Published by Entangled: Teen on September 6th 2016
Amazon ♡ Chapters ♡ TBD
True love can’t be strategized.
After book blogger Vivian Galdi’s longtime crush pretends their secret summer kissing sessions never happened, Vivian creates a list of safe crushes, determined to protect her heart.
But nerd-hot Dallas, the sweet new guy in town, sends the mission and Vivian’s zing meter into chaos. While designing software for the bookstore where Vivian works, Dallas wages a counter-mission.
Operation Replacement Crush is in full effect. And Dallas is determined to take her heart off the shelf.
Disclaimer: We received an eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
We had a bit of mixed feelings on this one. Dani finished the book, but Jamie stopped at 85% after a certain event, which is heavily discussed in the video in a spoiler section and will be discussed in the spoiler section below. While Jamie admits that there were some cute moments and “redeeming” qualities, because of the event in question, she is not rating this one in a favourable manner. Everything that Dani liked, Jamie also liked, but she cannot in good consciousnesses be positive about this novel and therefore is negative about everything with regards to THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH.
Dani really liked all the Star Trek quotes that started the chapters. They gave her an understanding about what was about to happen in the chapter and gave her insight into whether or not hormones had control over Viv’s body or if she was going to try to follow her heart. She also really liked that Viv was a book blogger because it was nice to see what we do represented on page. We book bloggers put a lot of work and effort into maintaining our blog, social relationships, school work and everything else that life throws in our direction, so it was awesome to see that (semi-)adequately represented. (Jamie points out in the video that it doesn’t represent US per say because we both run two blog and Dani has started another strictly for romance reviews.)
On top of this, it was GREAT to see the feminist side of romance novels and that feminists DID enjoy romance novels. There was a good critique of past romance novels and what the current ones had. Also, Viv had a book club for this type of discussion and it was great to see women discussing their interests and supporting one another while still realizing that they could love.
Dani also LOVED Dallas. Like if she could yank him out of the page, she would. Not only was he a hot nerd, but he played the cello and could literally kick ass. He is Dani’s newest book boyfriend/fantasy lover and she’s not ashamed to admit it. He is the reason for the majority of the love that Dani has for this book.
However, there is a MAJOR issue with this book, which will be discussed below in the Spoiler Section. And on top of that, the book was too long (over 400 pages!!!) which meant that the beginning was very slow. It was painful to sit there through the beginning because so much was explained to us instead of just going forward with the story. As well, Viv was very stupid at the beginning (much like Roberts’ other heroine that Dani has previously read), so Dani was not impressed with this at all. As well, the text speak and “hip” language was very off putting. It wasn’t believable that these teens would text this way since we have smartphones now that means we can use full words and sentences. Jamie however does say “what’s your damage” because she is apparently a surfer girl in her heart even though she lives no where near a place where you could surf.
Want to know why Jamie DNFed the book? Read here! However, this is a MAJOR SPOILER for the novel and has trigger warnings for sexual assault and domestic violence.View Spoiler »
Until 85%, I was actually okay with the story. There was a slow burn romance and a lot of cute moments between our MC and her love interest. It was maybe a 2-3 star read depending on how they got together at the end. But then. But THEN. THERE IS AN ATTEMPTED RAPE SCENE IN WHICH THE LOVE INTEREST “SAVES” THE MAIN CHARACTER.
Look. I am not a fan of rape for shock value, which is what this was. And I am definitely not a fan of violence of any kind just so the main character can be “saved,” which again is what this was. There was absolutely no need for this scene in this book.
Now I’m going to “spoil” scenes in this book that “lead up to this” but I want you to understand why this is not okay.
The attacker, Jake, is a bad dude. We are told this repeatedly throughout the novel. Not only does he start off by “dumping” our main character after sneaking out to make out on the beach (and pressuring her into sex, which she says no to repeatedly), he then tells people they had sex and uses that as leverage to get sex from another girl. He writes “slut” on both of these girls lockers when they deny him and confront him. He then also threatens our main character when she calls him out again. He calls her fat as well. His nickname is “Jake the Snake.”
The attempted rape is literally overkill. Honestly, everything past him dumping the main character was overkill. But there was absolutely no need to have him almost rape the main character. What did that add to the story? Nothing. We knew he was a shitty person, we knew he had no respect for these girls, we knew that the main character was never going to forgive him and there was no way we the reader would ever forgive him. So what was the point? To shock the reader? To have the love interest save the main character? None of these reasons are good enough to have an attempted rape scene in this novel.
It didn’t fit the story and it added unnecessary drama and triggers for people who were anticipating a slow burn romance novel.
I couldn’t continue from here. It doesn’t matter why the characters got together at the end — or even if they did — because it is forever tainted by the fact that he had to “save” her from being attacked. And I am forever angry that this was included.
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