Format: Kindle, 2012
It’s my latest Olympic review!! Sorry I’m a little late on this one but let’s be honest, it’s a complete miracle I’ve torn myself away from my constant viewing in order to read anything, let alone write a review. Better get this done so I can go back to my regularly-scheduled obsessing!!! (Also it’s my mission to make sure everyone alive has seen this. Olympic swimmers + “Call Me Maybe” = Ellen heaven)
Plot: When she was just 7 years old Chloe fell in love with 9-year old Zack Warren, a love so strong that she began an “unofficial club” for like-minded girls to worship from afar. Unfortunately, as we all know, even the purest love can be tested and after not only dropping a lizard on her head but then pulling the beloved pink streamers out of her brand-new bike, by fifth grade Chloe has moved on and tries to distance herself from the club. Unfortunately her (my opinion: psycho) bff Lana refuses to let it go, even starting a club when Lana and Chloe end up attending the same college as Zack. When Chloe’s mom and Zack’s dad unexpectedly elope, Chloe and Zack are thrown together in a way neither expected and are finally forced to deal with all the emotions they have for each other: are they really enemies or is it just a way to disguise their actual romantical feelings?
Sport: Zack is a pitcher on the university baseball team (I know, not an Olympic sport but it used to be!). Mostly there’s talk about being on the team, his future prospects, and his “hot baseball body” (btw – really, a pitcher? Not typically the fittest player on the team. For every Cole Hamels there are like 3 who look like Joe Blanton or Joba Chamberlain). But there are several pitching sessions and practices which are detailed enough to make this count! (Also can I tell you how painful it is to read a baseball book right now as a Phillies fan? It’s honestly salt in my open wound of awfulness.)
Review: I think I’ve mentioned that right before I review a book I re-read in order to remind myself why I liked/disliked it since they all tend to blend together. Sometimes this just cements the awesomeness of a book but many times due to the fact that I’m able to focus on more than just “come on! When are they going to get together?! I CAN’T HANDLE IT!” the flaws start to come forward. Which is exactly what happened this time, unfortunately.
My main issues with this book are the sub-plots which were needless and included to create additional dramatic situations. I think that the whole “this guy has been my pseudo-enemy my entire life and now he’s my step-brother and omg we’re finally realizing we love each other” thing is dramatic enough. The fact that Zack’s teammate Max starts out joking about having sex with Chloe and then almost out of nowhere becomes the mayor of Creepersville was just a tool for Zack to be all macho and protective (which can be totally hot but it bugged after the 5th time). And Lana’s insanity and inability to realize that her actions are completely crazypants was way too far-fetched. Honestly if someone said they were fostering this sort of club for a celebrity I’d think they were out there, but to do it for a classmate (no matter how cute) was over the top. If the book had just focused on the Chloe/Zack relationship – going from enemies, to friends, to admitting they love each other; dealing with the fact that they’re step-siblings; hiding their relationship from their parents; people at school finding out step-siblings are dating; Zack’s recruitment; having little moments together – that would have been a great book.
One thing that didn’t bug me at all but totally skeeved Judith out was the step-sibling aspect. The fact that Chloe and Zack have known each other since grade school and their parents didn’t even start dating – let alone get married – until Chloe and Zack were both in college doesn’t make this a relationship I would consider “real” step-siblings. Hell, it didn’t bother me with Serena and Dan on Gossip Girl so why should it here?
In the end I’m going to give this one a 7 out of 10.
Based on the following criteria:
How much did I like the heroine: 7. Yes Chloe started this crazy club but she was just a kid and quickly distances herself from the whole thing. I like that Chloe is kinda quirky but completely confident in who she is and who she wants to be. She’s your normal girl-next-door but, unlike so many YA females, doesn’t spend all her time focusing on guys. Hell, on the weekends she lives a door away from hottie hot hot Zack and yet doesn’t even worry about looking perfect before coming downstairs in the morning! Who amongst us could say that? I do think her character could be flushed out a little more – does Chloe have any hobbies? What does she like to do other than hang out at home or with Stella/Carlos/Zack? And why the F is she still friends with crazypants Lucy???
How much did I like the love interest: 9. Despite the fact that the book is told from both Chloe and Zack’s POV I feel like I have a much better grasp on Zack’s personality. He’s smart, a great ballplayer, a gentleman, can kick some serious ass, and is someone who made some bad decisions after losing his mom at an early age but then straightened up after a fairly confrontational speech from Chloe when they were in junior high. I think his reaction after finding out about the club was a bit extreme but of course he had to act that way so there could be draaaaammmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaaaa. However I can overlook this because I believe the world is divided into either Target or Wal-Mart people and both Zack and I are affirmed Target people.
How believable is the plot: 7. If not for the previously mentioned sub-plots I would have given this a 10 but the club thing combined with the Max drama was just too much.
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 3. I liked the writing style and flow but this book seriously needed some proof reading. There was a major over-usage of both commas and apostrophes, incorrect words, and at one point the author even mistyped THE NAME OF THE BOOK!!! (“The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Flub”). Not okay. (But unintentionally hilarious)
How much did I want to keep reading: 10. Both times I’ve read it I’ve been engrossed. Not like “miss my stop on the subway” level but definitely “UGH! I’m about to yell at a telemarketer for calling” level.
Glasses of wine I drank while reading: 2. But only the second time around. The overly-dramatic and completely unnecessary plotlines just got to me.
Final Score: 7/10. Despite some things I did include this, and at some point I vow to get around to reading Chasing McCree which Judith really enjoyed.