Published by Entangled: Teen on September 6th 2016
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True love can’t be strategized.
After book blogger Vivian Galdi’s longtime crush pretends their secret summer kissing sessions never happened, Vivian creates a list of safe crushes, determined to protect her heart.
But nerd-hot Dallas, the sweet new guy in town, sends the mission and Vivian’s zing meter into chaos. While designing software for the bookstore where Vivian works, Dallas wages a counter-mission.
Operation Replacement Crush is in full effect. And Dallas is determined to take her heart off the shelf.
‘The Replacement Crush’ is a series of storms in the bubbling teacup of hormones in high school, as Vivian Galdi – self-confessed bookish, bike-riding nerd – seeks to find a replacement for the callous longtime crush who’d abandoned her straight after a short summer hookup. Yet the one who ticks all the boxes but isn’t on her list is Dallas Lang, the unexpected hire for her mother’s bookshop and the one who unwittingly sweeps every preconceived notion of love and lust off her painstakingly categorised shelves of heroes and hotness.
Not that I claim to understand the odd and sometimes unreasonable way of teenage girls but the hot geek guy always manages to floor me every time, which the story excels in doing really well. If I thought Viv cowardly and irritating in her insistence on facing her issues head on, Dallas is my swoonworthy guilty pleasure, the hot geek who doesn’t say what he really wants enough, thereby contributing to the confusion and the hormonal mess teenagers often find themselves in. Yet made all the more alluring and mysterious because he’s presented through Viv’s POV.
But, why oh why, does Star Trek reigns supreme here? (says the Star Wars fan)
Strangely enough, I liked the story more for that it represented than the predictable storyline itself as it tries to unpack the convoluted world of the romance book business on the side of the reader-blogger and the so-called cultural literacy that it’s built around these days. There’s so much about the story that rides on ‘insider’ knowledge: Hiddles the cat, arm porn on Tumblr, constant words of wisdom from Spock, the blatant but loving tribute to book bloggers (sub-genres!) and book clubs that only reviewers and hardcore romance lovers would be familiar with. And so it impossible not to laugh at the wry self-referentiality of geek, review-speak and the odd strangeness of book clubs (can’t say I’ve ever joined one!). This was a great read overall, written with that panache and turn of phrases that would appeal to this crazy group of people for whom deserve that kind of representation.