Friday, November 14, 2014

The Opposite of Love by Sarah Lynn Scheerger [Review]

The Opposite of Love3.5 out of 5 Robots!

The Opposite of Love by Sarah Lynn Scheerger
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release: September 1, 2014
Hardcover:  272 Pages
Publisher: Albert Whitman Teen
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon

Book Summary:
Rose is the wild girl nobody really knows. Chase is haunted by his past. Both are self-proclaimed "disappointments," attracted to each other enough to let down their defenses. When Rose's strict, adoptive parents forbid the relationship it only makes things more intense. But Chase can't hide from his own personal demons, and Rose has secrets of her own. After they're wrenched apart, a cryptic email arrives in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve, beginning a desperate pursuit and a look back over their tumultuous romance. Will they find each other before the night is over, or will they be torn apart forever?
(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
Books like these make me feel old and like I don't understand teenagers.  I had a hard time understanding where some of the characters were coming from (cough, Rose, cough).  I didn't dislike this book, but I definitely had a hard time cheering the characters on.

The Good:
-It is well written and I liked how it was divided up between "Then" and "Now".  I generally like books that jump around in time and this was no exception here.
- I liked Chase's story a lot.  I like that he was a very caring person but dealt a bad hand in life.  I also liked that Scheerger wasn't afraid to let Chase do some bad things (particularly one shocking event), but that he ultimately really tries to do the right thing.
- Daisy.  She is adorable.

The Meh:
- I am not sure how I feel about the "plot twist".  I didn't hate it, but it made me a little uncomfortable.  Especially since it highlights how impulsive Rose is (see "The Bad").
- I also was unsure why I felt about the religious undertones.  I'm not a religious person myself and so I don't generally question my faith or lack thereof.  When characters in books do it, I find myself very uninterested in the whole discussion.  I also felt it was a little out of left field considering everything else going on, especially when Chase meets the Pastor in Bakersfield.  Nothing really comes out of it.
-  Chase and Rose's relationship could have used a little more depth.  I didn't really feel it.

The Bad:
- Rose.  When you despise one of your main characters, it makes it hard to enjoy the story overall.  I thought Rose was the most selfish and impulsive teenagers I have ever read.  I understood that she was angry that she felt she wasn't given a choice in being adopted and that she didn't agree with her parents' rules, but she paints them as so evil it is hard to take them seriously.  Were they strict?  Yes.  Were they a little out of line?  Sometimes.  But if my kid was acting like Rose I probably would have shipped her off to military school.  For reals.  But c'mon.  Chase's dad was beating him and his mom and he was better adjusted than Rose.  I just DID. NOT. UNDERSTAND. HER. AT. ALL. (And as a parent makes me want to prevent my daughter from becoming a teenager...this is basically one of my biggest fears).

Overall, I think I liked where this book was going, but I hated Rose.  I liked the family issues, but I wasn't sold on the relationship aspects.

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