Publication Date: July 25, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Crush
I am such a sucker for “feel good” entertainment. Give me Ally MacBeal bopping at a Boston street corner to the song playing in her head with strangers joining in. Or the scene from Love Actually where Jamie goes to Aurelia’s family’s restaurant to propose to her in bad Portuguese and the music is playing and there’s chaos and happiness. Or “the speech” from Kristan Higgins’ Just One of the Guys that may be one of the best get-together speeches in any chicklit book I’ve ever read.
So now I am adding Resisting the Rebel by Lisa Brown Roberts to that group. If you could see me, while I write this, you’d know I am still smiling! The “Prom-posal,” which I will not detail here because—NO SPOILERS—is one of the best, fantastical, feel-good moments in YA lit.
Mandy, named after a 1970’s song, is popular and a member of pretty much every extra-curricular high school activity there is. She also suffers from ADHD and dysgraphia and is barely hanging on academically. But, with the help of various mantras, her fascination with everything from the 70’s, which helps her feel closer to her mother who died of cancer, and a generally kind outlook, she pushes on in every area except for her crush on Gus, a boy she’s known since kindergarten.
Caleb is the class bad boy. He has only to glare at underclassmen to get them to stop doing whatever it was they were doing. He wears a leather jacket (of course!) and believes that one day he will be a writer. He’s also a brain.
Sometimes the scariest villains look the most innocent. And heroes don’t always wear white.
In order to get his ex- to stop stalking him, Caleb convinces Mandy to start fake-dating him by suggesting that it would make Gus jealous enough to ask her to Homecoming. But the sparks fly between them and Mandy and Caleb are ultimately confused about the real nature of their relationship.
Resisting the Rebel is cute and funny. (On their first meeting, Caleb describes talking to Mandy: “Sort of like talking to a kindergartner on crack.”) It’s also extremely well plotted; the characterizations are good; and it’s just plain fun.
If you’re a fan of YA romances and those too infrequent “feel good” moments, here’s a book for you.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Entangled Crush in exchange for an honest review.
From Amazon: Resisting the Rebel
rating: (4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies)