Yes, this is one of those moments when I feel the need to BE the disclaimer that wasn’t provided with this book . . .
Dating the It Guy
by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Publisher: Clean Reads
Release Date: March 21, 2017
Genre: Contemporary YA
Format Read: Kindle
Source: Author for Review
My Tour Stop
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I received a copy of this book from the publisher / author
in exchange for my review. Due to the nature of my review, I
did not share it during the promotional tour. As there is no
disclaimer for mental illness triggers with this book, I am sharing my
review now to be that disclaimer. My opinions are
ENTIRELY MY OWN and are in no way influenced by the gifting of
When I first requested to join this tour, I was expecting a light-hearted, somewhat angsty teenage YA book. I was expecting some romance. I guess with a title like Dating the It Guy, I expected there to be more dating in this book. But there wasn’t. The first 20-ish% was their relationship during the summer and you think the book is going to be this super-cute love story. Instead, what it becomes is this jealous, whiny relationship between a girl and her “It Guy” boyfriend. And dementia.
Emme’s grandparents. That’s where the book crashed for me. Emme’s grandmother has a stroke and goes downhill really fast and her grandpa has dementia. Most of the middle of the book is about this and, as someone who has dealt with these issues (or avoided dealing with them) very close to home, this was a deal-breaker for me. I will go so far as to say it ruined the book for me.
A disclaimer could have solved this issue. A trigger warning. The book wasn’t about teenage love and break-up / make-ups. It was about a whiny girl who I couldn’t relate to in the slightest, and her struggles with a grandparent having dementia. It brought reality too front and center for me. Issues I have (or have yet to) resolve were shoved in my face for the majority of the book. Had I known how much of the book was going to focus on this plot arc, I would not have picked it up.
Let’s get one thing straight before you go grabbing your pitchforks. I have read books about mental illness before and really enjoyed them. It has never been a problem. I believe in awareness and not shying away from issues such as that, just for the sake of conforming to “the norm”. That being said, dementia is my trigger.
I bawled. A lot. I cried and cried through this book. Like, ugly cry.
I don’t know if I really liked any of them. Certainly not Emme. The biggest adjective I have for her is whiny. Then self-sabotaging. And Margeaux . . . the story could have done without her. Any time Emme tried to act like her in order to make Brendon jealous, I mentally cringed. Seriously? Grow up.
There was a positive note to the book – the last 5-ish pages. It has a happy ending but, for me, the ending wasn’t worth reading the rest of the book.
One last disclaimer – while these issues were a deal-breaker
for me, these opinions are entirely my own. For someone who
has not dealt with dementia, it may be a very enjoyable read.
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!