Monday, April 29, 2013

NOVELLA REVIEW: "Flirting With Maybe" by Wendy Higgins

Flirting with Maybe
Flirting with Maybe by Wendy Higgins
For Ages 15+
Young Adult -- Contemporary
Harper Collins --March 5, 2013
Ebook, 92 pages
Purchased from Amazon

When sophomore Ryan "The Kid" McPhearson makes the Varsity baseball team, he finds himself submersed into the life of upperclassmen, and falling in love with senior Brooke Bennet. To Ryan she's his dream girl, perfect. Maybe to the outside world a two-year age difference doesn't matter, but this is high school. Everything matters.

Ryan soon realizes Brooke's life is not so perfect. He becomes her closest friend, her safe place to fall when she needs to escape. Ryan seems to be benched in the friend zone with no chance to bat.

Time is both a curse and a blessing. It ushers Brooke away to college, and Ryan into the arms of his first girlfriend. It alters Ryan from a kid to a high school graduate, ready to venture to college himself. But when Ryan sees Brooke again he realizes there are some things even time can't touch.

Though much has changed, one question still remains. Will the things that mattered in high school always stand between them?

He was fifteen and she was seventeen.

I was really excited to read Flirting with Maybe because of my love for Wendy Higgin's debut novel, Sweet Evil.  This YA contemporary novella has a very original premise with the hero falling in love with an older girl and dealing with that age difference through the turbulent high school years.  The story follows Ryan and Brooke's changing relationship over a few years.

My favorite part of this book was the hero, Ryan.  It is rare for a YA contemporary to have a male narrator and I loved how Higgins depicted Ryan's experiences.  His voice is realistic and really helped readers understand his character.  His personality was well-developed and he matured quite a bit over the course of the story which is sometimes difficult for authors to show in shorter stories.  I am also a huge baseball fan so I loved all the scenes involving Ryan's games and relationships with his teammates.  

The main issue I had with this book was the character of Brooke, the girl Ryan has been in love with since his sophomore year.  She annoyed me from the moment I met her and I just never got over that initial impression.  I thought she was whiny, ignorant, and completely selfish regarding her relationship with Ryan.  Readers didn't get to know much about Brooke's personal life other than her issues with her stepfather.  I could sympathize with her difficult home life, but it was frustrating when she didn't show the maturity that I thought Ryan did.  I just couldn't see what Ryan saw in her and why he was willing to put up with her crap throughout the story.

I also thought the development of Ryan and Brooke's romantic relationship was a bit lacking despite the fact that the story took place over two years.  I appreciated how, in the beginning, Higgins emphasized their friendship and how comfortable they were with each other.  But, the romance aspect (on Brooke's part especially) seemed out of the blue and underdeveloped.  I also thought the ending was abrupt and not very satisfying.

But, despite my dislike of Brooke and overall disappointment with the love story, I did find this story to be enjoyable.  Ryan's voice and character is refreshing in the YA contemporary genre and really kept me interested.  The sports subplot also captured my attention and made it stand out from others in the genre.  I do recommend this story, but I do it with some hesitation regarding Brooke's character and the development of the love story.  I also have to mention that I loved seeing the excerpt from Higgin's next release, Sweet Peril, sequel to the wonderful Sweet Evil.

***3 Stars***


1 comment:

  1. Ahhh, I really need to read Sweet Evil. Everyone says it's awesome, and now with Sweet Peril - yeah, I need to get on that one :)

    I am intrigued but this story because my mom is four years older than my dad, and sometimes it's nice to see an older heroine and a younger hero. Not that I want to be thinking of my parents' romance or anything! But Brooke sounds really annoying, so I'm not sure if I would like it.

    Anyway, thanks for the review :)


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