Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Title: Resisting the Rebel
Author: Lisa Brown Roberts
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush, Entangled Publishing
Release Date: July 25, 2016
Genre: Contemporary YA Romance
Disclaimer: This book contains a villain pretending to be a hero, a hero pretending to be a villain, a disco-dancing heroine, two overprotective sidekicks, a little bit of bad language, and a whole lot of swoony kissing.
Spirit committee leader Mandy Pennington is secretly in love with her best friend, Gus, but when he hooks up with her archenemy at a party, she decides to win him over once and for all. She just doesn’t know how. But who better to help than hot loner Caleb Torrs?
Caleb’s got his own problems, but when he sees Mandy pining over Gus at a party, he thinks she’s finally smoked the spirit stick and lost her mind. Maybe he has, too, because he just asked Mandy to be his fake girlfriend. She’ll get her loser friend’s attention, and he’ll get his stalker ex off his back. It’s a win-win.
But soon one fake date blends into the next and before he knows it, he actually wants to kiss Mandy. For real. Too bad their plan is working, and Gus is finally noticing the one girl Caleb just might be falling for…
This is a great ya romance where pretending to be involved leads to the real thing. Mandy Pennington is a natural leader, involved in all kinds of societies and groups in her school but she also has ADHD and Dysgraphia making written work a real struggle for her. She does have her own posse of friends, especially J.T. and Cammie and they are both brilliant characters, too. When Mandy’s crush, Gus, asks invites her to a party she certainly didn’t anticipate him deserting her to go with someone who always denigrates Mandy. That’s when the hot loner, Caleb Torrs, steps in to rescue Mandy and gives her a ride home. During this Caleb admits he’s having problems with his stalker ex-girlfriend and he suggests Mandy becomes his fake girlfriend to make Gus realise what he’s missing and to make it clear to Caleb’s ex that she really is ex! As the two get to know each other, Caleb is integrated into Mandy’s posse, becomes less of a loner and reconnects with a childhood friend. Get ready for the Power Rangers to come to the rescue, teenage angst to be rampant and for the two to wish their relationship wasn’t just a fake one.
The perceptions of others are challenged in this well written story, showing how people change as they mature and that sometimes people’s behaviour is an act, used to cover their true nature . . . with villains pretending to be heroes and heroes pretending to be villains. The problems encountered by people with learning disabilities like Dysgraphia are portrayed in a brilliant way, showing that these difficulties may impact severely on self esteem and achievement but, with the correct support, need not necessarily do so, indeed there are some excellent examples of well known people who are generally recognised as being very intelligent who had these same difficulties. I also liked how the attitudes to peers were altered as they got to know each other, reconnected and started to appreciate each others strengths and weaknesses, learning to support each other and to stop being so judgemental. A great read that I highly recommend!
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After she and Caleb sat down, a group of guys sat on the other side of her, laughing loudly and fake punching each other until one of them noticed her.
“Yo babe, you need company? I got room on my lap.” He leered at her.
A swirling vortex of anxiety and anger shot through Mandy. She hated guys like this, who just invaded her space and made rude comments like she was some toy, not a real person. She turned away from the jerk hoping to ignore him, but instead she met Caleb’s stormy dark gaze. Uh oh.
Mandy put a restraining hand on Caleb’s arm but he ignored her, leaning over her to get in the guy’s face. “Shut your pie-hole, unless you want a taste of my fist.”
Mandy closed her eyes and sighed. Great. Now she had not two cavemen to deal with.
The other guy tensed up. His blue eyes, which looked glazed, met hers. “You with this asshole?”
Caleb leaned in close, his spicy scent overwhelming her as his voice rumbled in her ear. “Take your pick, Disco. The devil you know or the one you don’t.”
Holy crap. He was practically smoldering. She grabbed her soda and took a long drink, then glanced at the blue-eyed jerk.
“Yeah,” she finally said, “I’m with him.”
Blue Eyes shrugged. “Your loss.” He turned away, saying foul to his friends that she chose to ignore.
Caleb leaned forward again but she pushed him back, locking eyes with him. “Caleb. If you hang out with my friends, there’s basically one rule. Don’t be a jerk. And no fighting.” She was suddenly aware of her hands still on his chest. Muscles flexed underneath the fabric of his shirt.
“That’s two rules.” Caleb’s hands reached up to cover hers. His eyes narrowed. “You’d rather I let that guy harass you?” His grip tightened, flattening her palms against his chest. Cammie and J.T. goggled at them, open-mouthed, while Jiro smirked and Liam shook his head, smiling.
“I–I–um–” How could she possibly form a coherent sentence when Caleb was filling up her senses like this, his heartbeat racing under her hand? The theater darkened and the speakers vibrated with the soundtrack from the movie previews, but Mandy couldn’t see or hear anything except Caleb.
Caleb released her hands, shifting in his seat to drape his arm over her, his fingers tangling in her hair, then drifting across her neck before setting on her shoulder. Every nerve ending in her body roared to life, and she was pretty sure that fire really was his secret super power.
“W-what are you doing?” she managed to whisper.
In the dim light from the screen, she saw him tilt his chin toward Blue Eyes. “Being an excellent fake boyfriend. He keeps watching you. I want to make sure he gets the message to leave you alone.”
Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life’s painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.
Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, four-legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.
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