Published by Inkyard Press on January 7, 2020
Genres: Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult Fiction
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Thanks so much to Justine Sha for inviting me to take part in Harlequin Trade Publishing’s Winter 2020 Blog Tour for Inkyard Press. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on A LOVE HATE THING by Whitney D. Grandison.
Whitney D. Grandison’s emotional debut, A Love Hate Thing, first caught my eye because of its title and that gorgeous cover. The promise of my favorite romantic trope, hate to love, called to me like a siren. What I got, however, was so much more than just a love-hate story. A Love Hate Thing is just as much a coming of age story as it is a love story, and it’s also a story about second chances and making the most of them.
I fell in love with the protagonist Tyson Trice, who goes by Trice, as soon as we were introduced to him. He’s a young man who comes across as vulnerable but yet also tough as nails. A tragic event has left Trice without parents and recovering from a gunshot wound. In hopes that he’ll be able to eventually heal and move forward from this tragedy, Trice has been sent to live with old family friends who happen to live in a safer and more affluent part of town. Trice knows he doesn’t fit in, but all he’s really focused on at this point is trying to cope with what happened and get his life back on track, which starts with summer school in his new neighborhood. Trice is such a sweetheart that it’s just impossible not to love him and want the best for him. What I liked the most about Trice is that he’s determined to stay true to himself. He has no interest in trying to fit whatever mold the “in” crowd at his new school thinks he should strive for. I always love a good underdog so watching Trice navigate his way through these privileged and elitist types is totally my cup of tea.
Not so easy to love, however, is his counterpart, Nandy Smith. I’ll be honest and say up front that I did not like Nandy at all when the story first opened. Nandy’s family is who Trice ends up moving in with, and as soon as Nandy hears the news, she starts acting like a brat. She’s considered a big shot at her school and is obsessed with maintaining her golden girl image. She is not about to let some homeless boy from the wrong side of the tracks wreck her summer or damage her reputation. From the first moment Trice enters her home, Nandy is rude and obnoxious, to the point where even her little brother tells her she needs to back off and stop acting like a jerk. I didn’t start to warm up to Nandy until she started to warm up to Trice and actually get to know him. Once she began to show tremendous growth and development as a character, I started to love her too.
The changing dynamic between Trice and Nandy was what really sold me on this story. There’s history between them that accounts for some of Nandy’s early behavior and I loved learning about that and then watching their relationship evolve from there, especially as they are caught between their two worlds. Can Trice fully let go of his past and embrace the second chance he has been given? Can Nandy let go of her obsession with reputation and just be herself and be there for Trice?
A Love Hate Thing is an emotional roller coaster filled with heartwarming moments as well as its fair share of tearjerker moments. If a story about family, belonging, love, loss, and ultimately finding a way to move forward sounds like your kind of read, give Whitney D. Grandison’s A Love Hate Thing a chance.
A fantastic enemies to lovers romance about an It girl whose world is upended when a boy from the past moves into her house after tragedy strikes. For fans of Ibi Zoboi’s Pride, Mary H. K. Choi and Samira Ahmed. Wattpad author Whitney D. Grandison’s traditional publishing debut.
When they’re stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love
When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the affluent coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares, and the total feeling of not belonging in the posh suburb. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the mean streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything. He doesn’t even care how the rest of his life will play out.
In Pacific Hills, image is everything. Something that, as the resident golden girl, Nandy Smith knows all too well. She’s spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in. After learning that her parents are taking in a former childhood friend, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames. It’s the start of summer vacation and the last thing Nandy needs is some juvenile delinquent from the ’Wood crashing into her world.
Stuck together in close quarters, Trice and Nandy are in for some long summer nights. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.