For all you fans of teen romance, this is a MUST READ.
James Parson has a problem. His military dad is going to yank him out of his expensive boarding school if James doesn’t prove he’s no longer hooking up, pulling pranks, and charming his way out of consequences. What better way to show he’s now responsible than becoming the committed boyfriend of a U.S. diplomat’s daughter?
Level-headed, book-smart Edelweiss may have traveled the world thanks to her dad’s job, but when it comes to friends and boys, she knows exactly nothing. Newly enrolled in boarding school, Edel is now on a mission to learn it all. James says he’ll help her experience the ultimate high school life—if she’ll be his fake girlfriend. And fake is perfect, because he’s exactly the kind of player she’d never date.
Length: 228 Pages
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Release Date: May 15, 2017
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lizzy Charles writes young adult contemporary romance and would rather read than eat, but if she’s not reading then you can bet she’s eating. She’s a tea fanatic, guacamole expert, and sushi lover (though not necessarily combined).
When she’s fixing lunches, dressing kids, changing diapers, or wiping pizza sauce off sticky hands, she escapes to La La Land and imagines all sorts of little love stories that she likes to tuck into novels once she’s put all three kids to bed. Lizzy loves her daily dose of fitness and is also a Registered Nurse so she can triage any symptom you send her way.
Her best friend is her husband, and it’s no wonder she loves writing YA romance since the two fell in love in high school. She’s also enjoys blogging at She is Bright where she talks about life, faith, food, health, parenting, and more. Oh and she has a little pup named Professor Lupin who is pretty much the glue to the whole writing operation.
There are very few books that keep me up hours past my self-imposed bed-time. (I admit that i go to bed early. With 2 kids, I never know when they’ll get up)
If you are judging this book by the synopsis and the cover…don’t. Based on those two things I was expecting a cheesy teenage rom-com that would be cute, but not necessarily original or life-altering. The synopsis doesn’t seem to get to the heart of the story, and I wish there weren’t people on the cover, because my image of what Edel and James looked like differed from the models on the cover and it messes with my psyche.
But all of that aside, I read the entire thing in one sitting. I don’t do that. Thankfully it wasn’t longer than it was, because I only got five hours of sleep last night. First off, I loved the character of Edelweiss (don’t you love that name?). She is a girl who has been homeschooled her whole life, and is now wanting to try out a boarding school to help prepare her for college. As a parent who homeschools my own child, I laughed out loud at her missteps, knowing they were totally realistic. She has an idealistic view of the world, and is taken aback when she realizes that she had no idea how to navigate this new world she has been thrown in. (To be fair to homeschoolers, I don’t think anyone would know how to navigate that school. A boarding school for rich kids, it turns out, is messed up!)
I also loved James. He’s a good kid who still has typical teenage boy stuff going on (loves to do pranks, going out with girls, etc.) I wish he hadn’t been the stereotypical football player (seriously, choose a new sport, people.) But the point is, he was likeable, but also completely real. And the push and pull dynamic between him and Edelweiss was so spot-on, it had me crying in all the right places. (Yes, I totally bawled at like midnight. Thank goodness my husband was asleep or I’d have been so embarrassed.)
This is a character-driven novel where the people are driving the story, not reacting to it. This can be difficult to write because you don’t have a complex plot to make up for flaws in your character development. But I felt Lizzy Charles did a beautiful job at this. She has a simple writing style where she doesn’t try to be overly-flowery. No drawn out scenes that didn’t need to be, no complex language that convoluted things. None of her characters were over-the-top or corny. It was straight-up awesomeness.
If it wasn’t obvious, I am giving It had to be You 5 out of 5 Stars and a place in my Top Hits.
NOTE: There is a little vulgarity, including a couple uses of the F-word, a few sexual innuendos, and although there isn’t physical violence, there is some bullying.
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It Had to be You is available both digitally and in paperback. Click on the image below to read more reviews and/or to purchase it (you know you want to!). HAPPY READING!!!