Trouble from the Start
By: Rachel Hawthorne
Expected Publication: April 28th 2015 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Lauren Barnholdt, and Susane Colasanti, Trouble from the Start is a sweet and romantic read about a good girl who falls for a bad boy.
Avery knows better than to fall for Fletcher, the local bad boy who can't seem to outrun his reputation. Fletcher knows he shouldn't bother with college-bound, daughter-of-a-cop Avery. But when their paths cross, neither can deny the spark. Are they willing to go against everything and let their hearts lead the way? Or are they just flirting with disaster?
A companion novel to Rachel Hawthorne's paperback original The Boyfriend Project, this title is perfect for fans of summer beach reads and sweet treats.
Trouble from the Start is one of those books that I didn’t expect too much from when I picked it up. I expected quick, light, fun, happy ending. And well, Trouble from the Start pretty much hit all of those marks. I read Trouble from the Start in November 2014 even though it wasn’t set to publish until April 2015 because I’ve found that when I have a book that long, the chances of me losing interest increase with the more time that goes by from the time I requested it. Plus I didn’t want to wait until reviews started rolling in. I wanted to be ahead of the game, and I’m glad that I went ahead and read it. I won’t say that Trouble from the Start was the perfect read for the mood I was in, but it was a good choice.
I struggled with Avery a little bit. Ironically, most of the things that annoyed me about her were things that were totally realistic for a girl her age. She wants so badly to be loved. She’s not really lacking that from her family, but we all know that the love of a significant other is totally different from the love of our family. One of the very first scenes has Avery at a party and well, her best friend is a bit wrapped up in her boyfriend—who can blame her?—so Avery is alone at the party a good bit. It was so awkward seeing her in this setting. Avery is insecure about herself (what teenage girl isn’t?). She’s number three in her class and so she describes herself as a geek (does anyone still use that word?). Which brings me to the next point, so many times I highlighted sections in my kindle and made notes to the extent of “who talks that way?” Avery often spoke negatively to herself which is again totally realistic but didn’t sit right with me either. I guess because while it might be realistic to second guess yourself it was usually over some aspect that the felt obvious to me as the reader. More than feeling insecure, she just came across as oblivious at times.
Fletcher was a character that I kind of connected to more in a way that I just felt for him. He wasn’t always what I would consider nice. But he wasn’t always a jerk either. Painting him as the school player both fit him and didn’t at the same time. Fletcher’s backstory was more interesting to me than anything else. But I found myself struggling with the way he talked at times too. Sometimes I think authors have lost touch with the subjects of their books and/or their readers. Plus one of my pet peeves is that if you’re going to have this character who takes a stand against committed relationships throughout the majority of the book even to the point of not being able to tell the other character how they really feel when they do actually realize how they feel, do NOT state or imply later on in the book that they had feelings (or loved) the other character all along. That just annoys the snot out of me. If anything, it cheapens the progress that the characters have made rather than deepens it because it’s not believable.
Things were moving along. The characters were making progress. The book seemed to be wrapping up. And then WHAM at like the 85% mark (somewhere around there), we have to have a fight over the dumbest thing possible just to say that they had some conflict to overcome. But victory over said conflict is swift and easy almost making it feel like that conflict was unnecessary at all. Well really that particular conflict was unnecessary. And it felt forced. I could see the little pieces planted throughout the story that would lay the groundwork for this conflict, but seriously, it just felt forced. It didn’t feel genuine to the characters. Where normally the quick resolution would bug me, in this case, I was thankful for it.
Memorable quotes (not necessarily my favorite…but backing up my previous statements):
-I longed for some guy to think I was special enough to kiss.
-“You mean feverishly excited about being here?”(See! Who talks like that?)
-Besides he was just being nice because he knew I wasn’t feeling well. It wasn’t like he was interested in me or anything. I’d just hurled in front of him afterall.(A totally realistic thing for a girl to think. But yet, I just wanted to smack her in the head.)
-She’d said hi to me in the hallway as though I didn’t have reputation for trouble, as though I wasn’t a year older than everyone else in the class, as though I mattered. But then slowly the wariness crept in. I knew she was hearing the rumors, accepting them as truth. The smiles and greetings became fewer. Then they were completely gone.(A much better inner voice. Even while not revealing a positive thought, worded in a way to make me connect to the character rather than make me want to smack him.)
-I’d remember the hurt of being played by a guy who I’d begun to think was nice.
-“I’m not afraid of falling. I am afraid of being a fool, of getting hurt.”
I feel like this review of Trouble from the Start has been more negative than I intended. It wasn’t a bad book. As a matter of fact it was mostly enjoyable. I definitely found myself wanting to read more when I had to put it down. But the way that the characters spoke and conflict that didn’t need to be kept me from enjoying it more. In the end, Trouble from the Start gets 3.5 Stars from me. Have you read Trouble from the Start? What did you think? Let me know!