Reviews

A Love Hate Thing, by Whitney D. Grandison

readingwithrae's review

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4.0

You were my Neverland.

I received an ARC from Netgalley and Harlequin TEEN in exchange for an honest review.

wow whitney grandison, way to come out swingin' with your debut! this was an absolute roller-coaster ride start to finish, and lowkey felt like i was watching a season of a delicious teen drama (and now reading the acknowledgements and seeing grandison was greatly inspired by the OC, it totally clicks!)

this love story is about two teenagers from completely opposite worlds. trice was born and raised in lindenwood, the place where boys like him are destined to die. but trice isn't like the others; after getting shot by his father and almost dying, he gets a second chance to escape fate by living with a wealthy family in pacific hills, and reconnect with a girl who he thought lost to him almost ten years prior. nandy is said girl, and she's everything trice is not. obsessed with looking right in front of her peers and dating the most popular guy in school, nandy is less than pleased to be letting a lindenwood boy into her preciously upkept life, even if said boy is her first love from years ago.

the title a love hate thing perfectly sums up their relationship. they hate each other. they love each other. they hate each other again. the cycle continues, on and on and on, until eventually walls break down, revelations are found, and a long-lost love can't stay hidden any longer. grandinson perfectly takes the love-hate trope and pulls the best aspects from it, leaving you on the edge of your seat as you wonder if trice and nandy will ever get their acts together. put that against the luscious backdrop of a california summer, and you've got yourself one hell of a story.

even though i absolutely adored this though (the character work is truly amazing, and the side characters are equally as loveable as the main ones), my one gripe is that this is about 100 pages too long. the story easily could've been told in a shorter amount of time, and when half of the action is kids partying at nightclubs, it can get old fast. but, that's literally the only thing i was annoyed with. everything else was amazing, and i can't wait to have everyone else read this when it releases.

pick it up if you like enemies to friends to lover romances, teen drama, and steamy romance.

emma548's review

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emotional funny hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

ayeshafira's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful inspiring reflective sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

comeundun's review

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No rating.
Not for me.

cristianaf0re's review

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medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0

Honestly thought it was so stereotypical and really hard to read and I couldn't stop cringing for the first half of the book, it slowly got better towards the end but I wouldn't read again

malexandriay's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

vickycbooks's review against another edition

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I had really high hopes for this one, but it ended up falling a little short for me.

Personally, I found the framing around Pacific Hills as a great community that everyone aspires to live in to be...uncomfortable? deceiving? It's a rich neighborhood, and even as a semi-diverse one, I found it weird that it was being framed as a good place. One that is good to all the people who live there. Because real rich neighborhoods like Pacific Hills, complete with cotillion and deb balls, can get pretty racist and exclusionary. Deb balls are usually invitation-based and the invites go to rich white kids with connections. (But again, Pacific Hills is fictional, so on one hand, this is a nice fantasy to be able to write about.)

But especially when contrasted against Lindwood. A lot of the times it felt like the book was saying "Congrats, Trice! You got out! You get to benefit and chill in Pacific Hills! Time for you to cut all ties to Lindwood and start your new happy stage of your life with a bunch of rich kids. You deserve to get out...sucks for everyone else in Lindwood."

Idk. I'll update if I have more thoughts, but I'd definitely suggest reading some OwnVoices reviews. I'm not sure I would hand this to any white or non-Black reader who isn't well-versed in understanding complex social dynamics surrounding community and Blackness. Which isn't a flaw of Grandison or her writing, but more of a flaw of the white gaze that may read this and internalize some of the shit Nandy internalized at the beginning of the book.

hafsahk's review

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2.0

Had to force myself to get through this, it just doesn’t sound like teenagers + very very cringe

aji's review

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2.25

Too many unnecessary characters imo, i dont need to know the whole family tree of their friends. Some parts were also dragging, could definitely be shorter. Also i hate how superficial it all seems, its filled w stereotypes, and the relationship btwn the two MCs doesnt seem to be justified, their feelings or how they fall inlove seems to be too superficial and honestly cant see that much of a chemistry between them. The emotions were all over the place, and hoestly, i hate how nandy seems to self centeeed at times and how she acts all high and mighty. Never really disliked an MC this much

jenennap29's review

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3.0

I am glad I read the author's acknowledgments before writing a review because I was thinking "The O.C." the ENTIRE time I was reading this book! Overall, I did really like it but some parts just kind of dragged out longer than I liked for my reading pleasure. This story is more of a slow burn than a one and done kind of reading experience.