Thursday, 16 January 2014

Review - Anything to Have You - Paige Harbison

Anything to Have YouTitle: Anything to Have You
Author: Paige Harbison
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: January 28th 2014, Harlequin Teen
Pages: 304 Pages, Ebook
Source: Thank you to Netgalley for sending me this book to review in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 1/5 Cupcakes
Nothing should come between best friends, not even boys. ESPECIALLY not boys.
Natalie and Brooke have had each other's backs forever. Natalie is the quiet one, college bound and happy to stay home and watch old movies. Brooke is the movie—the life of every party, the girl everyone wants to be.
Then it happens—one crazy night that Natalie can't remember and Brooke's boyfriend, Aiden, can't forget. Suddenly there's a question mark in Natalie and Brooke's friendship that tests everything they thought they knew about each other and has both girls discovering what true friendship really means.
*Spoilers are in white, highlight them to read them* 
When I saw Anything to Have You on Netgalley, I immediately requested it. I love contemporary novels, as they are sometimes a nice change from my average dystopian/paranormal reads. When my request got accepted I was extremely excited and couldn't wait to start reading, however, when I did, my enthusiasm and high hopes for Paige Harbison's latest novel soon completely dissipated.

Anything to Have You sounded like it had a promising storyline. Our two main characters, Brooke and Natalie, have been best friends and inseparable since they were small. Brooke is the party animal. Wild, outgoing, confident and beautiful and her main diet consists mostly of alcoholic beverages. She likes being in control, she likes getting what she wants and she likes having everyones eyes on her. Natalie is the complete opposite. She like staying in and watching movies, reading and cooking up some splendid meals and Natalie's happy with that. Natalie hasn't set foot on the social scene for a year so, yet her popularity on the social ladder is high, higher than ever. 

One night, Brooke forces Natalie to a attend a party with her and her boyfriend, Aiden, who shares feelings for Natalie that he shouldn't, and Natalie feels the same way. On the night of the party, Natalie promises herself she'll not make any rash decisions and be sensible and responsible, not like the last party she was at. Soon, one thing leads to another, leaving Natalie drunk and passed out and leaving her having just done something where the consequences will be life-changing. A drunken night, one she can't remember, an action that can never be reversed, a boy who is off-limits and remembers what really happened but is trying to forget...Brooke and Natalie's friendship will be pushed to the limits.

Do you see how entertaining and dramatic it sounds?! And it was! Yet there were numerous amounts of things that kept me from enjoying the full novel.

*Sigh* I don't know actually know where to begin, there is so much that I detested about Anything to Have You. I read the first 25% on my Kindle and then I skipped the rest and read the last 30% in the novel. Let's clear one thing: I have NEVER done this before. EVER. Why did I do it this time round? Get ready for some ranting.

THE THREE THINGS THAT MADE ME SKIP HALF OF THIS BOOK:
1). Blasphemy
2). Excessive amounts of (unnecessary) swearing
3). Characters who are seriously messed up with NO morals




Okay. Onto number one:

1). BLASPHEMY

I am a Christian and when there is hectic amounts of blasphemy in books, I will not continue reading it. I know most people out there say "Oh my God" and although I don't like it when people say that, if I see it in a book occasionally and if I'm enjoying the story, I will most likely continue reading it as long as it's not used too often. I'm not meaning to offend any of you, I can't tell a person what to say or do and it's up the an individual on what they want to say, I'm just saying as a Christian is offends me when reading this in a book.

However, in Anything to Have You, it was not merely that phrase that was used a couple of times, it was another phrase that I can't stand. These two phrases were used ALL THE TIME and it wasn't just the first phrase that I mentioned, oh no, it was them saying "Jesus Christ" every few pages. I'm sorry, but you don't say that, not all the time and not for trivial things either. I was so appalled by the amount of blasphemy in this book, I felt so extremely guilty for reading this, I know it sounds stupid but I seriously did and not just for this one factor but for the other two as well, which I will be addressing now.

2). Excessive amounts of (unnecessary) swearing
I think this is what really, truly made me skip most parts of Anything to Have You. Anything to Have You is a fairly short book, only about 300 pages or so and the amount of swearing that Paige Harbison managed to squeeze into this not-so-thick book was impressive. If I was stupid enough to be impressed by something so pathetic.

You know, when I read Young Adult books, I expect a few swear words here and there. YA books consist of teenagers, and I'm pretty sure about 90 % of teenagers swear. But when there is a cuss word on JUST ABOUT EVERY SINGLE PAGE, it's a bit of an overkill. And I'm not just talking about the "s" word, I'm talking about MAJOR F bombs. Major. 

