Publisher: Henry Holt
Genre: YA/Contemporary Romance
Pen Lupo is sick and tired of hiding who she is. On the outside, Pen is popular, quiet, and deferential to her boyfriend. On the inside, however, Pen is honest, opinionated–and not quite sure that she’s like other girls. Do they have urges like she does?
His classmates may consider him a nerd, but Benedict Pendleton knows he’s destined for great things. All he has to do is find a worthy girlfriend, and his social station will be secured. Sure, Benedict is different–but that’s what he likes about himself.
When fate intervenes, both Pen and Benedict end up at the same vacation resort for winter break. Despite their differences, the two are drawn together. But is there such a thing as happily ever after for a nympho and a nerd?
Ugh you guys. This was a painful and cringeworthy read. That pretty much sums up my thoughts on this book. Just ugh. I hate writing negative reviews, I really do. But I cannot allow some other unsuspecting soul to think like me and say, oh this sounds cute and original! It’s not. It tries really hard to be but it misses the mark by like a mile. I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway and thank god, because I would’ve been pissed had I actually spent money on this.
There’s two POV here, Pen and Benedict. Pen is popular and sex obsessed. Weird that’s how I describe her, right? I have no choice because the author ensured that ninety nine percent of what she thought about was sex. She talks about how much she masturbates constantly, then as if that isn’t enough, there are multiple scenes where she’s masturbating as well. Look, maybe I’m just old, or prudish, but I don’t want to imagine a sixteen year old girl masturbating, much less have to read about it in detail. I felt like a voyeuristic creep way more than I’m comfortable admitting.
Benedict has more substance to him than Pen, but honestly, that’s not saying much. He’s a nerd but he is overly confident and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He’s unabashedly honest and totally awkward. Oh but behind all that he’s gorgeous, because of course he is. This hit every annoying YA trope you can think of.
My biggest gripe, (and I have many) is that there was so much shaming going on. Fat shaming, slut shaming, nerd shaming, it went on and on. Then, everyone used the word retard or retarded as an insult all the time. Even the adults! Why? This is not ok, it’s disgusting and totally insulting.
This is way too risqué and sexually explicit for a YA novel. It’s recommended for kids 14-18 and there is no way in hell that I would be comfortable recommending this to a freshman. No way. I can see where the author was trying to go and a message of self acceptance was there, but it was hidden beneath insta love, terrible language and overused tropes.
There was one thing I liked and it’s only fair to point out, but the acknowledgment was awesome. The characters in the book helped write it and that was unique and fresh.
Overall rating: 1.5/5
Thanks to Goodreads and the publisher for my copy.