Friday, May 18, 2018

Penny Reid - Attraction

Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.
Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family's billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.
When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?

Comment: I got interested in this book in 2015 for some reason. It probably had something to do with the fact the heroine was described as shy but intelligent and sort of a nerd in some reviews. I was quite interested in seeing how the author would deal with such a heroine and how the dynamics between her and the hero would go. I also told about this story to my friend H., and we have decided to buddy read it.
This is also the first part of three, which means the story doesn't end with the first one.

In this story we meet Kaitlyn Parker, a young college student who is very intelligent, shy and very focused on being rational. She is also attracted to her lab partner, Martin, a guy that is popular, rich but also very clever and who she feels would never be interested in her. Things change one day while Kaitlyn is at the lab and she randomly listens to a conversation where two people try to make a plan to deceive Martin. 
That same day, Martin kisses Kaitlyn and tells her he has wanted to do it for a while but Kaitlyn feels it can't be so. Still, she knows she can't rest until she tells him about what she heard and goes to a party to meet him. They then agree on a week together at the beach, with other friends, to see if the attraction between them is real and could mean the start of something more...

If you read what I wrote above again, you'll see I have two paragraphs. In the first I summarized what made me want to read the book in the first place. In the second I summarized what made it be a lot less interesting than I hoped for and why I grade it as only average.

This is labeled new adult and sadly I think I'm past my endurance of them unless I know with more certainty about specific situations that would convince me I'd like it. For me, this was more about YA, and not because of the characters' age (nowadays, at 20, most young people are adults but don't act like it). I feel the characters behavior was too childish and even Kaitlyn, described as clever, nerd and aware of herself disappointed me in this regard. They just focus too much on things I don't find interesting. Even admitting the main goal here was to see the development of their relationship or how they would go step by step into becoming a couple, the situations they see themselves in was not interesting for me to read about.

The notion they were together in college makes me immediately imagine scenarios around school or where their activities would be important details to include. I liked the first chapters because of that and because of Kaitlyn's thoughts and personality. She would be someone I'd like to be friends with to talk about books and such (maybe except science). But then they go to the beach, there's a certain "pressure" by Martin and others for Kaitlyn to see only one perspective, even if not to a point where it becomes offensive, that I didn't think was happening. But Kaitlyn had so many interesting tastes and ideas and to see her interact in a completely different scenario just to put some things in evidence felt annoying. I certainly didn't find the scenes in the beach interesting and just wanted to get them over. But then, the story was finished for this first part.

Kaitlyn is also described as someone who likes to be invisible. I would describe myself as such too, so another huge factor that made me read this. But then Kaitlyn is "pushed" out of comfort zone and I felt we are supposed to infer she wanted that to happen because although she was used to it, it doesn't mean she wanted it to be so. Of course her reactions are awkward in situations she can't control and I liked some of her thoughts and ideas about that but the goal here was obvious: to show you need to try new things to find more or better things beyond the safe. I feel disappointed because I wanted Kaitlyn not to change, not to give in to something was not comfortable with for the sake of a love interest but...I also know readers wouldn't want to have boring scenes I suppose. But for me, that would have been perfect, especially if there are more books and probably believable and better ways to put the protagonists together and make their relationship move along.

The writing was not bad and I can see why the author has fans but if all the content of her stories has characters behaving like in here, I don't think I'd find them appealing either. I won't read more about these characters as I don't feel invested in reading about them, so to try something else is not a priority but I'll investigate other series to compare, eventually.
Grade: 5/10

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