Friday, March 27, 2015

Review: Stupid Boy by Cindy Miles


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
From Cindy Miles, bestselling new adult author of STUPID GIRL, comes the next installment of her addictive Stupid in Love series – STUPID BOY.
Brax Jenkins and Olivia Beaumont are the most envied couple at Winston University—but the so-called “virginity dare,” orchestrated by Brax’s old fraternity, almost tore them apart. Now, a new dare is taking shape, and it’s sure to set emotions ablaze—more than ever before.
Winston’s “It Girl” Harper Belle isn’t just president of the Deltas—she’s also a master at keeping her ugly past a secret. So, when the Kappas’ dare hits closer to home for her more than anyone realizes, she devises a competition of her own as payback. Three sorority sisters will seek out a notorious womanizer on campus and—unbeknownst their “mark” —secretly train him to be the perfect boyfriend. Always up for a challenge, Harper targets the biggest player she can find: Brax’s wickedly handsome foster brother Kane McCarthy.
But, Harper discovers there’s much more to Kane than girls, games, and partying. His easy smile belies the quiet, old soul reflected in his deep brown eyes. All it takes is one night, one secret laid bare, and one kiss from Kane to shift Harper’s world on its axis. Suddenly, the girl who’s always walked a straight and narrow path can’t think of anything else except losing control.

MY TAKE:
I was in the mood for some bad-boy-good-girl romance, and I certainly found it here.

In Stupid Boy, Harper and her sorority decide get revenge for the Kappas dares that have humiliated women in the past. They decide on a bad boy reformation project, and Harper focuses on Kane. Kane isn't a student but he has dangerous dealings with the Kappas, making him a perfect subject. However, Kane and Harper both have terrible secrets in their past that could put a wrench in the works of their relationship.

First of, I'd like to say that because watching WWE shows on weekends have become a bonding activity of sorts for me and my husband, every so often, I would read Kane's name in the book and an image of Kane the wrestler would pop into my head. It was mostly funny for me, but occasionally distracting.

Anyway, back to the book. Kane and Harper are both damaged people, and by that, I mean they've gone through some stuff that requires serious therapy for many years to come. There were some flashback scenes but most of them stopped before it got too graphic. If you don't like scenes depicting abuse, mental or physical, or if they're a trigger for you, you may have some issues with the book. However, you can also skip over those parts if you'd like because the more important details of the abuse are mentioned in passing in other parts of the book so you don't have to delve too deeply into the more disturbing scenes.

Troubled past or not, I actually liked Kane and Harper. It wasn't too hard to sympathize with them, and because of that, I cheered the two of them on. They deserve to be happy, and the concern that both of them had for the other's well-being was touching and perfect.

The reason I didn't end up liking this book as much as I thought I would was precisely because of the bad-boy-good-girl thing. It's a very popular trope, which means that there have been so many variations of it that it's hard to come up with original lines and situations. Situation-wise and character-wise, there was plenty of originality in here while still staying true to the trope. However, there were also some lines that are pretty standard in these kind of romances. At first, I wondered why it bothered me. Then I realized it was because the other parts of it were so good and original and then at the crucial romantic moments, it went into conventional territory and I felt like perhaps there could have been some additional element there or something that elevated it so that it matched the rest of the book.

I don't know, perhaps it's a personal thing. It certainly delivered what it promised, though, so for the most part, I'm happy with it.

Thanks to NetGalley and TKA Distribution for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. Kane and Harper are perfect for each other.
  2. Kane and Harper's back stories are both interesting in a sad way.
  3. There are some really sweet moments here. 

THE BAD:

  1. There were some cliche romantic moments.

READ IT IF:

  1. You like bad-boy-good-girl stories.
  2. You like bad boy transformations.
  3. You like stories with characters whose flaws actually feel real instead of just tacked on so you can't say the character is too perfect.

RATING:
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