It Had to Be You by Lizzy Charles
Received an ARC from Entangled Publishing, LLC via Netgalley for a fair review.
Publish date: May 15, 2017
Sometimes I tell myself, fake it till you make it. What we all know from possible experience or even from any movie from the 90’s that doesn’t work out well when feelings are involved.
It Had to be You has all the ingredients that make that feel-good romantic teen story:
-super popular guy
-inexperienced girl and popular guy have a spectacular meet cute
-inexperienced girl inspires popular guy to be a better guy
-super popular guy sweeps inexperienced girl off her feet
-miscommunication causes a rift between the two
-they fix their problems at the end
With all the cliché elements we are given the same tried story with just enough spin to get you through. While the characters were sweet I found the two main characters to be a little too level headed, too conscious of their actions. Now while Edelweiss was pretty much raised around adults, she had access to tv & Netflix, the girl couldn’t have been that naïve and James seemed to have his ranging hormones just a little too much in check. In all honesty, their relationship was sweet, but probably not that realistic considering their surroundings, ages, and overall situation. They handled themselves a little too maturely for what would be expected from a pair of confused teens.
The cliché ex gf bully seemed a little…well cliché. And while it’s not exactly unrealistic, it just seemed too unoriginal, especially paired with the whole fake bf/gf turns into real feelings trope. I think the struggles that Edelweiss could have been a little more creative. With that being said, teen bullying is entirely plausible, but in my experience can be a lot more vicious than just a few silly pranks. Girls can be very mean, especially when their feelings are involved and they are bat shit crazy.
What I did appreciate was that there was a little diversity in the students going to the private school. It wasn’t just a bunch of white privileged kids. There was a little depth given to the students that could have been played on a little more. Using the heritages or backgrounds that were mentioned could have been woven into the story to give a little more flavor.
So, like I said, cliché and slightly predictable. I feel like I’ve read this story or seen the movie version several times already and could have used a little bit more flare to get my attention. Still it was cute, and made heart clench up at least a tiny bit.