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Review by Suze
Emme's ex boyfriend cheated on her. She's reluctant to date again and she doesn't trust easily. Falling in love with the most popular guy in school isn't helping her with her insecurities. Brendon is being chased by plenty of girls and his ex girlfriend treats him like he's still hers. At home Emme has to deal with a lot, her grandparents aren't the strong healthy people she used to know any longer. Emme is completely out of her depth when it comes to dating someone half the school wants to be with and seeing her grandparents suffer is incredibly hard. She tries to get back some control using crystals and living according to her horoscope, but is that really the wise thing to do or will it make her lose the last bit of balance she has left?
Emme is a sweet and talented girl. It’s obvious she cares about people and she helps out as much as she can, I loved that about her personality. She also eats healthy food and she takes good care of herself. She worries about her grandparents and my heart ached for her. Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about her struggles in an honest way and it's clear she understands what her main character is going through. She describes Emme’s feelings in a detailed and realistic way. I think it's great that she gives this topic so much attention. A lot of teenagers are dealing with the same issues and I found the story really comforting and supportive.
Dating the It Guy is a story with several different layers. One of them is the relationship aspect between Emme and Brendon. They have many things in common, but being the son of a senator brings a life filled with expectations and Brendon is in the spotlight all the time. Everyone is paying attention to him and he's always hanging out with girls who want something from him. I could see why that would be terrifying for Emme. I didn't like how insensitive he is about being claimed by a girl who isn't his girlfriend. Emme has already been cheated on and what he does might not exactly be cheating, but it is difficult to watch and it didn’t feel right either. I had plenty of conflicting emotions when I read about their relationship. Sometimes it takes effort to make things work, especially when the circumstances are unusual. I loved how Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about this problem from different angles and makes her readers see the whole picture.
Dating the It Guy is a thought-provoking story. It made me think about the impact of problems at home on the way things are going at school and the importance of being honest about what your boundaries are in a relationship. Talking about what's going on is essential for the success of a connection and hiding behind crystals and horoscopes might seem the easiest solution to get through a difficult situation, but in the end other ways to deal with a problem might be more effective. Emme and Brendon both have many lessons to learn and it was fascinating to see them grow up. They slowly become more serious when it comes to relationships and I loved the romantic ending of the story. Dating the It Guy is a multifaceted book, it's sweet, interesting and moving at the same time.
If you like stories about popularity, realistic problems teenagers can struggle with and romance Dating the It Guy would be a great choice.
About Krysten Lindsay Hager
Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends...Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Bellbrook Times, and on Living Dayton.
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