Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (ARC e-copy)
Publication Date: 2015
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Series: If Only Line, 5
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult Contemporary
Review: They say fiction imitates life. This seems to be true of the latest in Bloomsbury’s “If Only” line. The fifth novel is like a backdoor snapshot of political life, only it’s seen through the eyes of two sixteen-year-olds. In this case it’s Katie, daughter of the republican candidate for president and Drew, son of the democratic candidate. The two meet while participating in a joint television interview, and wind up spending the day together. What they discover they like is getting to know each other without the pressures of their parents campaigns, which may be exactly what will end up driving them apart.
If looked at as a contemporary novel readers can read and enjoy without wondering what kind of twists are coming in the flip of a page, this novel is darling. There’s lots of typical teenage romance and it’s quite sweet. I liked that about this. But as with everything, there were some things I wasn’t quite as fond of. For example, I often found the dialogue to be forced or perhaps, more accurate, it doesn’t come across as “natural.” That being said, I realize this is an ARC copy of the novel and as such, the final print might have the benefit of last-minute changes. I also didn’t connect with the characters as I’d have liked. Perhaps it’s because, in fairness to the characters, these teens act more their age than some of the other YA books I’ve read, and given how far removed I am from that age-group, perhaps this made a difference?
Opposing this very argument, I will say I did get a kick out of Katie’s lack of understanding for certain pop culture references. This made for a cute subplot, and I quite enjoyed experiencing Katie’s attempts to understand or be a part of the cultures she was unfamiliar with. Much of her knowledge came from movies (not because she’d been kept away from the world, rather because she had been so laser-focused on her father’s campaign) as opposed to living and experiencing life. At this pivotal time in America’s politics, this read will certainly suit the nation’s mood. It fits in perfectly with the time and decisions we’re in need of making. I will say (in my opinion), one party is put down more than the other, subtle though it may be. If that’s something that might bother a potential reader, just be aware it’s in the story. Overall, I enjoyed this novel. It’s a wholesome story that cuts out the bad of teenage life and keeps to its fun scenario, focusing on the plot as seen from the eyes of candidate’s children. I’m looking forward to reading more in this line, both those that came before and any that might follow.
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Katie and Drew really shouldn’t get along. After all, her father is the Republican nominee for President of the United States while his mother is at the top of the Democratic ticket. But when Katie and Drew are thrown together in a joint interview on a morning talk show, they can’t ignore the chemistry between them. With an entire nation tuned into and taking sides in your parents’ fight, and the knowledge that—ultimately—someone has to lose, how can you fall in love with the one person you’re supposed to hate?
This title in the If Only line is a frank and funny romance that shows how sparks fly when opposites attract. – Goodreads
Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary ARC e- copy of this book for reviewing purposes.