Thursday, April 14, 2016

The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) by Amy Spalding

Title: The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions)
Author: Amy Spalding
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
A ridiculously cute, formerly-famous new guy dropping into your life? It’s practically every girl’s dream.

But not Jules McCallister-Morgan’s.

I realize that on paper I look like your standard type-A, neurotic, overachiever. And maybe I am. But I didn’t get to be the editor of my school’s long-revered newspaper by just showing up*. I have one main goal for my senior year—early acceptance into my first choice Ivy League college—and I will not be deterred by best friends, moms who think I could stand to “live a little,” or boys.

At least, that was the plan before I knew about Alex Powell**.

And before Alex Powell betrayed me***.

I know what you’re thinking: Calm down, Jules. But you don’t understand. This stuff matters. This is my life. And I’m not going down without a fight.

*Okay, I sort of did. But it’s a sore subject.
**I mean, I guess everyone knows about Alex Powell? Two years ago, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about viral video boy band sensation Chaos 4 All. Two year ago, Alex Powell was famous.
***Some people think I’m overreacting. But this. Means. War.

Filled with romance, rivalry, and passive-aggressive dog walking, Amy Spalding delivers a hilariously relatable high school story that’s sure to have you falling for The New Guy.

Over the last few years, I’ve learned that I can count on Amy Spalding when I’m looking to read a fun contemporary YA romance. And out of all of her books, I think The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) might just be my favourite.

Jules McCallister-Morgan had a plan for her senior year of high school. She was going too be the editor her school paper, keep volunteering at her local dog rescue, and get in early acceptance to Brown University. What wasn’t part of her senior year plan? Alex Powell, the former boy band member who, for reasons unknown to Jules, seems to like her. Also not part of her senior year plan? TALON, the new school news broadcast. But Jules is determined to get her senior year back on track and save the school newspaper from extinction. But that’s easier said than done with all those other distractions around. Especially Alex. 

I’m not going to lie, I was surprised by The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions). I mean, I’ve read Amy Spalding’s books before so I kind of knew what to expect, and I’d seen the reviews for this one and I was still surprised. What surprised me? How addicting The New Guy ended up being for me while I was reading. I pretty much read this book in one sitting. I just kept turning the pages, curious to see what would happen next, what the newspaper staff would do to retaliate against whatever prank the news show last pulled. I wanted to see what would happen to Jules and Alex. And there was a former boy-band member involved in all of this. Honestly, it was almost impossible for me not to enjoy this story so I really shouldn’t have been as surprised by the New Guy as I was. In The New Guy, Amy Spalding wrote a fun story that had me smiling and laughing as I was turning the pages, I couldn’t help myself. The New Guy just made me happy, plain and simple. 

I’m pretty sure one of the reasons I enjoyed The New Guy as much as I did was Jules. She was such a fantastic character and I loved reading this story from her perspective. I totally understood her slightly neurotic, type-A personality because I have those same tendencies. And reactions to her own thoughts about Alex? I was laughing every time. I just loved Jules, her determination to keep the newspaper alive, her misguided attempts to help Alex (even though they tended to backfire). And Alex, the new guy himself, he was pretty dreamy. I mean, he had the whole former boy band member thing going for him for sure. But there was also so much more to him than that. He was just a boy looking to have a normal high school experience after the craziness that had been the whole boy band thing. I loved seeing thing develop between Jules and Alex, the back and forth between them as they figured out how to be a couple in the middle of everything else that was happening in their lives. Beyond Alex and Jules, The New Guy also had a fantastic cast of secondary characters who all brought something to the story.

If you’re looking for a cute and fun YA contemporary romance, then Amy Spalding’ The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) is the book for you. It will keep you flipping pages while you laugh and shake your head at all of the characters antics.

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