The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) by Amy Spalding
Published by Poppy on April 5, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320 : e-ARC edition
Source: Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (via NetGalley)
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A ridiculously cute, formerly-famous new guy dropping into your life? It’s practically every girl’s dream.
But not Jules McCallister-Morgan’s.
I realize that on paper I look like your standard type-A, neurotic, overachiever. And maybe I am. But I didn’t get to be the editor of my school’s long-revered newspaper by just showing up*. I have one main goal for my senior year-early acceptance into my first choice Ivy League college-and I will not be deterred by best friends, moms who think I could stand to “live a little,” or boys.
At least, that was the plan before I knew about Alex Powell**.
And before Alex Powell betrayed me***.
I know what you’re thinking: Calm down, Jules. But you don’t understand. This stuff matters. This is my life. And I’m not going down without a fight.
* Okay, I sort of did. But it’s a sore subject.
** I mean, I guess everyone knows about Alex Powell? Two years ago, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about viral video boy band sensation Chaos 4 All. Two years ago, Alex Powell was famous.
***Some people think I’m overreacting. But this. Means. War.
Filled with romance, rivalry, and passive-aggressive dog walking, Amy Spalding delivers a hilariously relatable high school story that’s sure to have you falling for The New Guy.
If you follow me on Twitter (which you totally should; there’s fun gifs and you get to hear about the dumb shenanigans I get myself into) then you know I was struggling with whether or not I should give up on this book. I ultimately decided to do so after reaching the 60% mark. I’m not writing the book off completely, since I think there were some really awesome components in it, but it ended up coming down to me getting annoyed with the main character mixed with some “I don’t really care about this story anymore.”
So, pros! I started off really liking the unique voice that this contemporary had. Jules definitely does not care what others think of her and I liked her inner dialogue…until it became annoying. There was a specific turning point in the novel when I couldn’t relate to her anymore and I started to find myself flicking past pages wondering when she was going to stop talking. Alex also got on my nerves. He seemed sort of sleazy from the beginning. No, I didn’t make it to the end so maybe he does redeem himself, but the point I got to made me really dislike him.
Gay parents! Yes! Jules’ mom’s were so rad. I probably stuck it out as long as I did because I loved them and their dialogue. Can we get a book focused all around their romance? I’d read that in a heartbeat.
I also got a bit sick of Jules’ friends and the way she treated them. Jules is so caught up in her own life that she can’t even take the time to respond to emails/texts and her friends let her get away with it! Maybe I’m just not an overly forgiving person, but it continued to happen enough in the book that I seriously questioned why her best friend, who’s name I can’t remember beyond “the loud one who acts as the foil to the quiet one” would put up with that crap.
Maybe I’m just getting too old for contemporaries? I really hope not. Maybe it’s my own fault too for siding with the “bad” characters too. I mean Jules is pretty set in her ways, which I’m all for sticking to your guns, but she did it in such a way that shut down everyone else’s ideas, and I wasn’t too thrilled with that.
At the end of the day I am giving this two stars though. I think (and hope) some people will find it enjoyable, but it just wasn’t for me. As someone pointed out to me on Twitter, life is too short to waste time reading books you don’t like. On to the next!
(As it’s becoming a common theme with my DNF’s, I do really like this cover. There’s just something about it that is great! Maybe it’s the soft pastels)
What do you think? Have you read this one yet? Are you going to pick it up when it gets released next week? Let me know!