Published by Entangled: Crush on July 10, 2017
Series: North Pole Minnesota #2
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, Romance
Source: eARC from Publisher
Also in this series: Any Boy But You
It’s not chemistry between Tinka Foster and Sam Anderson that made them agree to fake date. With her parents trying to set her up with an annoying student golf coach, and intentionally single Sam’s family pressuring him to bring a date to his brother’s wedding, they could both use a drama-free summer.
So it’s not his muscular arms and quick wit that makes Tinka suggest they tell everyone they’re both taken. Definitely not. And it’s not butterflies that makes a kiss for appearances during the lake party go on way too long—so long that Sam wishes it were real.
But Tinka keeps people at arm’s length—she’s always been second best, even to her parents. And her relationship-for-show could crush everything when she realizes she’s done with fake, pretend, and second-best.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains bikinis at the lake, a lot of making out in dark theaters, and a meet-cute you’ll read twice.
Artificial Sweethearts by Julie Hammerle is the second book in the young adult contemporary North Pole, Minnesota series. I liked the first book in the series, Any Boy But You, but I enjoyed this book even more! Each of the books in the North Pole Minnesota series can be read as standalones, so you don’t have to read them in order, though if given the choice, I always prefer to read a series in order. Elena, the girl from the first book, only makes very small appearances in this story, so there isn’t much overlap.
Artificial Sweethearts is the story of Sam and Tinka. I flat out loved Sam. He is the biggest sweetheart on the planet. And Tinka is so fabulously complex that I found her fascinating. Overall, this couple won me over. Here are the things that I loved about Artificial Sweethearts. Sam and Tinka are up front with each other right off the bat. That was so refreshing to see. Yes, Tinka had her own secrets that she was keeping from other people, but with each other they were totally real and honest from day one. Watching their romance go from fake to real was adorable. I know it has been done a million times, but I am still a sucker for a good fake romance story. It works for me (almost) every time. And it worked for me in Artificial Sweethearts. I love Sam and his family and I love how good Sam and Tinka are for each other. They genuinely had each other’s backs so many times throughout the book. I liked Sam way more than I liked Tinka, but even Tinka won me over. I think she is a good person. I really do. (even with what I am about to say in the next paragraph.) And I think she got to relax and be the best version of herself with Sam. And Sam is so awesome- it is about time someone recognized that about him. I hated seeing him be the running joke in his family. It was also super refreshing to see the male character in the story be the one with body issues and insecurities. I don’t think I have encountered that in a young adult book yet.
I did have a few, minor, issues with Artificial Sweethearts. I loved how multi-dimensional Tinka was. She is a very complex character. But that being said, she is not always the best person. I do think a few of the insults that her ex best friend, Karen threw out at her were pretty accurate. Tinka is selfish. She is also not a very good friend. When she moved away, she basically dropped her best friend. She didn’t call or text her and she flat out ignored all of the phone calls and text messages that Karen was sending her. And she did it all for basically no good reason. I think that is pretty harsh thing to do. Then there was the whole issue of hooking up with her current best friend’s boyfriend right after he dumped said friend. Tinka does not always make the best decisions, and she certainly does not handle her mistakes maturely. But I genuinely think she is a good person, and I loved her interactions with Sam. They felt like two different people to me, which made it hard for me to figure out my feelings on Tinka while I was reading. Overall, I liked her, even though she annoyed me at times. The characters I did not like were Tinka’s parents. They did not seem interested in their daughter for anything except renovation help. The only thing they seemed to care about for a majority of the story was getting drunk with their new friends. I wasn’t a fan of them.
Overall, my annoyances were only a small part of the story, and they didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment much. I fell head over heels in love with Sam. I loved that Artificial Sweehearts was told in dual narrative. I want to see more Sam and Tinka because they really won me over. Artificial Sweethearts was a cute read. One that I really enjoyed.. @BookBriefs #Review of Artificial Sweethearts by @JulieHammerle @EntangledTeen #YA #Romance Click To Tweet
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