Author: Sean Olin
Synopsis: What do you do if you find yourself fantasizing about kissing your best friend? Sensitive guitarist Jake has been asking himself that same question for a long time, and there’s no easy answer. Telling his dream girl –talented anime artist Elena– about his feelings might lead to the ultimate rejection, but not telling her just might kill him.
Before Jake can make his move, though, a new mysterious guy enters the picture in an unexpected way. In Elena’s mind, Harlow is excitement-personified: a rebellious yet kindred spirit who she instantly connected with online. Jake’s gut is telling him that something about Harlow is off, and that Elena is in way over her head, but the more Jake pushes the issue, the more he pushes Elena right into Harlow’s arms –and into a tragedy that neither of them would ever see coming.
Huge thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this for review!
So last year I tried to read the first book in the “Wicked Games” series and I could not get into it and had to drop it. I was surprised to get this from Harper and thought that since they’d sent me a copy I’d give it a try. Thankfully things went MUCH better this time around.
Overall this is a quick contemporary read. The writing isn’t anything special and I saw the twist coming a mile away. But I enjoyed the characters and the overall story. I would have liked more depth and more emotions… especially because Jake was supposed to be this deep, emotional guy. This was a very surface level story that was a bit predictable but like I said, I liked the characters.
I actually could relate very well with both Jake and Elena. I was in love with my best friend for a long time before I finally realized what a hot mess it was and left for good, so I could totally understand Jake’s reservations over telling Elena about his true feelings. I could also understand how hard it was for him to see her obsessing over another person. And I’ve been in the situation before where someone I held dear to me wanted MORE than I could offer in that relationship and how hard it was to want to be close to that person, but not in the way that they wanted. I really enjoyed the struggle that both Jake and Elena went through and it was so hard for me to choose who I wanted to root for.
I also like how anime played a part in this. It was fun that Elena was so into anime and that she enjoyed drawing and animating things. I was a bit wtf at Harlow and his insistence that it was super easy to just get animators in Japan to notice some stupid American teen, but at that point I knew that Harlow was a jack-off.
Overall if you enjoy YA contemporary and are looking for a quick read then this should fit that need. And if you liked the first book then you should like this and if you hated the first book know that this one was MUCH better.