February 13, 2017
Blurb from Goodreads: Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It’s a very You’ve Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. He can’t be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena’s family out of business. Elena’s mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money’s so tight Elena’s going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can’t win this game.
The girl Oliver’s fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She’s his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad’s business rival, and the one girl he’d never even think of kissing. She’s definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.
When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine’s Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they’ll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains swearing, snowball fights, and sexual tension that could melt the North Pole. Read at your own risk.
One of my favorite YA novels from last year was Julie Hammerle’s The Sound of Us; you can read that review here. What made that novel stand out so much to me, besides its theme, was the characters. They were uniquely drawn and not falling into stereotypes. The same holds true for Any Boy But You.
Oliver is attached, almost literally, to his computer. He can develop a game or play games and not be under pressure to be popular like his sister. If he doesn’t put himself out there, he doesn’t risk getting rejected. Elena, on the other hand, wants to be out with her friends, but she’s stuck minding her parents’ sporting goods store while they’re off doing who knows what (seriously, what are these people doing that their teenage daughter is responsible all the time for the shop? Both sets of parents sound way more immature than their kids, but then I’ve seen that in real life when people get caught up in grudges, etc.).
If you’ve seen You’ve Got Mail with its battle between the super-sized, money-backed bookstore versus the indie children’s bookshop, then you have a taste of the ideology driving the Prince’s and the Chestnutt’s feud, as Elena and her family have remained in North Pole, MN while Oliver and his family have transplanted from Florida in order to run the shop after the passing of Oliver’s grandfather. Add in the anonymous messaging, which allows Elena and Oliver to get to know each other and you have a wonderful homage to the movie.
Taking a cue from this summer’s Pokémon Go phenomenon, Oliver develops an app for a treasure hunt game that involves finding stashes and answering trivia questions regarding one of North Pole’s famous hockey playing citizens.
The ending has a grand gesture and I am always a huge fan of those!
As you can see, there is a lot to enjoy and love about this novel. And, at its heart, is the question of feuds and grudges and knowing when to make amends and letting go of things you can’t control, of deciding what’s important and putting yourself out there and taking risks.
Immediately before I began writing this review I discovered that Any Boy But You is part of a series taking place in North Pole. Yippee! Very excited about future installments!
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
rating: (5 out of 5 butterflies)