This book was strange. I mean, the plot itself is the typical YA romance novel (which I don't mind at all!), but the characters themselves were just... strange.
Brody is the narrator of this book, our male lead, and I wonder if that's why it has such a strange feel to it. Some writers can do a believable male POV and some can't. I don't want to say it was awful, I'm simply not use to reading from this POV and I think that's why it was so odd.
The first issue for me was that there was no legit description of Hayley. She considers herself the "funny fat friend" but of course she isn't "really" fat. Then again, Brody's brother calls him a "chubby chaser" for being interested in her, so I can't really tell. Brody says she's not, his brother says she is. I feel like there wasn't enough description of her character or Brody for that matter.
Second thing that bothered me most, however, was that the author never really gets into a lot of the bigger issues occurring in her characters' lives. We know that Brody is upset with his brother, and that Hayley's mom is really mean and is probably the cause of her insecurities, but those issues are never really dealt with. They were just there in the background used as a tool to push the story further but nothing was really resolved.
Could have heard less about how bad Brody's room smells (like corn chips and ass). Seriously the book repeats this over and over again. I liked that Hayley is really against things like swearing, but I wish she was more against having sex with Brody after their first kiss. That was too quick for me. Most teenage girls value their virginity a little more than that and I kind of expected that girl as straight edge as Hayley would have wanted to wait a bit longer before giving up the V-card.
I did enjoy the romantic plot. Ann uses the usual formula for this kind of story, a popular, hot guy is tricked into spending time with an unpopular, overweight girl and “surprising chemistry” ensues. It's an old formula but it works wonders. No matter how many times I read a book like this, i'm always ready to dive into another one just like it. I can't help it.
I also really enjoyed reading the chapter titles. Each title was reason why Brody fell in love with Hayley, which I thought was really cute. Overall, I enjoyed reading through his perspective, and watching him struggle at getting Hayles to see that the feelings he was developing for her were real. I was rooting for him the whole time I was reading.
I would recommend this book to a teenager. It does have entertainment value. I just wish there would have been more depth.