I quite thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s incredibly fast paced and while not perfect it’s certainly worth the read. Goodreads has quite a few nasty reviews of this book, and I’d like like to address that first. Let’s be clear. This book is a romance. Pure and simple. It’s not filled with intricate plots, or overly complex characters. When you go to the movies and chose something classified as a chick flick, regardless of how demeaning that term can often be, you do not generally expect such a film to rock your world views. Romantic comedies are fun, light, entertaining, and quite often unrealistic. Few would deny that How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days is an inaccurate representation of budding romances. It’s funny and worth the price of a movie ticket, but you don’t expect the same things out of this genre as you do from a more serious book or film.
Personally, I found that most of the 1 and 2 star reviews of this book were mean spirited and idealistic. This isn’t just a YA novel, and while it’s got a vaguely dystopian flavor, it’s not as well thought out or expressed as something like the Hunger Games or The Giver. But truth be told, it’s not meant to be. Did you miss the pretty girls in ball gowns on the cover? Yes, this series is clearly marketed toward women and we can debate the merits of gender neutral covers some other day since it’s a worth while conversation. But I felt that this book held up it’s end of the bargain. It promised a flirty, over the top romance, with pretty girls in pretty dresses and some laughs along the way.
This is not to say that it’s without flaws. But what book out there isn’t?! I personally would like to see Aspen dragged out by his slimy chauvinistic ass as soon as possible. I’m not a fan of love triangles, and I find him to be a poor attempt at misdirection/tension/love interest. I also agree with some of the crueler reviewers that it’s a little silly to have a character named America Singer, who by profession, sings. And it’s somewhat unrealistic to have her say that her family doesn’t have enough food to go around, but they have a refrigerator and other appliances, as well as space for the children to each have their own rooms. But these flaws are easily over looked in the grand scheme of this being a romance. There is no doubt in your mind from page one that America Singer will end up with Prince Maxon. (This isn’t a spoiler, as of the end of Book 1, this has not happened. So I could very well be wrong, however I doubt it. Just thought I’d clarify.) Why? Because this is a romantic comedy novel. It follows a lofty tradition of every other romance out there. Of course she will be the one left at the end. We don’t read these sort of novels wondering who she’s going to choose. We read them to see how it’s all going to play out. It’s entertaining, not educational.
If you enjoy light hearted, fun, romances, then do pick this up. I highly recommend it for not being too over the top, or taking itself too seriously. It’s a flirty read, and America is a character with a little spunk. It may be impractical for characters to tell each other exactly what they are thinking when asked, but honestly, it’s funny, and it makes the pacing fast. It’s a great representation of books in this genre.
I suspect that those who were disappointed by it, were expecting something more substantial, like the Wither series by Lauren Destefano, which is somewhat similar in it’s make up, though honestly I enjoyed this more. Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish the fact that not all YA books are created equal. Just because they fall under the same heading, does not mean that you should pit this book against something like a John Green book, or The Hunger Games. These books aren’t meant to be compared in that regard. They need to simply be enjoyed for what they are.
I will happily be continuing this series and recommend it to fans of flirty romance.