Any Boy but You
North Pole, Minnesota #1
by Julie Hammerle
Publication Date: February 13, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It’s a very You’ve Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. He can’t be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena’s family out of business. Elena’s mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money’s so tight Elena’s going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can’t win this game.
The girl Oliver’s fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She’s his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad’s business rival, and the one girl he’d never even think of kissing. She’s definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.
When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine’s Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they’ll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains swearing, snowball fights, and sexual tension that could melt the North Pole. Read at your own risk.
A super-cute modern YA version of You’ve Got Mail (or technically, of the original–The Shop Around the Corner) with a bit of Romeo and Juliet feuding families-style drama added in, I really liked Any Boy But You. Both Oliver and Elena had their less-than-sympathetic moments–he was pretty judgmental at first on nothing more than his dad’s say-so, and she was over-the-top nasty at times, but that just made everything all the more sweet when they realized the errors of their ways, got a clue, and went above and beyond to make things better.
The ending was a bit rushed–we don’t get a whole lot of satisfactory Oliver and Elena time before the final page–but it’s pegged as the first in a new series, so fingers crossed that we’ll see plenty of them together and being cute in the books that are to come.
(Is it wrong to say I was about ready to cheer for the Chinese restaurant that insisted on calling itself “The Chinese Restaurant” instead of “Away in a Lo Mein-ger”, though? Because those Christmas-themed business names got to be a bit much at times…)
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us, which was published by Entangled Teen in 2016. Before settling down to write “for real,” she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her iPod reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list.
She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.
The Sound of Us by Julie Hammerle Release Date: June 7th 2016 Entangled Teen
Kiki Nichols might not survive music camp.
She’s put her TV-loving, nerdy self aside for one summer to prove she’s got what it takes: she can be cool enough to make friends, she can earn that music scholarship, and she can get into Krause University’s music program.
Except camp has rigid conduct rules—which means her thrilling late-night jam session with the hot drummer can’t happen again, even though they love all the same TV shows, and fifteen minutes making music with him meant more than every aria she’s ever sung.
But when someone starts snitching on rule breakers and getting them kicked out, music camp turns into survival of the fittest. If Kiki’s going to get that scholarship, her chance to make true friends—and her chance with the drummer guy—might cost her the future she wants more than anything.
From the music app on my phone, Ani DiFranco belts out a choice insult just as Brie bursts through my dorm room door, crosses the room, and plops a giant cardboard box on the other bed.
“I guess we’re roommates,” she says. There were a bunch of boxes in the room when I arrived, and I wondered who they belonged to. I suppose that mystery is solved.
I scramble to stop Ani from singing anything else we both might regret later and I look up just in time to see Seth Banks crossing the threshold into my dorm room, carrying another larger, heavier box over to Brie’s side.
“Hi,” he says. “Kiki, right?” He knows my name. Seth Banks somehow knows my name.
I nod, and sneak a glance at the mirror on the wall next to my bed, assessing myself against the two model-caliber people in my dorm room. I’m still wearing the cat dress. My frizzy hair is up in a messy bun, but the effect actually works with my blue-plastic glasses. I look eccentric, but artsy, which may not be the best look of all time but it is, in fact, a look.
(You’re probably wondering who my celebrity twin is. Well, there aren’t a lot of women in pop culture who have my body type, i.e. dumpy. I’m too fat to be thin and too thin to be fat. Head-wise, I have the glasses and mouse-like features of Mary Katherine Gallagher from Saturday Night Live with hair like Hermione before someone gave her hot oil help between the second and third movies.)
Brie cocks an eyebrow at me and tucks her bottom lip under her top teeth as she picks up my backpack and drops it on the ground with a perfunctory thud. I had tossed it onto the blue papa-san chair in the middle of our room after I got back from the auditions. “That’s my chair,” she says. “My. Chair.” And then she proceeds to place a six-pack of Diet Coke into the fridge—My. Fridge.—because apparently that’s how fairness works.
It wasn’t quite what I expected, but I really liked this one!
Ms Hammerle’s writing style was a lot of fun to read–there were quite a few LOL moments, and I read more than a few of them out loud to Mini Moe #2 (whether she wanted me to or not–and she at least smiled at almost all of them, a good sign). Each chapter started with a tweet, which was entertaining, and Kiki’s total nerdom was endearing. Who can’t identify with someone who totally geeks out over a favorite tv show and celebrity?
It just about broke my heart that she was so determined to get the opera singing scholarship when she was sooo not suited for the profession, though. I guess I can understand why she was so focused on it, but man, did it take her forever to figure out what she really should be doing! Trying to figure out the rest of your life is hard for anyone, but to try to do it when you’re a teen (as our culture expects you to do)? Crazy. I’m glad I’m not back there anymore. But I digress…
I really identified with Kiki’s on-again-off-again-what do we have here anyway? relationship with Jack. I was in that relationship myself, when I was just a few years older. Unfortunately (well, probably fortunately, actually) mine didn’t have the same ending (or is it? I’m really hoping that this isn’t the last we see of Kiki and Jack!)
Come to think of it, if you take away the whole singing/songwriting/music theory genius aspect of Kiki’s life, we could have been separated at birth. Hmmm. Probably has a lot to do with my enjoyment of the book.
I’m definitely looking forward to more from this author, even if she doesn’t give us more Kiki.
Though I really hope she does. 🙂
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author:
Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us, which will be published by Entangled Teen in the summer of 2016. Before settling down to write “for real,” she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her iPod reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.
A paperback copy of The Sound of Us by debut author Julie Hammerle
A box of Nutty Bars, which are prominently featured in the novel
A DVD of High School Musical, so you can watch the movie repeatedly to perfect your dubsmash abilities
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