Review: The New Guy (And Other Senior Year Distractions)

The New Guy (And Other Senior Year Distractions)
Author: Amy Spalding
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Pub Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Poppy/Little Brown
Source: Given a copy from the publisher for review

Goodreads | Barnes and Noble | Amazon

A ridiculously cute, formerly-famous new guy dropping into your life? It’s practically every girl’s dream.

But not Jules McCallister-Morgan’s.

I realize that on paper I look like your standard type-A, neurotic, overachiever. And maybe I am. But I didn’t get to be the editor of my school’s long-revered newspaper by just showing up*. I have one main goal for my senior year-early acceptance into my first choice Ivy League college-and I will not be deterred by best friends, moms who think I could stand to “live a little,” or boys.

At least, that was the plan before I knew about Alex Powell**.

And before Alex Powell betrayed me***.

I know what you’re thinking: Calm down, Jules. But you don’t understand. This stuff matters. This is my life. And I’m not going down without a fight.

—-

* Okay, I sort of did. But it’s a sore subject.

** I mean, I guess everyone knows about Alex Powell? Two years ago, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about viral video boy band sensation Chaos 4 All. Two years ago, Alex Powell was famous.

***Some people think I’m overreacting. But this. Means. War.

Filled with romance, rivalry, and passive-aggressive dog walking, Amy Spalding delivers a hilariously relatable high school story that’s sure to have you falling for The New Guy.

 

review-at-a-glance

TITLE: boring | nothing special | pretty good | caught my eye | perfection | music to my ears
COVER: not my favorite | goes well with rest of the series | boring | generic | pretty | series cover change | beautiful | HEART EYES
POV: 1st | 2nd | 3rd limited | 3rd omniscient | multiple POVs | too many POVs
CONCEPT: original as heck | run of the mill in genre | average | has potential | great idea, bad execution
MOOD: dark | hilarious | light hearted | romantic | depressing | suspenseful | fluffy | mysterious
PACING: snail’s pace | couldn’t keep up | mix of fast and slow | slow in the wrong places | fast in the wrong places | what even is pacing?
CHARACTERS: i’m in love | couldn’t connect | too many | well developed (all) | infuriating | annoying | precious babies | underdeveloped (all)| a mix of good and bad | diverse | okay | new favorite characters
ROMANCE: none | steamy | fluffy | OTP status | cute | center stage | barely there | cheesy | instalove | slow burn | i ship it | love triangle
DIVERSITY: none | lgbtq+ | racial | religion | disabled | mental illness | body

 

Sometimes you just need to pick up a fluffy romance novel. I had this book sitting on my shelf for awhile, so I finally just picked it up. I flew through it in less than a day. I know the author is pretty popular, but this was my first time reading anything of hers. While this book wasn’t bad, I didn’t think there was anything spectacular about it, either.

The plot itself was pretty average for a contemporary romance. I’ll admit, I am a sucker for stories that involve famous people (like This is What Happy Looks Like, for example). I thought that the story itself was alright. It wasn’t anything super exciting, but I enjoyed it well enough. Sometimes it felt like the plot lagged in places, but I powered through it because I really wanted to slim down my TBR pile.

I am all for ambitious female characters. It’s the Slytherin in me that wants to protect all other female characters with high ambitions. But Jules annoyed me at times, and made really shitty decisions a lot. She didn’t seem like anything special, and I didn’t see why Alex fell for her. It’s always hard for me to like a book when I can’t connect with the characters, and that was the problem here. I also felt no connection to Alex; he just felt like some cookie cutter teenage boy who acted like an ass at times. While Jules was pretty well developed, Alex was a little iffy, and I didn’t connect with either of them.

The romance was cute, I’ll give it that. Sometimes there was a lot of angst for no reason though. I am a huge fan of angsty romances with big payoffs, but not if the angst is for stupid or easily solved. The romance was well written and fluffy, which is what I wanted when I picked up this book, so props for that.

Also, Jules has two moms! I haven’t seen that in a book before (I’m pretty sure) so points for that, too.

Overall, The New Guy (And Other Senior Year Distractions) was a cute, quick read. The romance was cute, but I didn’t connect with the characters, and the plot lagged in places It was an easy read, but there wasn’t anything particularly special about it. I wouldn’t necessary recommend it to anyone, either, since I didn’t find it very memorable and it had a couple of big flaws.

3-stars

Have you read The New Guy (And Other Senior Year Distractions) yet, or are you planning to? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!

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