Monday, April 28, 2014

Book review: Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein

Synopsis:

One taste is never enough...

All I ever wanted was to make a name for myself as Candice Salinas, creative writing grad student at the University of Miami. Of course, secretly I already have made a name for myself: as Candy Sloane, self-published erotic romance writer. Though thrilled that my books are selling and I have actual fans, if anyone at UM found out, I could lose my scholarship…and the respect of my faculty advisor, grade-A-asshole Professor Dylan.

Enter James Walker, super-hot local barista and—surprise!—my student. Even though I know a relationship is totally off-limits, I can’t stop myself from sneaking around with James, taking a few cues from my own erotic writing…if you catch my drift. Candy’s showing her stripes for the first time in my real life, and I’ve never had so much fun. But when the sugar high fades, can my secrets stay under wraps?


NOTE: I received the book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I don't remember what I was expecting from this book when I requested it. I'd read another book from the author, so I thought I'd check out Sneaking Candy and see what happens. I think that Burstein accomplished what she was going for, even if it wasn't something great. It was fast paced, light and entertaining. It certainly wasn't meant for deep analysis of what is and what isn't a good practice in novel writing.

Writing style:
It flows well and is entertaining in a silly, non-committing kind of way. This is definitely not mean to be a serious novel.
However, I would have enjoyed it much more if it wasn't the stereotypical cliche of all recently published new adult novels. Honestly? I'm a bit tired of reading about girl meets boy in college and their sudden, inextinguishable attraction.

Story line:
I guess I liked the story line even if most parts of it were too cliche to even matter. But the clash of Candace's secret author identity - Candy - and the 'real' author she was attempting to become, was interesting to read about. The romance was a bit trivial and the parental issue didn't gain a resolution.

Themes:
-Believing in yourself can be the key to success.
-The expectations of others concerning your own life shouldn't be your cornerstone
-People in power can try to take advantage. You just have to be prepared to say no and act on it.

Characters:
Candace (Candy) was an insecure girl with lots of unresolved issues from both her past and present. She was hurt and angry at her parents, who kicked her out just because she wanted to pursue a career in creative writing. She was also hurt by her ex-fiance who abandoned her for the same exact reason. All of that she was, but she wasn't ready to face or deal with any of it for real.
I understood her fear to be in a relationship with anyone. Her ex had pretty much told her she wasn't girlfriend material as he broke up with her. Meanwhile, her professor is trying to subtly hit on her, confuse her and take advantage of her in any way he can.
So, you may ask, how's a girl to deal with all that baggage?
By fighting for who she is and what she believes she can do with her life. True, Candace wasn't a great example of a fighter, but the last couple of chapters showed a slightly different side of her. I was a little proud of her, for finally deciding to stick for herself.

Mandy was Candace's bff. She was too slutty for my taste, but on the other hand, she was supportive, always fought for the right cause and had a protective wing over Candace.

James... aside from his Greek god looks (bleh! I'm seriously tired of those perfect looks), he was the ultimate embodiment of patience. Had I been in his place, Candace would've gotten some truths spoken in her face. What I liked about him was his strong presence. He knew what he wanted and worked hard to get it. Why? Because he was able to see in depth and to calculate who and what is worth going after.

Now about professor Dylan. In the beginning he seemed to be a nice guy (don't they always?). Towards the middle, I started feeling the creeps whenever he entered a scene. And in the end? He was worth strangling. I honestly hate it when people in power (mostly men, if we have to be dead honest) dare think they're invincible and try to take advantage of the 'lowly' individuals in the under-hierarchy. I know he got a partial punishment for his crimes, but it was nowhere near good enough.

In conclusion:
I believe that readers of light romance, who don't feel like reading an in depth novel, will enjoy Sneaking Candy. Just don't expect something superb.

My rating is: