Saturday, May 3, 2014

Fool Me Twice by Mandy Hubbard

(If Only #1)
Expected Publication Date: May 6, 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
ebook, 272 pages
Received from publisher through NetGalley -- thanks!

Last summer, working on a ranch together, it seemed that Mack and Landon were the perfect couple and would last forever. But then school started and Landon instantly dumped Mack to return to his ex and she hasn't spoken to him since. Now they're back at the ranch where their relationship first started and things are getting a bit messy... 

Until Landon suffers from a fall off a horse and gets amnesia. He's forgotten everything from the past year which means he thinks that he and Mack are still together. Mack thinks this is the perfect opportunity to get him back for breaking her heart last year so she comes up with a plan with her best friend, Bailey to play a bunch of pranks on Landon and get him to fall in love with her, - for realsies this time - so she can break his heart and give him a taste of his own medicine.

I first heard of the If Only line when I saw Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae popping up on a bunch of Top Ten Tuesday posts and Waiting on Wednesday posts. I think the idea behind a line of romance novels geared specifically towards teenagers is a great idea because romance is, in my opinion, one of the most fun genres to read and sometimes, it's just hard to find a light and entertaining romance for teens. So yeah, I was definitely very excited to read this book and get a taste of what the new If Only line has to offer.



+ The writing.
I really wasn't the biggest fan of Hubbard's writing. I'm not sure why it was, but to me, the writing was just stiff and boring. There was something off for me that I can't quite place my finger on. I think Hubbard injected a lot of Mack's personality into her writing which helped pick up the book when things started rolling but when things WEREN'T rolling (like during the beginning and towards the end), I couldn't help but glaze over the words. 

+ Mack and Landon's relationship.
From the very beginning of this book, we have been told by Mack that Landon is a jerk because he dumped her the second they got back to school for his ex. The notion is further instilled into our minds when the first ever scene with Mack and Landon has Landon acting disgustingly. So even though he has amnesia after his fall and thinks he and Mack are still in love, I do not buy the relationship one bit. Was Landon even one person? Because it felt like there were two completely different versions of Landon in this book: pre-amnesia and after-amnesia. And there was no bridging point, no link in between to make me believe that Landon could have gone from this smirking jerk to this really loving, kind guy. ESPECIALLY not after everything is revealed like how Landon's memory came back after a few weeks when he noticed everything was wrong. Especially not when we find out Landon's reason for dumping Mack and it's the weakest and most stupid explanation ever. And given their history and the complete and unexplained change in their relationship, I could not believe for one second that if these were real people, their relationship could have worked. 

+ The storyline, because it was so predictable.
Predictability is not always a bad thing. Because sometimes even when I can totally guess what's going to happen in the end, it's more interesting to see how everything unravels for the story to get to that place. But since I wasn't interested in the relationship anyway, I didn't like reading scene after scene of Mack struggling with her feelings for Landon and trying to convince herself that she doesn't like him and that she shouldn't like him when it's so obvious that they're going to end up back together.

Fool Me Twice had a really fun premise that I was looking forward to but I just could not get behind it because of how much I couldn't see Mack and Landon happening. And since this is a romance about this one couple's relationship, the fact that I didn't believe it sucked out the enjoyment for me with this book. 

I think this book will be great if you're looking for a light and fast read for when you're heading to the beach or something!

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