Saturday, March 8, 2014

Book review: Anything to Have You by Paige Harbison

Summary:

Nothing should come between best friends, not even boys. ESPECIALLY not boys.

Natalie and Brooke have had each other's backs forever. Natalie is the quiet one, college bound and happy to stay home and watch old movies. Brooke is the movie—the life of every party, the girl everyone wants to be.

Then it happens—one crazy night that Natalie can't remember and Brooke's boyfriend, Aiden, can't forget. Suddenly there's a question mark in Natalie and Brooke's friendship that tests everything they thought they knew about each other and has both girls discovering what true friendship really means.
NOTE: I received the eARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I did not think I'd like this book so much, but man! It was unputdownable!

Told by Natalie and Brooke, two best friends, whose lives change in a single night even though neither of them knows it.

Writing style:
Impeccable. So good in fact, that it's quite impossible to put the book down. I had a hard time concentrating on anything else. I even dropped all other books I was reading at the time, just so I could finish this one and see what was going to happen in the end.

Story line:
Usually, when I read a book similar to this one (two friends fall for the same guy, but one of them is more quiet and makes no move) I end up disappointed because it's never realistic enough for me. Not so here. I was drawn from the very beginning because this story was a compilation of events that each one of us has at least heard of, if not experienced first hand.

It's not unique, but the voice of the storytelling makes it addictive. I loved how perspective switched not from male to female voices, but from Natalie to Brooke - the two friends separated by their deepest, darkest secrets.

Themes:
-The reality of a true friendship - can it last beyond the hardships of life?
-Love is not a feeling to be manipulated - it's either there or... it isn't.
-Jealousy
-Seeking the attention of the entire world, if possible
-Teen drinking and drugs
-Parental issues
-Figuring out yourself and your place in this world.

Characters:
-Brooke was the open girl in the Brooke/Natalie pair. She was outgoing, she had a boyfriend, the whole school liked her and so on. But she wanted more. The boyfriend wasn't enough. The best friend wasn't enough. The world, most probably, wasn't enough either. It's fairly safe to say, that I didn't like her. At least not in the beginning, while she was still being a spoiled brat. Then things changed, she got mean and I disliked her even more. Until the end, when I saw a glimpse of hope for her after all.

-Natalie was the girl who was shy. She didn't drink, didn't party, didn't go out. Mostly because she didn't trust herself around Brooke's boyfriend, Aiden, who she'd had a secret crush on ever since he came to their school a year or so ago. Also, Natalie was the one with a head on her shoulders. She didn't drink, she didn't smoke, she was a perfect example of a daddy's girl. Until things changed and it all got too much for her to deal with. She was vulnerable, yes, but she was also strong. Strong to confess, strong to seek forgiveness, strong to move on.

-Aiden was the good guy who messed up big time. He didn't only mess up once though, he just kept lying and messing up again and again until the whole thing became a huge jumble of mistakes. I didn't know whether to like him or hate him. He sort of complicated everyone's life, Natalie's the most. I really wanted to just give him a good beating. He was selfish and inconsiderate in the moment when he had to be his real self. His caring self. When things got cleared up though, he acted as he should've from the very beginning. I liked that.

-Reed was the bad boy who nobody dared want, who everybody actually wanted, who ended up all alone and misunderstood. I saw his bad, non-caring behavior as a wall to hide behind. I understood how he helped Brooke get on with her life, but why couldn't he get a start on living too?

In conclusion I want to say that Anything to Have You was a book that you should read. It's not only a story, it's a realistic story. Mostly, it's a story you wouldn't want to experience for yourself, so just read it and be done with it.

My rating is