Wednesday 15 January 2014

DNF Book Review: Anything To Have You

Anything To Have You
Author: Paige Harbison
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult
Release Date: 7th February 2014
Publisher: MIRA Ink
No. Pages: 368
Source: Review Copy - Mira Ink
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
Nothing 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 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.

As you can tell, I didn't finish this book, and it's the first of the year. It's make me pretty sad, because it means I've spent a few days on a book that I was adding to my challenges and now I have nothing to show for it, other than this small review. Even when I don't finish books, I feel like I have things I need to say, especially when I know I'm not going to finish them off at a later point; you and publishers should know the reasons why I didn't finish it, rather than just know I gave up on it.

Anything To Have You could have been a great contemporary for me, I was so interested to see whether that 'crazy night' would be brought up and the whole fight for the man, because I'd be looking for one like that for quite some time; I'm a real fan of watching a cat-fight, maybe that makes me a bad person, but it sounded like a golden opportunity. What I didn't expect however, was a very dry set of characters who were about as much use to the story as a parrot in the desert. The biggest and worst feature in this book, for me, was the attitude the characters had towards not being a 'typical teenager'. This isn't a coming of age story, about exploring the fun you can have as a teenager, a book that highlights that you can make mistakes while you're young and get away with it. No. It's basically got a bunch of characters in that have been created for the sole purpose of making one very normal teenage girl who enjoys cooking and reading into a big drunken flirty party girl and then shout at her afterwards for her actions.

When I'm reading a book, I like to take notes on my laptop, and I can give you a snippet of my notes to describe some of my feelings towards these characters, and this snippet is not watered down or re-written, these are my exact feelings at the time of reading;

'I'm not a fan of pushy best friends. If they're making you do something you don't want to, or making you feel bad for being you, why do you stay? If they're making you feel bad because you don't do what they do, don't stay. I don't like this, and I don't like how the author is condoning the behaviour as affectionate or sweet, because it isn't, it's wrong, and undermining, and makes people feel worthless, bad choice already author, bad choice.'

That is an exact quote from myself, and I can still stand by that quote and say that I couldn't have continued with the story because of this fact. I was 75 pages in, and already I'd been subjected to this kind of character in her best friend, and in her father. I wasn't impressed. I have another snippet of my notes to show you to prove how not impressed I was with it:

'The parents are just as bad as the best friend, it's like a gatecrash of terrible best friending and parenting. They're making her feel like shit, and it's not on, I'm not impressed, and I seriously doubt I'm going to enjoy it.'

It turns out I was very right, because after that last piece of my notes, I never went back to the book, and I don't think I ever will. This book might be for you, and you might like the 'being reckless' streak and sleeping with your best friends boyfriend, but I don't. My rating reflects how much of the book I read, not what I think it would have been worth in the end.

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