Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rival Love by Natalie Decker ~ Review

Source:  Received eBook copy in exchange for a fair and honest review

Rival Love
Release Date: 08/26/14
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:
Skylar Fletcher is a proud Harris Academy Bulldog! She has everything she’s ever wanted: a perfect boyfriend, great friends, and her dream college waiting for her in the fall. But nothing lasts forever. Skylar's world shatters when her mom decides it is time to move and drags Skylar, kicking and screaming, into Bobcat territory.

At Delmont High School, home of the Bobcats, Skylar has no friends and is often bullied. To make matters worse, her home life sucks thanks to all-star quarterback Caleb Morgan, nephew of her mom's live-in boyfriend.

At first Skylar and Caleb want nothing to do with one another. But they soon discover they're not that different after all--and each is harboring a secret attraction to the other. But can a Bulldog and a Bobcat ever really be more than friends? And are Skylar and Caleb willing to risk everything to find out? Rival Love is a debut young adult contemporary romance from Natalie Decker.



What worked for me...


I loved the banter between Skylar and Caleb.  They didn't hold back and it was fun.  Living with the enemy and all that tends to have you seeing things that might have you change your mind about them.  That's what's up with these two.  They don't want to be attracted to each other but they are.  Being across the hall from each other makes for some fun interactions.  He so did not go in the bathroom to pee while she was showering.  He so did!

Two peeps that profess to dislike each other this much make for an interesting love story.  I wasn't sure how I'd enjoy that but I really did.  They actually had more in common than they knew.  Those things drew them together.  Both of them found themselves being sweet to the other and hating that they did.  Adorable.

What didn't work for me...

So this is a big one.   I actually worried about it before I started reading.  The premise makes it clear that these two school are mortal enemies.  But coming to blows over a rival school student joining your school is just too much for me to believe.  I can see some teasing and lots of competition where the sports come into play but I didn't buy the level to which these two HIGH schools fought.  I don't even think colleges would be this bad.  She's jumped, bruised, bullied and made to feel completely unwelcome.  All the while, the adults are looking around trying to figure out why and how this previously good student has become a trouble maker.  And this is where my teacher hat comes in.  So not buying it.  Teachers are not this dumb.  They blame her, and threaten her.  They offer next to no support.  One teacher notices and helps.  I'm not buying it.  I'm thinking the swim coach and the softball coach would be chopping at the bit to get a state champion player at their school.  They'd have teammates signed up to help her fit in just to keep her there.  No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get past this.

Beyond the rivalry, I don't get why she changed schools.  Both schools are private.  She drives back across town to go to work.  Why not for school too?  It's not a boundary issue.  So the whole premise falls flat for me.

Then there's the ending.  It's not an ending but a "to be continued" note.  There's a book two in the works and that's a good thing.  I'd hate to think their story ends this way.  While I don't mind a story that continues to the next book, I prefer to know that going into it.  This one wasn't advertised as the first book in a series, yet it clearly is.

I enjoyed a lot of this story and if I could have figured out how to accept the rivalry between these schools, I would have loved it. 

If you're not a teacher and can take that rivalry for what's it's worth, then you'll enjoy this book.


1 comment:

  1. Mmm... I can understand why this didn't really work for you. I can't imagine schools really acting like that, even here in AUS. Great review though Valerie!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace