Review: How (Not) to Fall in Love by Lisa Brown Roberts

22392967How (Not) to Fall in Love
By: Lisa Brown Roberts
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: Feb 3, 2015
Genre: Contemporary YA
Rating:
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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.

 

1thoughtsDarcy’s father is a famous self-help guru. He makes millions telling people how to get ahead in life. However, one day he just up and disappears, the company is in shambles, and Darcy’s privileged life becomes not so privileged anymore. Her estranged uncle calls her up and insists she come visit him at his thrift store. Darcy finds solace there, surrounded by the small community and the people there. However, months pass by and Darcy is left picking up the pieces and taking care of a mother who has fallen off the deep end.

Darcy definitely goes through some growth in this story. She starts off pretentious and snooty, but once everything crumbles around her something clicks. She no longer looks down on certain things, she goes out and gets a low paying job, she cooks dinner for her and her mom, she sets up an estate sale in order to get money for a new place to live. She even goes out on a quest to find her father. So the fact that she went from this fancy life to doing everything herself was a huge change for her.

From the synopsis I thought that Darcy was literally hiding out at her uncle’s thrift store, like living there. Instead Darcy goes to visit him, gets a job next door at his girlfriend’s coffee shop, and that’s it. Sure, she relies on her uncle and Lucas (the hot handyman/boy) and is always around them but it’s not like she’s staying there or anything.

My favorite part in the whole book was probably the “hippie” uncle. He is so zen-like in his approach to everything. He doesn’t hold a grudge against his brother who kicked him out of his life, severing his connection to his only niece. For no reason I might add, other than he’s a hippie and the father didn’t want the hippie germs infecting Darcy. Every year for her birthday her uncle always sent her half of a salt & pepper shaker set. Her card would always have a drawing of what the matching set would look like. Quirky, but when she finally goes to see her uncle, she realizes that he’s kept all the matches to the set. He was hoping that one day she’d get curious where the other shaker was and she’d seek him out. Yeah, the uncle was awesome. Best part of the book.

The romance I could have done without. I honestly didn’t get the two of them. He’s described as a young Jack Sparrow. So of course this is what I imagined the entire book.

jack sparrow photo: Captain Jack Sparrow 2009summerzooandgrandparents009.jpg
 

Not only was he described as looking like the pirate, but that was his nickname, Captain Jack. Darcy is immediately infatuated with him and crushes on him, hard, for the entire book. At first he has a girlfriend who he has tunnel vision for. Then he would throw her signs and try to kiss her but then something would disrupt the moment. It was a little confusing since he appeared to be in a relationship with someone else. Then it’s known that he’s no longer seeing his girlfriend. However, at that point Darcy’s not sure if he really likes her or if it’s all in her head. I mean, the guy asked around and put up fliers to help find a new place for you to live, he stays late with you when you work the night shift, and drives you home so you don’t have to take the bus at night…. and you are not sure if he likes you?

I liked that the issues were real. The mother went from being a housewife to trying to desperately find a job. She lost her way and became a drunk. However, the mother does some growing in this book too… once she hits the bottom that is. The only one that didn’t work for me at all was the father. I kind of wish Darcy didn’t look for him. Is that mean? I mean, he takes off, leaves his family to pick up the pieces because he can’t hack his job anymore, and Darcy just has to go out and save him. I don’t know, the daddy issue really bugged me. Maybe I’m just cynical but I would have been totally fine if the family said good riddance and moved on with their new poor life.

This is a great story for anyone looking for a young adult contemporary where the main character grows throughout the book. Everything is wrapped up into a HEA package at the end. However, there were a handful of things that didn’t work for me. I didn’t feel like the relationship should have turned out the way it did. I mean it’s call How NOT to Fall in Love. I don’t get it. Should you not fall in love when your scrambling to pick your life up off the floor or fall in love with the guy who started off throwing you mixed signals when he had a girlfriend? I honestly don’t know.

 

1favequote“It didn’t matter what anyone else saw in me. For the first time, I felt like I was seeing myself.”

kRISTIN

4 Thoughts on “Review: How (Not) to Fall in Love by Lisa Brown Roberts

  1. I chose this book for my Waiting on Wednesday post this week, and am completely jealous that you have already had the chance to read it! It sounds pretty good, even though the “rich girl becomes poor” thing is over used, this one looks pretty cute. Awesome review!

    Lisa
    http://www.turningpages94.blogspot.com

  2. I’m curious about this book!

    Ps. I have a blog as well, if you want to stop by I’d appreciate it so much! It’s both in Italian and in English :3 -> http://frannieinthepages.blogspot.com/

  3. That sort of story line ought to lead to some growth in Darcy. Geez. I winced a bit in reading your synopsis of the event in sympathy for her. What you said of her life reminds me of The Distance Between Us by Kasie West – MC stops looking down at rich people once she starts to be more exposed to the world too. (I guess from an opposite perspective though – MC in KW book is poor, not a rich girl forced to get a job and do all the things you listed).

    “Hippie germs infecting Darcy.” Lol. Gosh, that sort of attitude about ANY aspect of life – hippie/X Group/etc. – I always have a hard time understanding. The hippie uncle and the matching salt and pepper sets sound ADORABLE. I don’t think I’ve read a single book with that sort of relationship…

    LOL LOL LOL at the Young Jack Sparrow picture.

    Also, yeah. I really hate the “oblivious” girl stereotype too.

    “I liked that the issues were real. The mother went from being a housewife to trying to desperately find a job. She lost her way and became a drunk. However, the mother does some growing in this book too… once she hits the bottom that is.” — That does sound pretty realistic.

    “I don’t know, the daddy issue really bugged me. Maybe I’m just cynical but I would have been totally fine if the family said good riddance and moved on with their new poor life.” — Agreed. He left. It’s unrealistic to hope to “save” him as you wrote.

    The title is weird for a romance that does in fact turn out well, I’d agree with you on that. I’m glad you at least enjoyed the book though!

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