By: Heather Dowell
*Originally posted on Heather’s blog.
He’s supposed to be making her look fun. She’s not supposed to be having fun.
Hazel’s crush thinks of her as one of the guys. How does she know? He told her so, right after informing her that she was one of the most serious, driven people he’s ever met. The swim team phenom is focused and she’s definitely driven…she’s not ashamed of that. But there’s more to her than just beating her best time and winning the next meet. She knows how to let loose. Sort of. It’s not like she’s never heard the word ‘fun’ before.
When her friends convince her that the best way to show her crush the more fun-loving side of her personality is to give her online presence a major makeover, she grudgingly agrees. After all, it’s just a few photos. She’s always been a little uncomfortable around the photographer—a party-going wild card who views everything as a joke. But he’s got skills and for some reason she can’t explain…he wants to help her. So why not? It couldn’t hurt to have fun for the camera…right?
Meet the King of Fun
Will’s had his eye on the oh-so-serious swim team captain since he transferred to Lakeview High. Now he finally has a chance to get close, to learn what she hides behind that stoic, unreadable expression. The urge to tease a smile out of her is irresistible, and to hear her laugh? Well, that’s his new life mission. He’s never had to try so hard before, but for Hazel he’s about to go to bat.
But when feelings crop up, their arrangement gets complicated. He’s not so sure this’ll work. Because for Will, it’s all fun and games…until somebody falls in love.
If Andrew was the sweet cinnamon roll and Cristian the bad boy, then Will is the funny man. His banter about old crime movies and shows with Hazel was adorable. I was so glad that he already had a crush on her before she started making any changes in order to catch the eye of the swim Captain who she had a crush on.
Unlike the other two books where the love interest had something wrong with them that would make them a bad match for the main character, Hazel’s crush didn’t seem to have too many flaws other than the fact that he hadn’t noticed her as herself before she started dressing more girly and trying to appear fun and carefree. Even so, I was rooting for Will from the very start even before I knew that he was going to be the love interest. I actually thought there might be a love triangle and she would have to choose between the two guys. That didn’t happen, but what did was Will volunteering to take pictures of her to put on her social media and make her look more appealing to her crush.
Justin viewed her as one of the guys and a respected member of the swim team, but he didn’t look at her as girlfriend material. Will appreciated Hazel and all her natural beauty with no makeup and no aptitude for high school parties or even laughter. It was as if no one could get Hazel to laugh out loud other than her best friends and Will. She needed to lighten up, and he was just the guy to do the job. But he needed to learn to go for what he wanted, not in the way where he laughed it off and pretended like what he thought didn’t matter, but in the way that he put everything on the line with the risk of failure.
I thought it was ridiculous and yet cute that he straight-up tells Hazel toward the very beginning of the book that he likes her and several reasons why, and she still didn’t understand that he meant that he liked her in the way that a guy would like a girl he wanted to date. She just assumes he means in a friendly manner. And it’s not that she’s insecure or anything, she’s just really naive when it comes to guys. It made her more endearing than annoying, which is a fine line to teeter.
I also think it’s kind of cute that all the girls in this novel are like 17 and 18 years old and they’ve never had boyfriends or been kissed. It might sound a little unrealistic but then I think back on my friends that I had in high school. Many were promiscuous and had several love interests with various degrees of sexual activity, but some I don’t know if to this day have even gone on a date, and I’m 30. I believe I am like one of two of my friend group who’s married, and I got married pretty much right out of high school to my high school boyfriend.
I like that they are a little older because when they do wind up together it’s a little more believable that they have the potential to last and maybe get married at some point. Each of the love interests are so well crafted and beautifully paired that they help each other become better people, and I think that they really could work.
This particular installment was super funny, and of course it was full of lots of kissing, a little bit of misunderstanding, and a bunch of denial. I’m really excited for the next one.
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