Thursday, April 03, 2014

Review: Boys Like You by Juliana Stone

Title: Boys Like You
Author: Juliana Stone
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: May 1st 2014
Pages: 288
Genre: Young Adult contemporary romance
Source: NetGalley - I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
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For Monroe Blackwell, one small mistake has torn her family apart –leaving her empty and broken. There’s a hole in her heart that nothing can fill. That no one can fill. And a summer in Louisiana with her Grandma isn’t going to change that…
Nathan Everets knows heartache first-hand when a car accident leaves his best friend in a coma. And it’s his fault. He should be the one lying in the hospital. The one who will never play guitar again. He doesn’t deserve forgiveness, and a court-appointed job at the Blackwell B&B isn’t going to change that…
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Boys Like You sounds right up my alley - I love romances about messed-up people! And I did really enjoy the novel. Predictably, I loved each character's individual story and getting to read about Monroe's and Nathan's difficult past. Just as predictably, though, I didn't love the romance as much as the individual stories; it just seemed to perfect and unrealistic to me.

Monroe is a character that I immediately liked. Her story is intriguing because you don't find out until about halfway through what her "mistake" is; yes, there's hints and you can sort of assume what happened, but you don't find out what really happened until the second half of the novel. I was kind of scared that not finding out until later would mean that her story wouldn't be fully developed, but that isn't the case at all: even when you don't know the details, Monroe's pain is palpable, and I really felt for her. And once we find out what happened to her family, her story is even better. I easily related to Monroe throughout the novel and really enjoyed her story.

Towards Nathan, though, I had ambiguous feelings. I really liked his story, too, and I felt for him in the context of what happened to his best friend. But there were other things that really upset me about him, like the way he treats his girlfriend Rachel and his sexist ways of thinking. For the most part, though, I was able to see past that and enjoy Nathan's storyline, too.

The romance started out okay, too. For once, the way that Monroe and Nathan meet and then slowly transition from animosity to romance feels realistic. The two of them have really good chemistry while they're getting to know each other, and they're fun to read about. Once they get together, though, they started moving waaay too fast for me. I wouldn't call it insta-love because they don't like each other right away, but their feelings for each other do develop too fast for my liking. I understand that they've been through a lot and are bonding by helping each other, but I still thought it was melodramatic how much they come to depend on each other.

In that same way, the very happy ending bothered me. The story completely disregards the idea that, even though they're long-distance, things might not work out in the long-term. Another part of the ending (that I can't talk about without spoiling things) seemed unrealistic to me, too. I understand why the author decided to end the story in this way, but I'm just not a fan of unrealistically happy endings.

I did have some issues with this novel, particularly Nathan's character and the unrealistically happy ending. Still, though, I really enjoyed this book, especially Monroe's story. If you like darker stories and don't mind too-perfect-to-be-true romances, you should definitely give Boys Like You a try!


  1. Well that's too bad. I love the cover and it sounds cute. I still think I'd give it a try - just maybe have lower expectations.


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