My rating: 3 of 5 stars
3 stars means I liked it but darn, I am so disappointed. This book could have been awesome. It had potential. A great idea. A nice plot. Snark, witticism, fun, clever remarks. Swoon-worthy guys.
Then why did it start off so great, deceived me for three quarters of it and then suddenly went down the drain?
Leigh Nolan is attending her first year at Stiles College, a some, alternative and barely known school in California, where her high-school sweetheart and boyfriend, the overachieving, self-centered and ambitious Andrew is also attending. Leigh is considering majoring in psychology and is certainly very good at over-analyzing herself and everything around her, so much so that she misses the obvious: what a jerk Andrew is and how intriguing is his roommate Nathan instead. A colorful cast of characters surround Lee; from her Latino artist roommate Ami, to the teenage-at-risk Rebekah, to the eternal boy scout advisor with the Spongebob Squarepants watch.
Mark page 286. That's when I started rolling my eyes. Ok, that's actually not true, there was one scene that really, really irked me even before (I'll get to that later), but page 286 was when I lost all hope.
Before that, I thought I had a winner in my hands. Or almost, at least. Jerkface (Andrew) aside - together with the mandatory presence of some "mean girls" - I liked Leigh a lot. A good sense of humor is sometimes all I need in a character in order to like him/her. She's got plenty, and a tad self-deprecating too. Her obliviousness to the situation slightly annoyed me, but nothing majorly unbearable.
Then Thompson had to go and pull the "dumb" chinese stereotype. Man, I got pissed. There's this scene in which Leigh and this Li Chang guy go to San Francisco for an award ceremony. The Chinese guy won third place with a poem - a very idiotic one, at that. The whole debacle is supposed to be funny, but in my opinion, it really isn't. Trying to make fun of the super-trite cliché of asian people not being able to speak English well and coming out just as plain dumb is lame and so last decade, miss Thompson. So one star goes for that.
The second star goes on the infamous page 286, when the real romance kicks in. Unfortunately, what I had thought a sassy, fun and spunky story up to that moment, suddenly turns into a mush of cheesy moments and of extremely stupid choices, so predictable and trite I turned the cover of the book around to check if I hadn't, by mistake, picked up another book. So disappointing!
So, begrudgingly, 3 stars, but just because I really liked the first part. I'm sure other people will enjoy the romance too but this book really left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.