Happy Friday Loves! Welcome to my Blog Tour Stop for Love Me, Love Me Not by S.M. Koz hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. Today, I have my review to share with you and a giveaway at the end.
Love Me, Love Me Not
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 19th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Family, abandonment, and forbidden romance are at the core of SM Koz’s powerful and emotionally charged novel about a teen who falls for her foster brother.
When Hailey Brown is removed from her home and put into foster care, all she wants is a safe, comfortable place where she can finish school and move on with her life. It’s not easy adjusting to a new school and a new life, but Mr. and Mrs. Campbell and their teenage son, Brad, welcome Hailey with open arms.
As Hailey begins to adjust to her new life, she and Brad grow closer. For the first time, Hailey feels like she might have a real shot at a future. Soon, however, Hailey realizes her relationship with Brad has crossed the line from friendship into something more. But being with Brad would mean giving up the perfect life that Hailey has waited so long to have.
Can Hailey and Brad resist the feelings that are developing between them—or will they risk it all to be together?
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, SM Koz delivers a powerful debut about the ups and downs of being a foster child.
A Painfully Beautiful and Wonderfully Emotional Ride
Love Me, Love Me Not by S.M. Koz is a painfully beautiful and incredibly emotional ride that had me in tears a few times. It wasn’t an easy read, but it was inspiring, hopeful, and touching.
This book had so many achingly intense FEELS. There were a few light, sweet, and fun moments, but for the most part this story was very emotional, and heartbreaking. Drugs, child neglect, sex, abuse, unhealthy relationships, and prostitution are never easy issues to read about. I was clenching my heart ready for the tears as I felt Hailey’s emotions every step of the way. Her constant fear of failing and of her past messing up with her happiness, the growing attraction to her foster brother, her insecurities about not being good enough, and the possibility that her life would lead nowhere – all of these consumed me and had me on edge the entire time. And even though I kind of had an idea that something devastating would happen and what it was, I honestly was not prepared for how everything played out. There were tears and anger and sadness, but the ending was also filled with so much love. It was touching and just absolutely wonderful.
Hailey was such an easy character to like and I really admired her for always trying to do her best in every situation. She may be passive and incredibly insecure, but she was also strong, kind, determined, and had such a good heart. I truly cannot imagine myself living her life and not turning into this horrible, angry, and resentful person. She’s been through so much pain, sadness, neglect, and abuse, but rather than give-up, she wanted to make her life better. She may be broken in so many ways, but she’s a fighter and a survivor. I really enjoyed getting to know Hailey and watching her become more trusting and confident as she slowly realized that there are good people who’d support her and a life and future filled with kindness, family, friendship and love.
I really liked Brad. He’s caring, protective, sweet, and funny too. However, I was frustrated and quite disappointed with some of his choices. He was reckless at times and did what he wanted without thinking about the consequences. I kind of wanted to slap him cause he was acting immature… But, I had to remember that he’s still a teenager so I could totally understand why he acted the way he did sometimes. Other than that, I thought he was absolutely charming and if I were in Hailey’s shoes, I probably would fall for him too.
The foster sibling romance definitely made me think about the show, The Fosters, and Callie and Brandon. Even the names are quite similar to each other — Hailey/Callie and Brad/Brandon — and that’s what made me really curious about this book. Personally, I’m not a big fan of this trope, but I do find it very intriguing. I also enjoy reading about complicated relationships and any romance that’s “forbidden.” So even though there weren’t a lot of swoons happening, a few cute and flirty moments did make me smile. I also think that Hailey and Brandon were super adorable together and I was really happy with how their relationship turned out in the end.
Overall, I thought this was a wonderfully written story. It’s terribly heartbreaking, incredibly moving, sometimes funny and sweet, and absolutely real in every way. The writing, the story, the characters, the relationships and all the emotions affected me. I really did enjoy going on this emotional journey so if you’re in the mood for a book with that and a lot of heart, then I highly recommend you add this to your TBR.
I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for participating in a blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
SM KOZ is a medical writer from North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and numerous pets. She has a BS in Biology from Duke University and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from North Carolina State University. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, photographing nature and her family, gardening, travelling, and attempting, usually unsuccessfully, to decorate birthday cakes. Love Me, Love Me Not is her first traditionally published novel.
Thank you for stopping by loves! I really hope you enjoyed reading this and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
Until next time! Have a fantastic fun-filled weekend and happy reading. Take care!!!