Any Boy But You by Julie Hammerle
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Entangled Teen Crush on February 13th 2017
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.
Elena Chestnut had hated the Princes for as long as she could remember. The animosity of the two families drove the story and created an irresistible atmosphere of competition.
The small town of North Pole, Minnesota was Stars Hollow, Connecticut with more snow. It was a character itself. Craig and Dinesh reminded me of Kirk and Taylor. The game that Oliver Prince designed brought the town together in a Stars Hollow-like fashion. I couldn’t help making Gilmore Girl references. Elena didn’t have the same relationship with her mom that Lorelei and Rory had, but I didn’t mind (especially considering I couldn’t stand Rory in the remake—just staying). Either way, North Pole made small towns look good.
Elena got on my nerves a little bit. She had been born and bred to hate the Princes, but sometimes I huffed and rolled my eyes at just how much she hated them. I liked her best when she showed the wonderful person that she was, the girl she was around her best friend and the girl who fought tooth and nail to keep her family’s store afloat. When she accepted her feelings for Oliver, she put her stubborn streak aside. Not that I have anything against being stubborn (pot meet kettle and all), but she lied to herself sometimes. If anything, I love when a character is honest with herself. That Elena was the best Elena.
Oliver had gorgeous auburn hair and social anxiety. He preferred his laptop over human interaction—or rejection. I really liked Oliver. I fell easily for him, even with his jerk tendencies. He and Harper had a wonderful friendship. They understood each other and dealt with each other when they were both being idiots. Harper was the bridge between him and Elena and made their love possible.
The two started their relationship via the game that took the town a storm. I liked reading their easy banter and wanted them to see through their stubbornness, for them to see that the person they were talking to on the app was the same person in real life. If only they could forget about the awkward history.
This wasn’t my favorite contemporary romance, but the banter and Gilmore Girls feel kept my attention. I had to know how it ended. Would Elena get her yellow rose? Would Oliver get his laptop back and revert back to his old ways? Any Boy But You had strong friendships and strong feuds, the lines getting so blurry at times that the only person in the town that made sense was Craig. I wouldn’t mind returning to North Pole, Minnesota. With a town like that, it’s hard not to fall half in love with it.
• One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of The Sound of Us by Julie Hammerle (US ONLY)