My Bad- Boy Summer by Ann Herrick
Publisher: Books We Love Ltd.
Publication Date: May 26th, 2016
Page Number: 151
Format Read: E-book (Review Copy)
* I was given a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
Will Nolan give up his bad-boy ways for Vija?
17-year-old Vija Skalbe wants to be an all-American girl—no matter how hard her parents try to impose their strict Latvian standards on her. She feels unsure of herself with one foot in each country.
Then Nolan, a folksinger, steals her heart at a coffeehouse. When Nolan stops at their table, it’s Vija’s friend, Caprice, who does all the talking. But it is Vija who gets his phone number—and later the back seat of his motorcycle. Soon she is cruising from one adventure to another, dizzy with joy, her new-found freedom and the excitement of being with the kind of guy who is a challenge.
However, when her father has a heart attack, Vija must take over running the family lawn-care business. She feels overwhelmed until sweet brainiac Joel volunteers to help. He shares the workload and lifts her spirits with his humor. But it is Nolan who fills her heart.
It doesn’t matter that Nolan wants everything his way. Or that he’s constantly eyeing other girls. Or that he can be pouty and punitive. Or that he says she’s seeing things all wrong. Until it does matter. But Vija’s in so deep. Will he change? Will she deal with Nolan’s controlling tactics, or is she too far under his spell?
As always, I’m going to be completely honest here because that’s what I’m here to do, review this book.
So given that, I just want to say that I think the title of the book and synopsis is severely misleading. I’m probably diving into a shady gray area here, because different people have different parameters for abuse, but that’s what I think Nolan was.
Nolan is the main character’s love interest for about half of the book. He’s called a “bad boy” but to me, he’s an abusive boyfriend.
He tells Vija how and what to eat, where to go and basically commands her around. He even tries to force Vija to have sex when she clearly says no and isn’t ready. I’m so glad that Vija stood up to him finally and said no.
The thing is though, Vija never sees anything wrong with the way Nolan treats her. Sure she gets a “flutter” in her stomach when he completely controls her, and she tries to talk to her best friend about it. And that’s another thing, Vija’s best friend was so concerned about Vija dating Nolan but then never listens when Vija tries to talk to her about her doubts about Nolan.
That all being said, I really like the old time feeling of the book, the setting being in the late 1950’s and the immigrant type family feel, my family being immigrants as well.
I loved Joel and the writing style was easy to read. The book is pretty short and I was able to read it in nearly one sitting.
The family dynamic was pretty sure but I was surprised at how Vija lied so effortlessly to her parents and how they believed her so easily.
And also, the problems I had with Nolan don’t affect my thoughts and feelings on the book at all obviously, it’s part of the character development and plot.
A summer contemporary with a relationship that made me really uncomfortable and intrigued to see what would happen next. I really enjoyed reading it and watching Vija grow throughout the book!