Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Kindle Edition, 367 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Clean Reads
Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator's son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon's world and it doesn't help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren, seems determined to get back into his life, along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you're dating the it guy.
My Review: 3 Stars
Hager has a way of writing that takes me back to my insecure teenage years and allows me to experience the joys, the anxieties, and the growth all over again. Emme doesn't expect to start dating the high school "It" guy, but she does. After being cheated on in the past, she has some major trust issues to deal with and they really get in the way of her being fully invested in this new relationship. The drama and mind games are alive and well with this novel!
I was expecting the typical travel log of a high school sophomore--her feelings, her experiences, her relationships--but there was a heavier undercurrent flowing throughout. Emme isn't just navigating the social scene, but she's dealing with a lot of difficult family issues as well, which often spill over into her social life. I would have loved more showing, rather than telling...getting a more emotional engagement, but I did enjoy the journey and couldn't help but to feel bad for poor Emme, dealing with so much.
Friends and romance can be hard at this age, and both were portrayed that way (although I secretly wish it could be all rainbows and warm fuzzies). It was sad to see how fickle some of the characters were. And the lack of communication--we won't go there. **One little side note** I have two kids who are in high school now and the way the characters in this story interact does NOT feel realistic at all. My kids won't email and call their friends like these characters did (and if a friend doesn't answer their cell? No way will they call the landline, if anyone even still has those anymore)--it's all about Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, texting. This could have worked 20 years ago, but it's not accurate for today's teens.
I'm not really into horoscopes, numerology, crystals, vegan, etc, and although each of these play an important role in Emme's life, it wasn't too overwhelming. All in all, I did get to experience a little blast to the past and had a nice time watching the progress that was made through the course of the book.
Content: mild romance (kissing, talk of hooking up; there is one matter-of-fact scene of talking about sleeping with someone); mild religious elements.