Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 5th 2016
Genres: Dating & Relationships, Friendship, Girls & Women, Humorous Stories, Love & Romance, Social Themes, Young Adult
A ridiculously cute, formerly-famous new guy dropping into your life? It's practically every girl's dream.
But not Jules McCallister-Morgan's.
I realize that on paper I look like your standard type-A, neurotic, overachiever. And maybe I am. But I didn't get to be the editor of my school's long-revered newspaper by just showing up*. I have one main goal for my senior year-early acceptance into my first choice Ivy League college-and I will not be deterred by best friends, moms who think I could stand to "live a little," or boys.
At least, that was the plan before I knew about Alex Powell**.
And before Alex Powell betrayed me***.
I know what you're thinking: Calm down, Jules. But you don't understand. This stuff matters. This is my life. And I'm not going down without a fight.
* Okay, I sort of did. But it's a sore subject.
** I mean, I guess everyone knows about Alex Powell? Two years ago, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing about viral video boy band sensation Chaos 4 All. Two years ago, Alex Powell was famous.
***Some people think I'm overreacting. But this. Means. War.
Filled with romance, rivalry, and passive-aggressive dog walking, Amy Spalding delivers a hilariously relatable high school story that's sure to have you falling for The New Guy.
The thing with THE NEW GUY is that it sounds hilarious, and while I can’t deny it had its funny moments, most of them were just too cheesy or unbelievable, making me cringe instead of laugh. I actually felt secondhand embarrassment for the dialogue and characters’ actions.
The actual plot of the novel revolves around the main character, Jules, and her former-star-sometimes-boyfriend, Alex, and how they sort of end up on opposite sides of a newspaper vs. new media war. Unfortunately this aspect doesn’t even come into play until about 30%, meaning that up until that point, the book focuses on the romance between the two characters.
Speaking of the romance, what was that romance. From the very first meeting, it’s obvious that the characters are into each other. While I wouldn’t quite call it insta-love, it was definitely random and had no basis. So that 30% was full of awkward moments and almost every single person around the main character saying that he’s totally into her. Not to mention they were on and off again enough times to make your head spin, and broke up for really stupid reasons.
While I do enjoy contemporary novels, the one thing I don’t miss is the drama and angst, especially in a high school setting. I would almost consider this a Middle Grade novel if not for a few random moments like when the character mentions that one particular day would be a good day to have sex. What? What?
Jules makes it easy to understand the reasoning behind her actions and her motives, but I felt totally disconnected from her. As a character, she lacks a background and story, although she has a unique voice that is easy to relate to. She is also one of those naive, inexperienced characters that can’t understand why a guy would like her. Actually, no explanation was ever really given why a former star would like her. The side characters have even less depth, and very little backstory.
I would recommend this book to contemporary lovers that don’t mind revisiting the dramatic antics of high school with a few jokes in between.