Review by Gabrielle

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“Just a few days ago, I thought I’d had more than enough of him, marked him Did Not Finish, but now I feel like every part of him will remain To Be Read.”

An enemies-to-lovers style book where the main characters are rival bookstore employees? We’re in!

Teenager Madeline Moore’s struggling family bookstore Books & Moore has been in the family for generations. It’s not only her safe place but her legacy and her future. When a chain bookstore opens across the street, Madeline is not happy. How can they compete with the swanky new store and their endless discounts and sales? When she meets Jasper Hamada, the chain owner’s son, the hijinks to undermine each other’s businesses start. What begins as a series of playful pranks soon escalates, as do their feelings for each other. But, they are sworn enemies right?

Madeline Moore is a complex character with lots of reasons to be angsty. It was nice to read a character with this much depth but be warned, there are lots of issues going on here from abandonment by her parents to body image. There is also underage drinking and lots of swearing. If you like your romances on the lighter side, this issues-filled book may not be for you. There were many times I didn’t like Madeline much, but there were key times when I was really rooting for her. It’s refreshing when a main character isn’t perfect but is written with warts and all. Afterall, who among us is perfect?

The way Madeline and Jasper’s relationship develops feels genuine and heartfelt. There is some sweetness there that acts as a good counterbalance to all the angst. That kind of balance is hard to write and Kelsey did a great job creating a relationship that felt very realistic. Jasper’s character is easy to love and there are some great secondary characters like Madeline’s aunt, brother and the other employees of Books & Moore.

If you love angsty, sweary YA, give this one a try.

I received this book for free from HarperCollins Canada (thanks!)  in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.