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Saturday, March 22, 2014

[REVIEW] The Boyfriend Thief by Shana Norris

The Boyfriend Thief

Author: Shana Norris
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
Published: March 24th 2014 by The Studio, a Paper Lantern Lit imprint
Purchase from: Amazon

Avery James has her life planned out: this summer she'll work with a humanitarian program in Costa Rica, next year she'll graduate at the top of her class, and after that, college and medical school. Perfect, planned, total order.

The only problem: getting the rest of the money she needs for the trip before the deadline. Hannah Cohen, her biggest competition for the valedictorian title, makes an unexpected offer: If Avery can win over Zac Greeley and make him break up with Hannah before the end of the school year, a check for five hundred dollars is all hers. Faced with the prospect of spending yet another summer working as a giant hot dog, it's an offer Avery can't refuse.

Zac is nothing like Avery expected. Within his chaotic world of midnight slushie runs and spontaneous dance parties, her total order is quickly falling apart while Hannah seems poised to get everything she wants. But just how much is Avery willing to give up for the perfect, planned life?

The Boyfriend Thief actually came off as a surprise because I wasn't expecting to really like it. I thought this would be a light, romantic, teenybopper book, but actually, it has deeper issues that make The Boyfriend Thief a really good read.

I could relate very well to the main character, Avery. She's this uptight, control-freak and perfectionist teenager who seems to always expect the worst in people. She built walls around herself to avoid caring for and being hurt by other people again. Who could blame her, though? Her mother left them four years ago and since then she has taken it to herself to take her of her dad and her little brother and make sure everything's in order. I love her being organized and goal-driven. She knows what she wants and she strives to achieve them. Sure, she may be stuck-up and unsociable, but I don't think that's always a bad thing. What I don't like about her is that Avery only sees what she wants to see. It's all black and white for her. She doesn't' let herself consider the gray areas.

Zac, on the other hand, blew me away. I adore his character. He's energetic and full of crazy but wonderful ideas. He's goofy and funny and carefree, but underneath all that, he's as messed up as anyone else. He's hiding what he really wants to be just so he won't disappoint his father. BUT, despite that, he still manages to make others happy. I think Avery and Zac suit each other because even though they're different, they balance each other out.

I like the fact that there wasn't insta-love in this book. It's not even 100% romance. The Boyfriend Thief delves into deeper and realistic struggles of a teenager way beyond her years. It tackles about family, friendship, forgiveness, acceptance and moving on. 

It's well written, too. I'm quite picky with contemporaries because I'm always worried that they'll sound awkward and not at all realistic. I'm glad this book is put together nicely. It wasn't rushed. Zac's and Avery's relationship developed slowly. Like I said, no insta-love. And in the process, they learned a lot more about themselves.

All's well that ends well. I like that Avery was finally able to reach out to the people around her and settle things with them. It's also good that Zac brought her out of her shell and made her realize that not everything is about her. The Boyfriend Thief, on top of being enjoyable, teaches good lessons that I think everyone should know.

A really good read. Two thumbs up!

 "I don't qualify being in love with being happy. My happiness  is not dependent on someone else's affections."

"Because you just don't walk away from someone when things get tough. You find a way to stick it out and figure out what's gone wrong."

"Everyone is messed up in their own way. The funny part is we all don't want anyone else to know, so we work so hard to hide it."

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Julie @ Books and Insomnia

Julie is a Filipina blogger who pretends she has insomnia so she can stay up late reading. When she's not buried in books, she can be found watching anime, drinking chocolate-flavored instant coffee, lurking on the internet, daydreaming and talking about herself in third person. She loves purple and anything sweet!

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