Even my friend, who was reading over my shoulder at times said there was too much swearing and she wasn't liking the book because of that. She isn't some narrow-minded person, she doesn't mind swearing in books and she thinks it makes it more realistic but even she said this was just ridiculous and it decreased her enjoyment of the parts that we read.

This was the main reason I didn't read the entirety of Anything to Have You, because the characters swore way too much, I think if you had to do a count of the most frequently used word in Anything to Have You, it would be the "f" word.

Please. You're not going to earn readers by using copious amounts of language. You'll probably end up driving them away.



3). Characters who are seriously messed up with NO morals
I don't mean to be rude but the characters in this book were idiots. Immoral idiots with no self-respect.

At first I really liked Natalie, she seemed quiet, sweet and humble. In some ways I could even relate to her. Rather staying at home and reading then going out and getting completely intoxicated at parties. Later on I saw how she could be and it upset me because she seemed like a breath of fresh air, compared to Brooke anyway. Natalie is also a hypocrite, saying that she hates parties and it's stupid that girls walk around with their premature beer guts, yet she then goes and does the same thing as them. I also hate how she betrayed Brooke by sleeping around with her boyfriend. I also found that situation weird, seeing as Natalie hadn't actually been conscious when she had sex...

Brooke, Natalie's best friend was even worse. She drinks more than most guys, reveals a lot of cleavage (as you will see within the first few pages), uses an obscene word in almost every sentence and is just all-round horrible character. She was so self-centered, too. I found it disgusting how they both swore, drank and slept around. It's pathetic.

The sad thing is though, is that in reality lot of girls act like that these days. I don't really know any, but my friends come across them daily at high school. What ever happened to acting like a lady? To having respect for yourself and for others? I don't know either, but it's rare to find such a person like that, these days.

This book is about friendship, and I could see the girls had a tight friendship even though sometimes it seemed a bit one sided  and at times it seemed that they didn't care for each other, when you see how they treated each other. What Natalie did to Brooke was disgusting and well done to Brooke for forgiving her, because if my best friend did what Natalie did to Brooke, I would forgive her but I don't think I could be friends with her again. Although when I think about it again, Brooke was also a pretty rubbish friend, seeing as she forced Natalie into doing things she didn't necessarily want to do and caring mainly about herself.

The parenting in this book was freaking atrocious. Natalie's dad tells her that she should go out more, he's fine with her drinking and he thought it was sensible to sleep over at this party and rather not come home drunk. *facepalm repeatedly* How can her dad let his only daughter go to a party and let her SLEEP there where there are boys where she could do stuff and let her sleep at some random person's house that he doesn't even know?! And instead of letting her sleep there, why didn't he DRIVE there to go pick her up like a decent human being?! Another thing that irked me (not that I know if her dad was incredible naive or he just really TRUSTED her) is that Natalie didn't appreciate her dad's trust in her at all and completely took advantage of it by going and getting herself *spoiler* pregnant*spoiler* on that night! She was so stupid, really.

I don't have much to say on the romantic relationships, as I skipped half of the book, but I could immediately tell the relationship between Brooke and Aiden were forced and that there was more chemistry between Natalie and Aiden.
Aiden was alright, I would've liked him more if he didn't sleep-around and swear.

Towards the end however, you could see how much the characters had matured and how they decided to turn their lives into something better, which is good.

There is a lot of drama in Anything to Have You, and it's extremely fast-paced and interesting and I would've finished it, hadn't it been for those three factors that I mentioned earlier. There's a lot of real-life problems in this book and I guess that if a teen reads this it'll show them what they can do to not end up in a mess like the characters in this book. There's teenage pregnancy in here, cheating, drug usage, being hospitalised and excessive amounts of swearing and drinking.

Anything to Have You seemed like it was going to be a fun, light-hearted read yet I was extremely disappointed. The characters kind of disgusted me and had no idea how to treat anyone, or themselves, with respect. The friendship was written well, for the parts I read anyway. This novel had potential, but the amount of swearing and blasphemy that it contained decreased my enjoyment for this book. I didn't read the middle part of this book and I skipped to the end to see what would happen and if it was worth reading, so I can't judge the whole book. I was disappointed with what I read though. Anything to Have You could've been good but it fell flat with me and I really didn't like it. At all.





I give it: 1/5 CUPCAKES!



2 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Hi Kyra,

    Oh no, this is awful, I'm so sorry you didn't enjoy it, it looked like something quite good. I guess I'm just going to avoid it.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Erika xo
    www.theredbookmark.blogspot.com

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