Review: Anything to Have You (Paige Harbison)

The Deets:

Audience: YA
Pages: 304
Publisher: January 28th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 9780373210886
Genre: contemporary, romance
Source: eARC from Netgalley

Anything to Have YouNothing 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.

Oh my goodness, this book. Sigh.

There were so many things wrong here. So, so many.

This is the second book I've read by Paige Harbison, and I'm noticing a trend. Apparently, this young author thinks that all teenagers spend their out of school hours at lavish parties full of sex, drugs, and alcohol. Wow, I basically summed up the whole plot in one sentence. Huh.

I cannot begin to express how annoyed I am with the way teenagers were portrayed in this book. If they were young college students, I would be more willing to accept the plot. But these kids were 17. I know there are some pretty uninvolved and clueless parents out there, but I find it VERY hard to believe that a father would willingly let his only daughter sleep over at boys' homes during parties. I also find it hard to believe that that same father figure would give his consent to his underage daughter's drinking at said party. Are you kidding me? Am I really supposed to buy that? I feel insulted because it's so far fetched.

So, daddy-o irritated me. But it didn't stop there. There were some seriously messed up characters in this book. For starters, let's examine Brooke. Can we say psycho? Best friend from hell. Hands down. She's a liar, manipulative, and a complete skank. It was a train wreck that you just couldn't pull away from. If her character is supposed to portray teenage best friends, then girls take this as a warning-- you are better off alone. Brooke was everything I would find in an enemy, and nothing worthy of being a friend.

Then there was Natalie. There wasn't much difference in her character either. She tries to be honest, but she leaves a lot of truths out. You might as well tell a bold faced lie if you're only going to tell half truths. Natalie is supposed to be super smart and "with it" but she's a complete idiot in the game of life. I could not believe how willingly she accepted her party outcome. No trip to the doctor. No second guesses. She just rolled with the punches like you might do when you bomb a test you know you didn't study for. Um, no. When STDs and pregnancies are on the line, I need the characters to be more intuned with reality. You don't just shrug and go about your business.

Then there was Aiden-- a sneaky pile of flaming poop. I wanted to like him because he channeled my inner nerd, but I just couldn't not get beyond what he did. AND what he continued to do. Why was is portrayed as okay in this book to have a guy take advantage of a girl that was so wasted she blacked out at a party? It was if it wasn't a big deal, and that he didn't actually date rape a girl. If I had students reading this book, I would be livid. I would not want them to read this and think it's not a big deal if a guy advances on you because you were drunk. No way! Wrong is wrong.

This book screwed up every message that young females need to learn. It was a disgrace. It just pisses me off because it makes light of very important issues, and paints teenage life in a horribly unrealistic way. Do not waste your time reading this. 


Chanpreet said... .

I've been seeing the phenomenon of teen/high schoolers behaving like college kids in books. It's hard to enjoy a book when you spend most of it thinking, "Yeah right!"

February 12, 2014 at 5:13 PM

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