I have officially finished book number 3 of the year and now I’m wondering is it too early to say that I found my favorite book of the year? Okay, maybe it is, it’s only February and there are still so many books left to be read this year.
Before I get too far into this book review I want to set aside 2 disclaimers. The first one being a trigger warning which is the book I’m talking about does involved both physical and sexual abuse, I will not be talking about it much in the review but I wanted to let you know before you decide if this is a book you want to read. The second disclaimer is that this book is classified as a New Adult Romance novel. I will not be talking graphically about it but again something to think about before reading it.
And for those of you who are sitting here and thinking “EMMA! You’ve written two whole paragraphs without introducing book.” Well let me introduce it now, I read The Deal by Elle Kennedy. And let me tell you it was….
And now for the summary…
Hannah Wells is a college junior and a music major and preparing for the big Winter Showcase where she can win a scholarship that would help her and her family finically. Garrett Graham is also a college junior who is the star hockey player and the son of a famous hockey player and destine to go to the pros. When Garrett fails a huge ethics test that threatens the rest of his hockey season he starts brainstorming a way to pull up his grade. So, when he sees that Hannah aced the midterm he does everything in his power to get her to help him. Which is when a deal is struck between Garrett and Hannah, if she helps him study for his retake he’ll take her on a date to up her social status so that the star football player who she has a crush on will notice her.
From the beginning of the novel I felt a connection to the female main character, Hannah. She is shy and slightly closed off to finding love. As well as her sense of humor reminds me a little bit of myself. As for the male lead, Garrett, he is without a doubt a male character that I fell in love with. I thought when he found out about the skeletons in Hannah’s past he reacted in a sweet way and wanted to protect her from the pain that was still haunting her. He also had the kind of poke fun or teasing sense of humor about him that I love in guys. Much like Hannah, Garrett has some pretty real skeletons in his past. And I feel like these helped make them more realistic well rounded characters who readers can relate to or want to have inter-grained in their lives even if its just through reading about them. Or maybe I’m the only one who loved the characters that much.
In many ways this novel would probably fall under the “insta-love” category since the majority of the novel took place in about half of a college semester which on average is just under six weeks. But it didn’t feel too insta-y. It to me it felt realistic with the way people with a lot in common and strong chemistry would act around one another.
Which brings me to my next point which is that the novel as a whole ran at a perfect pace. There weren’t long extended periods between the more “action-y” moments but it wasn’t action, action, action, bam, bam, bam. There were perfectly spread out. Before this book I was hesitant about how I felt about the New Adult Romance genre because the only novel in that genre I had read was Fifty Shades of Grey and a small part of me was worried that the telling every moment of their day thing at Ana did in Fifty Shades was genre wide. I was happy to see I was wrong. It made me more willing to give this genre a chance with other novels (And I definitely will be reading the rest of the Off-campus series).
Something I adored about the novel is that when reading the characters dialouge it felt like I was listening to twenty-somethings talking instead of reading what an older author thought twenty-somethings would say. Elle Kennedy never used “slang” words in random places or in awkward connotations. One thing I noticed is that she did use a lot of pop culture references but they made sense to the characters. The only thing about some of the references is that it might date the book in a few years when One Direction (who broke up about a month after the book was published #FunFact) or Justin Bieber aren’t as well known.
One of the main complaints I saw online about this book is that to some readers felt it was very “anti-feministic”. And after seeing their reasoning in reviews I can see where they are coming from. But at the same time I didn’t go into this novel thinking that I was going to be reading some great feminist novel so I didn’t have those as a complaints. One of the instances they used as a complaint was that they felt how hard Garrett worked to get Hannah to tutored him was borderline stalkerish. In real life I would probably feel the same way but to me it was a device used in the novel to make the novel more interesting and propel the plot so I was able to overlook the creepiness of this characteristic.
My main complaint about the novel was that it had a troupe that I can’t stand in literature. I don’t want to go into too much detail on it here because I don’t want to give away spoilers but I will say it was one troupe that I can’t stand and have never been able to stand in movies, tv or books. But since it was such a small part of the novel as a whole I was able to over look it.
Like I said this may end up being one of my favorite books of the year and I ended up giving a rating of 4.95 starts out of 5. I would reccomend this book to anyone who is interested in New Adult Romance (or wants to venture into that genre) or anyone whose looking for a “can’t wipe your smile off your face while you read” novel. I wouldn’t recommend this book too someone who doesn’t read a lot of books with characters in their twenties as some of the moments might feel immature or over dramatic if you aren’t used to that age bracket.
Have you read The Deal? What did you think of the novel? Let me know in the comments.