Title: The boy I hate
Author: Taylor Sullivan
Genre: NA romance
Samantha Smiles and Renee Montgomery have been best friends for over a decade. They’ve shared laughs, secrets, and a mutual hatred for one person: Tristan Montgomery, Renee’s older brother. He was the guy every girl wanted, and every guy wanted to be, and it wasn’t uncommon they’d befriend his little sister just to get closer to him. Which was exactly how Samantha became Renee’s saving grace. She was the only girl Renee could trust not to fall in love with her older brother.
Until the one night Samantha spent with him alone, leaving her questioning everything she’d ever known about the blond headed heart-throb.
Years later, Renee asks Samantha to be her maid of honor. With no other option, Samantha is forced to drive cross-country with the focus of their teenage ire.
He was her first kiss.
Her only secret.
Can Samantha survive the trip cross-country with the reckless Tristan Montgomery? The guy who did what he wanted, whenever he wanted, without worry for tomorrow? Or will she discover a different side of him. One that’s sweet, funny, and maybe a little bit vulnerable. And fall completely and helplessly in love for the first time in her adult life with the one man who could cause her to lose her best friend forever?
I have a confession: sometimes I like to read cliched books just so I’ll feel happy from the HEA ending.
Going in, I KNEW that this will have a lot of cliches and common romance tropes. But that’s kinda what I wanted. I just hoped that it was written well and I wouldn’t regret picking it up.
Tropes in the book:
- “the boy every girl wants and every guy wants to be”
- best friend’s hot brother who never noticed her before (but secretly had a crush on)
- guy whose life is the sport he’s playing
- girl who is a shy bookworm
- girl goes for the “safe” guy while actually her type is “the bad boy”
- misunderstood “bad boy” who has way more to him than what he shows
Although the titles alludes to it, this isn’t really a hate-to-love story. She doesn’t hate him with all her heart, not really. It’s just for what he signifies as a “popular and bratty” kid.
Tropes NOT in the book:
- Alpha male
Now that we’ve got that out of the way*, let’s talk on what the book is about.
*and you have judged me for actually liking these tropes and screamed that I’m the reason they even exist
Sam and Tristan had a moment YEARS back. They kissed. But, misunderstandings happened and she ended up going out with this guy called Steven instead who has been asking her out for a long time.
They end up being in a relationship until present day, four years later.
Sam is now an aspiring sculptor who has made a sculpture for her best friend to give on her wedding day. Sam made plans with Steven to go on a road trip till LA (as they can’t take the sculpture on an airplane) to attend the wedding. But Steven being the workaholic person he is, chooses a “once in a lifetime opportunity” internship over her and tells her he’s bailing. Way to go, mister.
Sam ends up going the road trip with Tristan, her best friend’s brother, instead. Throughout the three-day roadtrip we see them:
- finally connecting again
- understanding each other
- building chemistry
- and having feelings for each other
What I didn’t like about the plot:
In parallel, we saw flashbacks to when Sam and Tristan first ACTUALLY talked and kissed, and what happened after that. How she started dating Steven. Basically the events leading upto her current life.
I really could have gone without the parallel storyline. Maybe in a prologue, or talked about little in Sam’s thoughts would have been preferable. I was not interested in teenager-versions of them and I simply wanted to skip to the present storyline.
I really liked the chemistry between them! I loved the slow-burn romance which built up in those days. After they admitted their feelings to one other, the happiness was so palpable, even I felt it. This is why I keep coming back to these books, y’all. Because the good parts give you hope for a happily ever after and make you feel good.
And in case you’re wondering, there is no infidelity in this book. She doesn’t cheat on Steven. Just mentioning, if you hate when it’s there in a book (I know I do).
A good enough read. Not too great that I would rave about it, but it served my purposes and made me feel good. I also didn’t hate any character I’m supposed to like (which I’ve been known do in romance books), so there’s that.