Feb 1, 2014

Book Review: Anything to Have You - Paige Harbison

Title: Anything to Have You
Author: Paige Harbison
Release Date: January 28th 2014
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: NetGalley
Nothing should come between best friends, not even boys. ESPECIALLY not boys.
Natalie and Brooke have had each other's backs forever. Natalie is the quiet one, college bound and happy to stay home and watch old movies. Brooke is the movie—the life of every party, the girl everyone wants to be.
Then it happens—one crazy night that Natalie can't remember and Brooke's boyfriend, Aiden, can't forget. Suddenly there's a question mark in Natalie and Brooke's friendship that tests everything they thought they knew about each other and has both girls discovering what true friendship really means.
I hate it when my liking of the characters affects my rating for the book, but that's just not something I can control. I rate books based on how much I enjoyed them so if I hated the characters enough to not have fun reading, then it's going downhill from there. And trust me, I can hate characters but still enjoy the book.

I knew Anything to Have You wouldn't amaze me as soon as I read the first chapter. The MCs, who were supposed to be best friends, just went on and on about how one was wasting her hot teenage girl genes by being unsociable while the other went after everything with male genitals. I was like, seriously? At this point, I only kept reading because of the absurdity, and also because I'd already DNF-ed quite a handful of books this past month.

This portrayal of teens annoyed me because every single of them were simple-minded and seemed like their only agenda in life was to get laid. Well, except for Natalie, of course, because she was so busy being Little Miss Perfect who was above the stupid baboons she hung out with - yes, said stupid baboons includes her best friend. And you know what's worse? I actually liked those baboons better than her because at least they knew what they wanted and could say no to what they didn't, unlike her who couldn't even refuse a drink because she 'felt the need to please everyone'.

And then she wakes up after a night of partying, with nothing on but her best friend's boyfriend's sweater, her underwear, and the certainty that she had sex with someone - and because she blacked out some time in the middle of her night, she wasn't sure who she had sex with or if the guy used protection, but of course she worries more over the fact that Brooke would be furious if she learns about Natalie waking up next to her boyfriend. Unbe-bloody-lievable. Oh and no, she doesn't even bother to take a pregnancy test. (You see where this is going?)

After that re-entry into the cool partying scene, Natalie is suddenly Little Miss Perfect and Popular, and I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that this girl was universally liked, this girl whose thoughts were so fake and judgmental. But hey, she just proved herself worthy of Brooke's boyfriend because Aiden was equally fake and judgmental, not to mention a fucking rapist because he had sex with Natalie when, if he was as smart as this book said he was, he very well knew that she was way beyond inebriated (but this is perfectly fine because Natalie loves him anyway! *gags*). They both didn't deserve to be so loved by Brooke because at least she was perfectly aware of everything she's doing wrong, unlike Natalie who thought so high of herself that she couldn't even figure out for sure what her mistakes were e.g. flirting with her best friend's boyfriend, and unlike Aiden who didn't have the balls to fess up.

But I didn't just hate Anything to Have You because of the characters;  it also had something to do with how, overall, this book read like a shitty first draft that saw little to no editing. But here are some good things about it, if you're one for positivity: 1) Brooke, because I really liked her and her arc, and 2) because no matter how awful this book was, I still couldn't stop reading, but even then that was mostly because I wanted to see Natalie get what she deserved. Oh, and just what is the title's relation to this story?

MY FAVORITE PART was the epilogue. Why? Because there was no sign of Natalie in it.


1 comment:

  1. This review!!! I'm sort of relieved that you didn't like this either because now I'm not so alone in my opinion. I totally agree with you- every character was so simple-minded. Other than Brooke's depression in the last parts, I sensed zero grit and depth in the book. Plus the male leads were terrible. Reading your review now, I think I was pretty kind, giving it 2-stars!


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