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Anything to Have You by Paige Harbison
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: eARC from Publisher (Via NetGalley)
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.
There was a lot that I loved about this book, but there were also a few things that didn’t work for me. The writing in Anything To Have You is incredible. I totally connected with Paige Harbison’s writing style, and I think that is why I loved Aiden and Natalie as much as I did. The book is told in dual narrative, split between the two best friends- Natalie and Brooke. Brooke is a wild child and Natalie is is more of a “homebody.” But with some coaxing, Brooke manages to get Natalie to agree to come out more for their senior year and then the you-know-what hits the fan.
I really liked Natalie. I thought she was funny, and smart and sensible. I couldn’t stand Brooke. I thought she was too jealous. but I pushed that aside, because I really did like the friendship that her and Natalie shared for the most part. You could tell that they truly did cherish their friendship. But Brooke just let her emotions and jealousy for Natalie control her. Natalie is a very genuine girl. She made friends effortlessly and she always stayed true to herself and I think that her “effortlessness” is what upset Brooke the most. Natalie just breezed into parties (that Brooke dragged her too) and people flocked to her. I feel like Brooke just should have let Natalie stay home and then none of this would have happened, but that is neither here nor there.
Anything to Have You was a fairly predictable book. The writing was on the wall the whole time for most of the plot twists. One thing in particular really upset me. I’m not going to say what it was, but I really didn’t want it to happen, even though I saw all the clues. And then once it did, the whole book kind of shifted for me. Brooke became even more annoying and she started taking over the story and even though the “unspeakable-thing/plot twist” happened to Natalie, she kind of got pushed into the background of the story. And she was what I liked most of all, so I was kind of bummed about that. I wanted to see more of her and Aiden developing. It was so clear to me that they would have been the perfect couple from the start and I really enjoyed watching them interact. It would have bugged me a lot more about what they did if I had liked Brooke more. What they did is absolutely not something that I would condone, but Brooke was just such a brat herself that I couldn’t bring myself to feel bad for her or get mad at Natalie on her behalf.
I know from my review it may seem like I didn’t care for the book that much, but that is not true. I could not put this book down! It was like a guilty pleasure for me. The writing was perfect, and it has left me dying to read another one of Paige’s books just for her writing style alone. I really enjoyed Natalie as a character and I would have liked for more of the focus to have been on her. I didn’t like the plot “surprise” about 3/4th of the way through and I didn’t really enjoy Brooke, but I still found myself really enjoying the book. Anything to Have You is a realistic look at some of the struggles and betrayals that a friendship can go through. It isn’t all sunshine and rose, but it is very well done.
Paige Harbison recently graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts. She grew up on the outskirts of Washington D.C. She spends most of her time with friends–who give her constant inspiration for characters–and calls it research. The rest of her time is spent writing, painting, and following all of the worst TV shows.
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5 print copies of Anything To Have You (US and Canada only)
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Great review, love! I am glad you told us honestly what did and didn’t work for you, even though you didn’t reveal any major plot points – awesome job! I feel like I have a better understanding of what this book is about now. I would still love to give it a try, even tho I gotta say I worry about that unspeakable plot development you mentioned 🙂 I am a sucker for good prose, tho, so here’s hoping! 🙂 Thanks for an awesome review!!
Loved the review! It makes me want to read this book even more, to find out if I agree with you or not! LOL
I have heard so much about this book! I cannot wait to read it!