"A ridiculously cute, formerly-famous new guy dropping into your life? It's practically every girl's dream.
But not Jules McCallister-Morgan's.
I realize that on paper I look like your standard type-A, neurotic, overachiever. And maybe I am. But I didn't get to be the editor of my school's long-revered newspaper by just showing up*. I have one main goal for my senior year-early acceptance into my first choice Ivy League college-and I will not be deterred by best friends, moms who think I could stand to "live a little," or boys.
At least, that was the plan before I knew about Alex Powell**.
And before Alex Powell betrayed me***.
I know what you're thinking: Calm down, Jules. But you don't understand. This stuff matters. This is my life. And I'm not going down without a fight.
* Okay, I sort of did. But it's a sore subject.
** I mean, I guess everyone knows about Alex Powell? Two years ago, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing about viral video boy band sensation Chaos 4 All. Two years ago, Alex Powell was famous.
***Some people think I'm overreacting. But this. Means. War."
YA Contemporary Romance, The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) will be shortened to "The New Guy" for this very review. Let's admit it. The title is a bit long, but it is amusing. Now let's dig into the book. (Enough talk about the title.)
The conflict is absolutely delicious and invigorating to read. On top of the he-is-my-enemy/romance plot Jules has with Alex Powell, she also has a fight against the television news station that is seemingly taking over her school. As the editor of her school journal, she is facing off against an ex-journalist and contender for the spot as school's main information source. It's not all fun and games when the little rivalry turns into nasty (but non-fatal) pranks.
Jules is a really fun narrator. Her perspective is wonderful to read from, and she does care a lot more about journalism and her school's newspaper than anyone else (which totally reminds me of myself; I was like that). She's a very determined girl, who is so concerned with being the best (or at least, good enough to be accepted by universities with her stellar list of extracurricular activities). She's a great character, who totally makes her own actions with its own consequences, and her growth is important to the story. (And personally, I love her character arc.)
The romance isn't as developed as the character arc. Of course, it does have its great moments, but I would love for some more dog walking. Passive-agressive dog walking. With Jules sending little comments about Alex going into her school's television news program. But still, they have a swoony chemistry underneath that passionate rivalry.
The plot dashes quickly through the first meeting, Jules' first meeting with Alex Powell, the rivalry of television versus newspaper, and dog walking. The book goes by quickly for me, but it's enjoyable nevertheless. I could hardly notice time passing.
The ending is adorable. It's practically the equivalent of puppy eyes and rainbows. It will have most people's hearts swooning because of its rom-com-like ending.
Overall, The New Guy is a subpar romance with humor yet also enough seriousness to make it work. I recommend this to those who love rom-coms and to those who enjoy romantic gestures.
Rating: Three out of Five