A review by readingwithrae
A Love Hate Thing, by Whitney D. Grandison

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.