Author: Lisa Brown Roberts

Resisting the Rebel by Lisa Brown Roberts

Resisting the Rebel by Lisa Brown RobertsResisting the Rebel by Lisa Brown Roberts
Published by Entangled: Crush on July 25th 2016
Pages: 206
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two-stars

Spirit committee leader Mandy Pennington is secretly in love with her best friend, Gus, but when he hooks up with her archenemy at a party, she decides to win him over once and for all. She just doesn’t know how. But who better to help than hot loner Caleb Torrs?
Caleb’s got his own problems, but when he sees Mandy pining over Gus at a party, he thinks she’s finally smoked the spirit stick and lost her mind. Maybe he has, too, because he just asked Mandy to be his fake girlfriend.She’ll get her loser friend’s attention, and he’ll get his stalker ex off his back.It’s a win-win.
But soon one fake date blends into the next and before he knows it, he actually wants to kiss Mandy. For real. Too bad their plan is working, and Gus is finally noticing the one girl Caleb just might be falling for…

Not quite the book for me, sad to say. ‘Resisting the Rebel’ feels too juvenile and too campy – even by Entangled Crush’s standards – and lays the clichés on thick with the brooding bad boy and a flighty, rainbow, navel-gazing girl who are opposites in every way.

It’s probably perfect for teens whose greatest worry is securing a date for the school dance and keeping their grades up amidst the million of social activities they juggle, but this book made it especially hard to connect with any of the characters, particularly Mandy Pennington who came across as silly and full of air (while projecting some weird new-age vibe) than unusual and quirky. The seventies and hippie references coated the entire story in multi-hued shades of tie-dye and by the end of it, I thought I deserved some weed that I managed to get through it.

two-stars

The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts

The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown RobertsThe Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts
Published by Entangled: Teen on September 6th 2016
Pages: 400
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three-stars

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.

three-stars

Playing the Player by Lisa Brown Roberts

Playing the Player by Lisa Brown RobertsPlaying the Player by Lisa Brown Roberts
Published by Entangled: Crush on September 14th 2015
Pages: 318
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four-stars

Trina Clemons needed the money. Why else would she—the most organized, prepared student in school—spend the summer as a nanny and partner with the biggest slacker ever? Now she's ready to tackle nannyhood with her big binder of research and schedules. Just don't ask her about the secret job of “fixing” the bad habits of a certain high school player…
Slade Edmunds prefers easy hook-ups, and Trina is definitely not his type. She's all structure and rules, while Slade wants to just have fun. Fortunately, Trina has no idea about the bet Slade made with his best friend that he can totally get her to unwind by the end of summer…
Then the weirdest thing happens. There's chemistry. A lot of it. But nothing gets between a boy and a girl like a big, fat secret…

I know I would have loved this story a lot more had I been…say a decade or so ago…maybe more. Reading this sweet, short story is quite a reminder of the teenage angst and the stupid things we go through – unnecessarily so too, but obligatory because it’s the emotion-uber-alles phase. Still, it’s a good reflection of those years where invincibility and optimism still reign supreme and kudos to Lisa Brown Roberts for showing it like it is.

four-stars