Review: Hate To Love You by Tijan
Rule #1: No hot guys. It might sound ridiculous. I get it. It kind of is, but college was supposed to be my sanctuary. It was my place to start over. The rumors, the whispers, and the jealousy I endured through high school would all be gone. No one would know me at college. Rule #2: No drama. I’d major in pre-law. I’d make a few loyal friends. Everything would be easy breezy. No one was going to use me or hurt me. I wouldn’t let them. Rule #3: New year. New place. New me. Right? Wrong. And all because of Shay Coleman. Football captain and quarterback, he was the big guy on campus. The cocky guy in my political science class with a smirk. I hated him on sight . . . . . . and he was about to break all my rules.
Oof, this book. It was really all over the place. Kennedy is a new college student, determined to spend her time studying and staying away from boys and drama. Surprise! It finds her immediately, in the form of the quarterback of the school's football team. And then it's one dramatic thing after another. Positives:
There are several things this book gets right, which is why I never DNFd it, despite being tempted to more than once.
Shay is a pretty good book boyfriend. He's both kind and a smartass, and lives to push Kennedy's buttons.
It's pretty steamy.
Some fun family dynamics.
Good friends (boys and girls).
However, in the end, there are a lot of misses.
So much pitting girls against girls. Kennedy is beautiful--yay--and she knows it--all right--and she's made it a mission to stay away from cute boys because other girls will...hate her for knowing cute boys? I didn't quite get it. Like, she stays away from her brother because she thinks that girls will use her to get close to him.
Kennedy herself is SO MEAN TO OTHER GIRLS. She doesn't learn their names, she says weird shit about their features ("One girl was beautiful, but the other had eyes that were a little too far apart.") Like, what? Get out of here.
Exactly why does she hate Shay so much at the beginning? We may never know. (Don't worry, it doesn't last long.)
Kennedy has a lot of anger, and it comes out in some strange ways that were hard for me to follow at times. And it's also never addressed.
Another female character is raped (not on the page, but Kennedy hears about it soon after), and it's used as a way for Kennedy to grow as a person. This was probably the most uncomfortable aspect for me. I don't really like the way this was handled in the book.
Should you read it? I'd heard a lot of positives, and it combined two of my favorite tropes: sports romances and hate-to-love. But man, did it disappoint. I'd proceed with caution.
Published August 28, 2017