Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, College Romance, Hockey Romance
Series: The Callahans #2
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Source: Valentine PR
Jake Callahan. Prince of the popular crowd.
My mortal enemy.
Gorgeous. All the girls want him.
Quarterback. All the boys want to be his friend. He’s the most popular boy in the senior class.
And he hates me. Or so I thought.
What I mistook for hatred turns out to be…interest. There’s that thin line, right? It makes me crazy. I can’t stand it. Attraction, chemistry, whatever it is, I also can’t resist it.
And neither can he.
Together, we make no sense. The odds are against us. His friends definitely don’t approve. I’m not a part of their crowd. Not one of the cool kids. I don’t fit in, or so they say.
But that doesn’t stop him from falling for me. And it won’t stop me from fighting for him.
Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, but it doesn’t influence my opinion of the book nor the contents of this review in any way.
Review includes light spoilers.
I’ve been reading Monica Murphy on and off for about five years now. I’ve enjoyed several of her books… and others have fallen a bit flat for me. Including this one, Falling for Her. I had the hardest time with this book and almost DNF’d, except I try not to do that with ARCs. But I do seem to be in the minority for this book, and I’m glad that other people were able to enjoy it. It’s a spinoff of the One Week Girlfriend books, which I loved!! Hence the crushing disappointment here.
Falling for Her follows Jake Callahan and Hannah Walsh are supposedly enemies and hate each other. but somehow start dating and fall in lurve. (Okay I’m being a *bit* cynical, I’ll admit it.) Jake is the high school quarterback, and Hannah is an artist, and they come from very different social circles. Let me tell you: They’re not enemies. This is not an enemies-to-lovers book. Despite all the promo pointing that direction.
… I honestly don’t know what to say here. First of all, it took me FOREVER to figure out they were in high school. It’s definitely not a young adult book, but finally, I sussed out that it does, indeed, take place in high school. There really wasn’t a plot?? Like Jake asked Hannah to wear his jersey to a game, she said no. Then a few days later, they’re both at a party, she puts a band-aid on him and then they’re flirting over Snapchat. So the plot was him sneaking over to her house at night for hours while her mom’s at the graveyard shift, and then Jake’s friends being dicks.
”Maybe I’d even kiss that mouth.
Bet she’d tell me to go to hell if I tried.”
Jake himself was not really all that likable. He was a complete entitled ass in the beginning, and not in that loveable-asshole-kinda-way that I tend to enjoy from my books. He was just mean and had an egotistical complex about him and his friends being “better.” He talks about a girl being in *not smart* classes, then says he shouldn’t say that because “she clearly has some sort of learning disability. Or she’s just plain dumb and doesn’t pay attention” which does not fly. He spends most of the beginning talking about how his friends are assholes and then says that it’s okay though because he’s also an asshole. Then he suddenly changes when they fall in love and he’s all googly-eyed and sweet towards Hannah. Which the end, I’ll admit, wasn’t bad to read once he completely flipped personalities. He never redeemed himself for me, although I did enjoy Hannah as a heroine.
The pop-culture references were endless, too. Ms. Murphy doesn’t typically write YA, and it was obvious she wanted to connect with the innumerous references to Snapchat, Hannah’s beloved Birkenstocks (that she just loves to wear with a cute pair of socks), Starbucks orders, a Hamilton references, and Jane the Virgin on Netflix. LOL.
Jake’s whole issue is that he feels like the dumb jock who’ll only get into a good college because of his football skills. But this struck very false because his dad is a freaking retired NFL player, as well as his coach. Soooooo this just didn’t ring true to me. Speaking of the parents, they played a very weird role in the book. His parents got two POV chapters? And it was just like the mom and dad chatting about the kids, going over things we already covered, and it felt very stilted and awkward and unnecessary. The parents are the main characters from One Week Girlfriend, so I guess I get what she was trying to do there, but unfortunately, it didn’t work.
“I look forward to proving to you that you matter to me.” I can’t help the butterflies that suddenly break free in my stomach. Lord help me, I’m in big, big trouble.
Not to continue to be negative (but to continue…), a lot of background issues and baggage were established, and nothing happened. No conversations about Hannah internalizing how her mom’s boyfriends used to treat her, or anything related to either of their problems. They just won the Homecoming game and fell in love. (Also, can we talk about how ridiculous the whole Eli thing was? I’m sorry, but high school sports just ain’t like that man.)
Finally… the mental health thing. Total miss. This book does not hold up. It wasn’t a major plot device, but it just… wasn’t good.
Overall, this book was not for me. There was little-to-no character development in this one, and it was held together on stereotypes and football infighting. I really doubt I’d have finished the book if this wasn’t an ARC. It felt like the New Adult knock-off version of Abbi Glines’s Field Party series, and definitely not in a good way. I’m all for New Adult high school books (hello Paper Princess series by Erin Watt!!), but the fact that I was almost 30% through before I finally confirmed this didn’t take place in college? icky. Disappointed in this installment by Ms. Murphy, as I have enjoyed her books in the past.