I’m happy to be teaming up with Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours & Promotions to share with you all today my review for the novel It Had to Be You by Lizzie Charles.
Published: 15 May 2017
Publisher: Entangled Publishing LLC: Teen Crush
Category: Young Adult/Romance
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.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains red-hot romance, all the feels, and a soul-mate bad boy.
Rating: 4 Stars
I got this book at just the right time! Last week as part of my Top 5 Wednesday post, I talked about what kind of Summer time reads I was looking forward to and I spotlighted contemporary novels. While this book doesn’t take place in the summer, I think it’s just the right kind of lighthearted fare to read during the hot months ahead (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere like me, though you should totally still read this if it isn’t summer).
Edelweiss and James are two students at Brockmore Academy, a boarding school that I wouldn’t be out of place comparing to Chilton from the television show Gilmore Girls. In fact, Edelweiss and her roommate Tuti talk about binge-watching this show and whose team they’re on more than once in the course of the book.
Edelweiss (shortened to Edel) and James are at Brockmore for different reasons and both want to stay there. Through a slightly complicated series of events, they come up with an arrangement: pretend to be dating to show that James is serious to his father and so Edel can have the normal high school experience after being home schooled by her diplomat parents.
This was a fast read that had all the hallmarks of a high school drama. It was a lot of fun to read and I didn’t find any slow points. I think there are some parts that could have been fleshed out a bit more, such as the friendships that Edel formed between herself and her roommate and some of the other girls in her dorm, or some of the smaller chats that she and James must have had that lead to them falling in real love.
There are some cliches in the book, such as the high school Mean Girl who we don’t learn too much about other than the cursory things (she’s James’s ex, she’s jealous of Edel, etc.). Maybe it’s because I don’t read too many of these books, but this didn’t bother me too much even though I know it’s happened a lot before. I am curious if we’ll learn more about her, though, her inner workings, that sort of thing.
The secondary characters introduced had the potential to be really great: Tuti, the YouTube celebrity that pays her bills by promoting her channel supremely well; Ainsley, the foster kid with a head for computers; Charlotte, Grant, Procter, and more. I learned just enough about each of them to be able to keep them separate in my head, but I wish I knew more. This book, however, was mostly true to Edel and James, so I understand in the end why we might not have heard as much as I’d have liked about the others.
I think this is only Brockmore Academy book #1, so there will hopefully be more adventures for all involved.. James still has half a year left as a senior at the school and Edel has her own senior year before the advent of college. Who knows what lays in store for these two? Will Emma, the school’s Mean Girl and James’s ex, come back with a vengeance? Will Ainsley, one of the friends Edel has made this year, find a resolution to her own familial questions? Lizzy Charles has authored a brilliant little book here and I hope to read more soon.
And, for the record, I’m with Edel on this Gilmore Girls opinion: #TeamLogan all the way!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.
- Prize 1- $25 H&M Giftcard
- Prize 2- $25 H&M Giftcard
Open to US or International (if no H&M near them if international, they will receive a $25 amazon card)