Thursday, January 2, 2020

Book Review: A Love Hate Thing, by Whitney D. Grandison

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

Warhol sat back, staring ahead. “The bastards, man. Don’t let them get you down. I’ve seen some newcomers come and be eaten alive by this place. You’re from the ‘Wood – stick your chest out, don’t let these people get you.”

“They won’t.” If I stayed in town until I was eighteen, nothing was going to get me down. And I wasn’t about to conform to fit in, either. I still couldn’t give a fuck about Pacific Hills and its phoniness.

Warhol laughed as the light turned green. “The first thing people tell you when you get to Cross High is to stay away from Travis Catalano, but you know what? I think they’re all just scared, because he’s got it figured out. He’s beaten this system placed on us. Chad’s parents practically run this place, and they’re complete fascists.”

The poor kids. “Perhaps we’ll rebel, spark a little anarchy, and overthrow the system.”

Warhol caught my sarcasm and laughed as I pulled into the Smith’s driveway and parked.


With an ethnically diverse and somewhat stereotypical cast of characters, this book felt really familiar to me, but I’m not sure what book it reminded me of. This is the first book by this author, and it isn’t officially publishing until January 2020.

Official synopsis:
Book Review: A Love Hate Thing, by Whitney D. Grandison
When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the wealthy coastal community of Pacific Hills, he's ready for the questions, the stares and the feeling of not belonging. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the rough streets of Lindenwood, he doesn't care about anyone or anything, much less how the rest of his life will play out.

Golden girl Nandy Smith has spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in when it comes to her hometown Pacific Hills where image is everything. After learning that her parents are taking in a troubled teen boy, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames.

Now with Trice living under the same roof, the wall between their bedrooms feels as thin as the line between love and hate. Beneath the angst, their growing attraction won't be denied. Through time, Trice brings Nandy out of her shell, and Nandy attempts to melt the ice that's taken Trice's heart and being. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it'll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.


While Nandy and Tyson had spent a couple childhood summers together while Tyson’s grandfather took care of the neighbor’s landscaping, Nandy sees only an unfamiliar person coming into her home, instead of the boy she spent years missing. As Tyson becomes closer with her friends, Nandy’s jealousy is what finally helps her see Tyson as the boy she loved when they were both much younger.

Most of the characters felt likable and believable, and their Pacific Hills friend Travis was a personal favorite. Some of the characters felt exactly like their stereotypes (inner-city thug, or spoiled rich kid) and I felt that detracted somewhat from the overall feel of the book. There were enough genuine characters to lead the story though, and I definitely was pulling for a happy ending for all the kids.

I’d give this book 3 out of 5 stars. The writing already felt familiar to me, which was a plus or a minus at times. The Smith family were a great unit and I wished I could have friends and neighbors like them.

{click here to pre-order - A Love Hate Thing will be in stores and online on January 7, 2020}

Becki Bayley is a homemaker, reader, mom, baker, drinker and popcorn-lover. She loves tracking data, reviewing places and things, and sharing stuff most people don’t care about at SweetlyBSquared.com.


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