Book Review: One of the Guys

oneoftheguysONE OF THE GUYS by Lisa Aldin

Publication date: February 10, 2015. It’s out just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The Story: Tomboy, Toni Valentine, would take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests with her three male best friends, Lock, Cowboy and Ollie, over high heels and makeup any day. But when a summer prank goes wrong, Toni is sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, and it turns out Hell looks a lot like a place where you wear a plaid skirt, and learn to be ladylike.

At her new school Toni meets Emma, a girl with boyfriend troubles. Trying to bond with her first female friend, Toni volunteers one of her male BFFs as a pretend date to make Emma’s boyfriend jealous. When word spreads across the school about Toni’s access to good-looking guys, Toni and Emma form a Rent-A-Gent service. It’s a plan that can’t end well, not when Toni is secretly in love with Lock, the company’s most sought-after escort.

The good: This book didn’t make the mistake of focusing all the attention on the crush. Yes, Toni wants to understand her first brush with teen love, but she’s also mindful of losing her best friend by changing the terms of their relationship. Toni worries about school, her friends problems and her uncertain relationship with her new stepfather. I appreciated the author’s efforts to round out Toni’s character, and to create a history for all three boys. Also, this book looks like a standalone, something that makes me happy. I’m getting sick of books that don’t have a resolution at the end.

The bad: The characters are all seniors in high school, immersed in the big rush to get admitted into a prestigious university, yet everyone in the story reads younger. A lot younger! I would have found these characters more believable as sixteen-year-olds. The story gets slow in the last third, but by then I was firmly invested and wanted to see it to the end.

I enjoyed this book, which says a lot since contemporary YA romance is not my first choice as a genre. It earned four stars on Goodreads from me. It was a quick, lighthearted read, with interesting supporting characters and a solid, if predictable, plot. If you’re looking for a contemporary YA romance, this is a good pick. Frankly, I liked it better than Isla and the Happily Ever After and just as much as This Is What Happy Looks Like. Although there is a small amount of underage drinking, and the mention (no descriptions) of sex, I would still give this book a PG13 rating, making it suitable for younger teen readers.

Disclaimer: NetGalley provided me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Author: Robin Rivera

Robin trained as a professional historian and worked as a museum curator, an educator and historical consultant. She writes dark young adult fiction, with diverse characters. She's currently querying a novel, and working on two new manuscripts that started off as NaNoWriMo projects. You can follow her on Facebook(https://www.facebook.com/robin.rivera.90813) or on Twitter @robinrwrites. However, Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/RRWrites/) is where her inner magpie is happiest of all.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: One of the Guys”

  1. This looks like a book I’ll be adding to my tbr YA list. Adult romance is my first choice, but I’ve been looking for more YA light-hearted reads to add between the more “heavy” fantasy novels.
    Do you like using NetGalley? I’ve been concerned that I may not be able to keep up if I have a lot of requests at a time when I’m having to focus on writing or revising my own fiction. I’m new to it, and am still debating on if I should participate in it. It does seem like a good way to review books (from authors I don’t know) to help them out by giving honest feedback, though.

    1. Hi Laurie,
      Heather and I are new to NetGalley, so we’re still learning the ropes. So far it’s been great. I’ve received a number of amazing books and I have high hopes for more in the future. Having access to advance reader copies makes a huge difference for any reviewer.
      But you’re right, they do come in batches and that can be overwhelming. And they do have rather large fantasy and romance catalogs to choose from. You just want to make sure you don’t request a lot of books during busy times.
      Good luck, and keep me posted on what you decide to do.

  2. I don’t think a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review really requires a disclaimer.

    This doesn’t sound like a book I would enjoy, but it does sound like an ok book 🙂 So guess the honest review is working.

    I might need to get in on the Netgalley book review thing. Or, maybe I should just review some books written by people I know on the internet. Funny thing. Signed into my Amazon account today, and the first five suggestions were all books written by people I know.

    1. Hi,
      You always need to disclose if you got a free book, or if you know the author. It’s the good reviewer rules. If you don’t disclose and you get caught, your reviews will never be respected again. And trust me, everyone who breaks the rules gets caught sooner or later.

      You should buy your friend authors, but I don’t believe in reviewing those books. First, your review is discounted on the grounds that you know them, (as it should be) and second, if you don’t like the book your stuck with an awkward (and very public) situation. I recommend you give NetGalley a shot.

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