Book Review: Insta-Hate

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Synopsis:

When Alexandria Ray’s romance series becomes an overnight sensation, the world and its demands close in on her. After years of struggling to maintain the pace her publisher, agent and the world expects, she needs a break. Enrolling as a student at Columbia University is step one to finding herself again. Finding Arsen Daniel was not on her list.

Arsen Daniel, along with his best friend, built an empire in the form of an exclusive, psychology-based dating service. When an old friend invites him to teach a course at Columbia, he accepts. The course? The Psychology of Love. Sounds simple enough and the publicity alone will make it worth his time.

Arsen didn’t expect to meet his match in the form of a sarcastic blonde, hell bent on holding to her belief that true love doesn’t actually exist. After all, what woman, especially a world-renowned romance writer, doesn’t believe in happily ever after?

Something in Alexandria’s eyes tortures him. She reminds him of someone from his past and that is a very bad thing.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

Honestly, I was thoroughly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this novel. I discovered Insta-Hate through my daily BookBub ebook deals email and books I’ve discovered on there have really been hit or miss. I’ve been burned by the past two books I got from there so I was hesitant to give this book a try but I am so glad I did.

Insta-Hate is told in alternating point of views of Arsen and Alexandria (Lex), and I loved both of these characters pretty much as soon as they were introduced. Lex is a best selling author who’s agent is the worst. When Lex is offered this huge book deal that will basically make her insanely wealthy, she decides to pass it up, realizing she needs a break to figure out what she really wants. Since Lex never went to college she decides to take a class at Columbia where her best friend just happens to work in admissions. It’s always good to have a friend on the inside when you’re trying to start college in your mid-twenties.

Anyway, it’s at Columbia, specifically at a frat party, where Arsen and Lex bump into each other. Arsen runs this site called Instant Gratification, which is basically eHarmony but better somehow. The point is, Arsen’s pretty well off as the company is incredibly successful, which is why he let his friend convince him to be a guest lecturer at Columbia, teaching a class about love. Of course, that’s the class Lex is taking. However, they don’t know this at first when they bump into each other.

Instead, Arsen mistakes Lex for someone else and thus begins their love story and it’s pretty great. Even though the novel is titled Insta-Hate, it’s not a hate turned into love story. Sure, Lex definitely isn’t Arsen’s biggest fan at first (she threatens to tase him), but that’s not really what this novel is about. In fact, the novel took a turn that I kind of suspected but was also very surprised by, which I loved.

My only issue with this novel was some things went unexplained and I wasn’t sure why. For example, Lex ends up getting into this writing groove later on in the novel and writes this book that is supposedly amazing and yet I could not tell you what this book is about. I’m assuming it’s about her life story but that was never explicitly said and that confused me. Also, there’s one point in the novel when Arsen starts acting really stupid and on the one hand I could kind of understand why but the whole time I just wanted to shake him and say, “Stop being this way!” Thankfully, he did, in fact, stop being that way.

Overall though, this book really surprised. I was pretty hooked from the very beginning and I think I read the whole book in a day. Insta-Hate is definitely a quick romantic read that does have a few steamy scenes but it’s definitely not erotica. It includes a love of funny characters. In particular, I loved Lex and her friends Ave and Jillian. They were hilarious.

Definitely give this book a chance if you’re looking for a cute and quick read. I highly recommend it.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“Lust was a liar and I couldn’t afford to trust that slut.”

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Book Review: On the Fence

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Synopsis:

She’s a tomboy. He’s the boy next door.

With three older brothers, Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, has always been more comfortable calling the shots on a basketball court than flirting with the opposite sex. So when her police officer dad demands she get a summer job to pay for the latest in a long line of speeding tickets, she’s more than a little surprised to find herself working at a chichi boutique and going out with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game. Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with her neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden, sitting back-to-back against the fence that separates them. Braden may know her better than anyone. But there’s a secret Charlie’s keeping that even he hasn’t figured out—she’s fallen for him. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

I’ve been in the mood for romance lately and Kasie West is the perfect author to fill that need. Her books are so fun and cute to read and they’re super quick reads as well. Although I didn’t love On the Fence as much as I loved P.S. I Like You, it was still pretty close.

On the Fence was the perfect “friends turned to something more” romance. I was Team Braden from the moment he showed up. He’s cute, sweet, and a little bashful, which I found adorable. It was so obvious that he liked Charlie but of course Charlie couldn’t see it. That being said I related to Charlie a lot. Her mom died when she was only six years old and this caused her to have nightmares about her mother’s death that kept her up at night. This is how her late night conversations with Braden at the fence began. Although at first it was unintentional, their meetings became more intentional and they were so incredibly cute.

Besides Braden and Charlie, I really liked the other characters in this novel. Charlie’s dad was so adorable as he tried to navigate being a single dad with a daughter. It was hilarious and cute how hard he tried. I also really liked her brothers. Gabe is my favorite but Nathan was also really cute. Charlie’s boss Linda was so funny but also wise and I wish she was my boss. And I really liked Amber and all her friends.

The only complaint I had about this novel was at one point Charlie’s new friend Antonia was referred to as having “mocha skin.” This has always been a pet peeve of mine. If her skin is brown just say brown. No one ever refers to a white person’s skin tone as “vanilla”. Literally right before this is said Charlie refers to Amber’s skin as being “tan.” Why is a POC’s skin tone always compared to food? It’s fine to say their skin is brown or dark brown. Honestly, we’d prefer it.

Besides this, I found everything else about this book to be great. I thought the story about Charlie’s mom was very well done and I was actually kind of surprised by it even though I knew there had to be more to her mother’s death than what Charlie believed. I also liked how Charlie began to allow herself to step out of her comfort zone and wear different clothes and even try make-up. More than that, I liked that this wasn’t something she had to do to get the (right) guy but something she ended up doing for herself.

Overall, this was a cute and fun read and Braden is now on my best book boyfriends list. Seriously, he was so perfect.

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“Sometimes we expect more than people are capable of giving at that moment.”

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