I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin
Published by Spencer Hill Press on February 10th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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Tomboy to the core, Toni Valentine understands guys. She'll take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests over manicures. So Toni is horrified when she's sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, where she has to wear a skirt and learn to be a lady while the guys move on without her.
Then Toni meets Emma Elizabeth, a girl at school with boy troubles, and she volunteers one of her friends as a pretend date. Word spreads of Toni’s connections with boys, and she discovers that her new wealthy female classmates will pay big money for fake dates. Looking for a way to connect her old best friends with her new life at school, Toni and Emma start up Toni Valentine’s Rent-A-Gent Service.
But the business meets a scandal when Toni falls for one of her friends--the same guy who happens to be the most sought-after date. With everything she's built on the line, Toni has to decide if she wants to save the business and her old life, or let go of being one of the guys for a chance at love.
It felt a little young, but it was all right.
I have conflicting feelings about this book. At the end of the day, I guess I really liked it. But the first half made me depressed while the second half cracked me up.
First of all, I liked who Toni was at the beginning. Well, on the inside, she didn’t change much. Throughout, her main goal was keeping her old friendships intact. But at the beginning, she was just so innocent. She acted pretty young for her age (which is senior year high school)- actually they all did. Which was kind of surprising to me. You cannot get away with the kind of stuff she did in senior year, even at a public school. But I feel like her naivete was sort of useful in dealing with some of the things that she went through later on.
Why the beginning depressed me was this: It made me feel cynical about both guys and girls. I am very similar to Toni in that most of my friends (all except one, like her) are guys. I’m not used to getting along with girls. But while Toni relied on the guys for support when she was trying to keep them together, they all kind of ditched her slowly. It was a miserable time. And most of the book was some kind of conflict between her and them. Loch came back quickly enough, but the others…not so much. It was all falling apart for her. And she was just trying to keep everyone together.
But the second half made things better. There was more drama and more conflict, but Toni’s wit and attitude made it interesting and funny. It did kind of annoy me that she kept repressing her feelings over and over again, and when she finally accepted them they became all-encompassing, but I feel like that was also on-par with her maturity level. She really did act like a child a lot of the time. But like I said before, it gave her ways to deal with things.
I feel like everyone learned a lot in this book. And the ending was so adorable. I think it is kinda sad that she isn’t really one of the guys any longer, but everyone has to drift apart at some point. That’s part of the lesson Toni learned about growing up, which was probably the biggest lesson she learned in the book.
Less than perfect:
While I have conflicting feelings about this book, it turned out to be a great one. It was depressing at times but also made me laugh. Toni’s immaturity may have been frustrating at times, but it was kind of refreshing at others. And the ending was appropriate and wonderful. Would I read more by this author? Yes. Would I recommend this book to others? Yes.