Previously published as Lovely Vicious, this fully revised and updated edition is full of romance, intrigue, and laugh-out-loud moments.
Don’t love your enemy. Declare war on him.
Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to Buttcrack-of-Nowhere, Ohio, to help her mom escape a bad relationship.
All the girls in her new school want one thing—Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter’s never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he’s never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.
Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.
The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.
The game board: East Summit High.
The reward: Something neither of them expected.
This young adult romance was anything but lighthearted, flirty fun, but it’s one heck of a story. What makes this work is fully-developed, deep, flawed characters with rich backstories, even as repugnant as they might be. Isis Blake has recently relocated to East Summit High to escape her past and a vicious bully who scarred her in more ways than one. Jack Hunter is an enigma, although Isis is pretty sure she has his pretty-boy self all figured out in the first five minutes. Jack seems to enjoy putting people down and making girls cry, particularly Wren, the only girl who’s even been even a little nice to Isis at East Summit High.
Wren is deeply in love with Jack and has been for most of her life. Jack is a total tool and Isis declares war on him until he apologizes to Wren for his behavior. What ensues is a snarky, witty, back-and-forth with more than a few laugh-out-loud moments as Jack and Isis give their battle their all. Both have deep, dark secrets, and how they come to light provide some of the best moments in the book.
It’s all about the characters. All of them. Jack and Isis are so completely three-dimensional, it’d be okay if some of the supporting cast wasn’t so in-depth, but they all are, and that brings a different level of investment to the story. Because the characters come across as living, breathing human beings, it’s really hard not to root for them at the same time you’d like to bitch slap them for a) being total douchebags, b) doing something idiotic, again, and c) cutting to the bone just because they can.
What Didn’t Work for Me
1. The principal. Even after his motivations were revealed, he still came across as a cardboard Scooby-Doo villain who would have gotten away with it if not for those meddling kids.
2. The ending. And I’m not talking about the cliffhanger. The implausibility of how things went down at the end ripped me out of the story and made me scratch my head until the very last page.
3. The cliffhanger. Not a huge fan unless done well. In this case, I still can’t wrap my head around it.
Top Five Things I Enjoyed About Love me Never
1. The dialogue. It flows, is natural, witty, and just plain fun.
2. Loyalty. I love how loyal Isis is to Wren, though she barely knows her, simply because she’s the first person to be nice to Isis.
3. Loyalty. Isis’s loyalty to her mother continues that theme in the way only a needy mother and strong daughter can, further developing Isis’s complex character.
4. Friendship. This is more a book about friendship than romance. There is definitely romance, but it buds from a blossoming friendship that neither Jack nor Isis saw coming.
5. Angst. Oh how I love angsty teens and Love Me Never overflows with them, like a bathtub with the plug in someone forgot about.
Love Me Never is an engaging read with deeply developed, yet flawed characters, page-turning angst, and some of the best dialogue I’ve read this year.
I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book
Title: Love Me Never
Series: The Lovely Vicious #1
Author: Sara Wolf
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Category: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled
About the Author
Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things.
When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as the Lovely Vicious series.
She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.
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