Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Stillburrow Crush by Linda Kage | Book Review

First Published: 2010
Library Paperback
Young Adult, Contemporary
Sixteen year old, Carrie Paxton, isn't the most popular girl in her small town of Stillburrow. But that's never concerned her before. Her life revolves around her writing, and she loves her job as the student editor of the school paper.
But when she gets assigned to interview the football team's beloved quarterback, she takes one look into Luke Carter's blue eyes and is a goner. Suddenly, she doesn't like her lowly rank so much. Then her dreamy, popular crush surprises her when he starts to act as if he likes her in return. But there's no way Luke Carter could possibly.
So, deciding to read this book didn't come easy. It was back when I'd just started reading contemporary books, and while it did sound like something I might like based on the other contemporaries I tried, the rating on GR wasn't that high, and some of the reviews I had read (and one particular spoiler that was totally out of context) made me hesitant.

But eventually, I decided to give it a shot. And good thing I did, because I really enjoyed this book!
"You have a crush on me?"
"No," I replied regally. "I just said I didn't."
"But you did before?" I had him completely baffled. "I thought I heard your brother say you had Rick Getty's picture all over your wall." I cringed. Just how much had he heard in the store? Oh well, I'd worry about that later.
"That was last year," I said. "You're the hot topic this year."
"Me?" I didn't think he was trying to be vain and draw compliments out of me, because the poor boy honestly sounded confused.
I loved it.
The book, quite surprisingly, opens up with the promise of a death. We find ourselves in the middle of a funeral, but we have no idea whose and what does it have to do with the story. Carrie, our main character and the voice of the story, starts recalling just how we got there.

The plot itself is pretty "standard" - girl at the bottom of the social pyramid meets the boy ruling said pyramid and can't help falling for his charms - and vice versa. What made the book interesting were the characters, starting with Carrie herself. 

Carrie is kind of hard to pin down, mostly because I had a love-hate relationship with her. She was kind of mean sometimes, and she had a tendency to overreact, but she was also very honest and sassy. And I love sassy. And I totally approve of how she dealt with loving Luke, even if in real life I'll probably never be able to be like her and just tell the guy I like that I do like that. 

Speaking of the love interest... he was very sweet. He wasn't the mean, bad boy jock stereotype at all. I loved how he worked to change Carrie's judgmental view of the rich people in town. Did he make some mistakes along the way? sure. But that just made him so much more real and believable. Really, I don't understand how you can dislike this guy. 

As for the two of them together? Once they started (sort of) going out, it was so extremely sweet! Luke is someone who can ground Carrie, while Carrie is someone to inspire and encourage Luke. They just... fit. And the ending on these two... I APPROVE. 

What I don't approve of is all the heartache Marty went through *sniff*. Okay, okay, I don't actually disapprove of it, this is just my broken heart speaking...

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