable and telegraphs every next event but sweet. I did find it off-putting that there is an absurd focus on Lucy’s height. She’s five feet tall and somehow has to be helped up on to a diner stool amongst other things. I’m the same height and somehow have never needed to be lifted up on to any piece of furniture since being a toddler. It’s bizarre.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert: 3/5
This one is another enemies-to-lovers but the dislike between the two protagonists is pretty forced. Chloe Brown is moving out on her own and one of the men who lives in her apartment becomes her immediate nemesis, mostly because she is a snob. This book was a quick read, and I remember thinking it was cute, but it was also pretty forgettable. Chloe has been dealing with fibromyalgia and has essentially locked herself away from the world for several years. She decides that she needs a list to feel like she has gotten back in to life, so she enlists her nemesis-turned-love interest to help her check off items on her list. It was an enjoyable read but not one of my favorites.