Thursday, January 29, 2015

All At Once - Lori's Review of HOW (NOT) TO FALL IN LOVE by Lisa Brown Roberts

Title: How (Not) to Fall in Love
Author: Lisa Brown Roberts
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: 2/3/2015
Source: ARC from publisher through Netgalley

Seventeen-year-old Darcy Covington never had to worry about money or where her next shopping spree was coming from. Even her dog ate gourmet. Then one day, Darcy’s car is repossessed from the parking lot of her elite private school. As her father’s business hit the skids, Dad didn’t just skip town, he bailed on his family.

Fortunately, Darcy’s uncle owns a thrift shop where she can hide out from the world. There’s also Lucas, the wickedly hot fix-it guy she can’t stop crushing on, even if she’s not sure they’ll ever get out of the friend zone. 

But it’s here among the colorful characters of her uncle’s world that Darcy begins to see something more in herself...if she has the courage to follow it.

Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn't recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life's painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.

Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, several four-legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.

Darcy Covington's father has disappeared, her car has been repossessed, and everyone in the country is speculating on future of the self-help company her father started and ran with his best friend.  With no money, no car, and very few friends she can trust, Darcy turns to her father's brother, who seems to be the complete opposite of her father.

Her uncle owns a thrift shop and Darcy soon makes herself at home among the odds and ends that would have no place in her former life, and the cute boy, Lucas, who seems to be able to fix anything and everything. Darcy also gets a job at the nearby coffee shop, earning money and making herself feel useful. 

This was a fun book.  I really enjoyed the changes that I saw the protagonist make. Darcy's focus is suddenly shifted from herself to those around her. Overnight, she has had to become the parent, making the tough decisions and setting up appointments that will keep their heads above water.

All throughout the book, Darcy's dad sends postcards that get increasingly crazier.  I wanted to hate him for what he did to his family and for the way he left, but as the bigger picture comes into focus, I began to understand where things went wrong.

Darcy and Lucas have a very obvious attraction to each other, but Lucas also has a very pretty girlfriend. Lucas is an incredibly caring friend and I love the way he helps Darcy grow and figure out exactly who she is supposed to be and what she needs to do in this new life.  

Darcy's uncle and boss are both great characters who give Darcy the family support she needs when her parents cannot. Lucas's family also makes appearances that further Darcy's (and the reader's) attraction to him.

If you are into YA books, give this one a chance.  I think you will like it.

4 out of 5 stars

Jack Johnson - All At Once

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