Now 2020 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio Artwork WIP

Recent posts


Month in review

Reviews
Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann
Bob the Artist by Marion Deuchars
The Big Shrink by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins
Black Hammer, Volume 4: Age of Doom Part Two by Jeff Lemire
Bound for Murder by Victoria Gilbert
Bowled Over by Victoria Hamilton
The Bride Was a Boy by Chii
Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire
Counting to Perfect by Suzanne LaFleur
Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson
The Great Brain Robbery by P.G. Bell
Holiday Buzz by Cleo Coyle
The House That Lou Built by Mae Respicio
It Devours! by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Just Like a Mama by Alice Faye Duncan and Charnelle Pinkney Barlow
A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison
Magnificent Birds by Narisa Togo
The Mess That We Made by Michelle Lord and Julie Blattman
Out of Circulation by Miranda James
The Pretenders by Rebecca Hanover Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis
Sabrina the Teenage Witch by Kelly Thompson and Veronica Fish
The Space Between by Dete Meserve
Swing it, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
There's a Murder Afoot by Vicki Delany
The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala
The Troubleshooter's Guide to Do-It-Yourself Genealogy by W. Daniel Quillen
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas and Erin E. Stead
The Winterhouse Mysteries by Ben Guterson and Chloe Bristol
Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda
World's Worst Parrot by Alice Kuipers

Miscellaneous
December 2019 sources
December 2019 summary
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (January 06)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (January 13)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (January 20)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (January 27)

Road Essays
Road Narrative Update for December 2019

Previous month


Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Canadian Book Challenge: 2019-2020

Beat the Backlist 2020



Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.


A Love Hate Thing: 01/20/20

A Love Hate Thing

A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison is a YA contemporary romance set in California. Tyson Trice has lost everything and needs somewhere to stay for six months until he turns eighteen. He's been offered a place with a family who used to employ his grandfather as a gardener.

The novel is broken up into alternating chapters, one from Trice's POV and one from Nandy's POV. Nandy is the daughter of the family Trice is staying with. She and he used to be close but now she's wary of him and he thinks she's spoiled.

The conflict between Trice and Nandy stems from the very different environments they've been raised in. Trice is from Lindenwood, presumably a Black inner-city neighborhood a larger California city. Nandy's family lives in Pacific Hills, situated near the beach in a tract housing complex with a country club. The two are supposedly an "hour apart."

But here's the thing, California as described by these two fictional places, doesn't read true. The country club tract housing as described takes up a shit ton of land. The land near the coast (which is primarily cliffs and rocks and is prone to erosion) is already built up. New housing at this scale happens east of the cities, not west. That's away from the ocean.

Then there's Lindenwood which doesn't have an inner city connotation. There's only one Lindenwood in the state and it's part of Atherton — old money, mansions, and very white in Northern California.

Meanwhile, there's Pacific Hills. Again, not many places bear the name Pacific in California. There's PB in San Diego — bungalows and apartments, not the wealthy enclave described. And there's Pacifica, a bedroom community along the coast near San Francisco. While it's primarily white, it's not a country club place.

Two unconvincing settings provide an insufficient foundation for the narrative. This entire novel feels more midwest. As the author is based in Akron, why not set the book in Akron and Cleveland? Why not make the beach along Lake Erie? If Nandy and Trice were grounded in familiar territory they would come off as genuine teenagers.

Three stars

Comments (0)


Name:
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:
Comment:

Twitter Tumblr Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2020 Sarah Sammis