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Parents' Guide to

What's Not to Love

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Sworn enemies find a spark in cute but lackluster romance.

What's Not to Love Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Kids say (1 ):

In this cute but often tedious teen romance, academic rivals are shocked when their hatred turns to attraction. What's Not to Love has a fun concept and the writing is engaging in spots, but the overall execution falls flat, and the book is simply too long. Alison and Ethan are difficult to like and relate to. The story is told from Alison's point of view, and she has the same thoughts and fights with Ethan over and over. Her fixation on competing with him borders on unhealthy. Their squabbles are supposed to be witty and sharp and demonstrate their simmering passion, but they're mostly tiresome. The emotional connection isn't there, so the romance comes out of the blue and isn't believable. The characters do experience some emotional growth, but it happens too late in the book to make for a totally satisfying read.

However, the authors do a good job of shining a light on the consequences of striving to achieve at all costs. Too many teens spend their lives pushing to achieve for the sake of achievement; every step is a setup for the next step. At what point do they learn for the sake of learning and enjoy the present? While drive and ambition are admirable qualities, a balanced life is a healthier one. These ideas are expressed well in the story, and there are some nice passages about what emotional maturity really means.

Book Details

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