My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance, Hate to Love
Publication: October 31, 2017 from Swoon Reads
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 332 pages
Charlotte Charlie Donovan knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: Teo Ortiz. He s the school s star athlete, in the National Honor Society, invited to every party, contributes to the school paper (where Charlie is co-editor), and is about to be featured as One to Watch in a teen magazine basically, he’s exactly the type of guy Charlie s meant to be with. The only problem he barely knows she exists.
But Charlie is determined to be Teo’s date to the Christmas ball. And she has a plan: To rig the paper’s Secret Santa so that she can win his heart with five perfect gifts. But to do that she needs help. Enter J.D. Ortiz Teo’s cousin, and possibly the most annoying person on the planet. He’s easy-going, laid back, unorganized, spontaneous, and makes a joke out of everything the exact opposite of Charlie (and Teo). But he’s willing to provide insight into what Teo wants, so she’s stuck with him.
Yet, the more time Charlie spends with J.D., the more she starts to wonder: Does she really know what, or rather who, she wants for Christmas?
Huge thanks to my friends from Macmillan International / Fierce Reads for sending me a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not, in any way, affect my overall opinion of the book and/or the story.
When I first stumbled upon My New Crush Gave to Me on Macmillan’s catalogue of books for review, I instantly fell in love with it. After that, I grew more interested with it after I looked up it’s synopsis on Goodreads. And so to have been given an ARC copy of said title in exchange for an honest review made me feel utterly excited. However, it is with a heavy heart that I admit to everyone here that albeit I did enjoy reading it, I didn’t love the story as much as I hoped. Read on for my detailed review.
One of the main reasons that hindered me from loving this book was the fact that Charlie, the main character of the story, annoyed me so much. For those who have no idea about her, Charlie’s your typical straight-A student who is as organized as she is determined. She makes it a point to follow through with ALL her plans, and she turns into this, for a lack of a better word, brat, whenever she doesn’t get her way. I mean, I also see myself as an avid planner, and I hate it whenever things don’t go the way I plan them to, but I feel like I’m almost always flexible enough to adjust to maintain my cool. Charlie lacked the same flexibility that I feel is decent, making her an annoying female lead.
I also feel like the story focused too much on the hate to love trope, and because of this, I think the story is a little underdeveloped and it lacked strong foundations. While reading the book, I spent at least 3/4s of it cringing because of how annoyed I was with Charlie, and also Teo (a.k.a. the guy that Charlie’s pining over) because the guy’s a nice douche. Yes he has good grades, he volunteers in the local hospital, and he’s also a huge planner like Charlie, but he takes the people who cares about him for granted and I just have no positive feelings toward him and the fact that Charlie spent almost the entire story practically begging for his attention. And don’t even get me started with how flat most of the relevant characters seem to be. Charlie, J.D., and Teo all seemed to be plain characters and it certainly didn’t help that they didn’t seem to undergo any character development at all.
Let’s focus on positive points next: if there’s anything to love about the story, at least in my opinion, it’s definitely the fast-paced story together with it’s entertaining narration. Albeit this book did irritate me, I have to give credit where credit is due. The overall tone of the story is appealing, and I get why a lot of readers seem to love this. I honestly breezed through the story, and I found myself undeniably enjoying Charlie’s narration, when she’s mixed up with dread and fear over her plans not going well. I also liked most of the banter that Charlie shared with J.D. Ortiz, and honestly? If it not for J.D., we’d all be having a different conversation here today.
“My New Crush Gave to Me is a novel about a persistent and organized young woman who defies social laws to try and get a date with the campus crush in time for the holidays. And all in all, albeit I did enjoy reading it, and I was fairly entertained by the story, I personally feel like the story as well as the characters are a bit flat and didn’t undergo much development. The concept of the story really hooked me up, but I feel like the story could’ve been improved by more significantly developed characters. Still, for those who call themselves fans of the hate to love trope, you might have different thoughts about this title.”
What’s your favorite holiday reads? And have you read My New Crush Gave to Me? What did you think of it? Let me know via the comments section below!
JM is a 21 year old blogger from Manila. He has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Managment mainly because it was too late when he discovered that literature and publishing is his true calling. He enjoys reading contemporary and fantasy novels as much as he enjoys playing video games and baking pastries. You may find him on Twitter, Instagram, and on Goodreads.