Sep 8, 2015

ARC Review: I Love Him, I Love Him Not by Ella Martin


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Title: I Love Him, I Love Him Not (Westgate Prep, #2)
Author: Ella Martin
Publisher: CreateSpace
Rating: 3/5 Stars
eBook, 247 Pages 
Publication Date: September 29th, 2015
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Summary: Talia Nicoletti’s life has been turned upside down–and that’s probably an understatement. Her mother goes off on a business trip… and comes back married! Her estranged father wants to be less estranged. And her best friend Jake DeSantos suddenly has a new confidante who Talia doesn’t want to like but kind of does anyway. Talia has to unravel her tangled up emotions to figure out what she really wants. Does she want to accept her father back in her life? Can she trust her new-stepfather? There’s too much hitting Talia at once, and she’s not ready to deal with any of it. The one person she can always turn to is Jake, and he’s being secretive and isn’t exactly available. And that hurts her more than she thought possible. Talia hates that she’s jealous of the new girl in Jake’s life, especially since she can’t decide if she loves him … or if she loves him not.
I received a digital ARC copy of this book from author Ella Martin (who is totally sweetheart, by the way) in exchange for an honest review. I hadn't read the first book in the Westgate Prep series, Will The Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?, so I was a bit weary and unsure of what to expect. Since I hadn't read the first book, I wasn't sure if there would be any important plot clues that I hadn't known about. But with this book, that isn't the case! This book is entirely easy to understand even if you haven't read the first book in the series. Brief details from the previous book are spoken about - not with too much rambling - so you get a feel of what went on prior to this book's starting and you definitely don't feel left in the dark at all. 

As for the story itself, it was definitely very interesting. Talia is a teen girl who lives alone with her divorced mother after some tough stuff went down a few years prior, giving her father the boot in her life and leaving him out of the picture. She has a great group of friends that seems to mirror my own group of friends, so I found that very relatable and enjoyable. One of Talia's absolute best friends is her guy friend, Jake, who seems to know her better than she knows herself.

As I'm sure you could predict, Talia and Jake get closer and closer each day. And when she finally starts to get some feelings for him, instead of embracing them, Talia panics. If there's anything she learned from her parents' failed marriage, it's that love is just a sick, sick joke, and it's only temporary.

So instead of telling Jake this, she does all she can to push him away. Which makes her (and him) absolutely miserable, even though he seems to have another girl eagerly waiting to fill Talia's void in ways she couldn't. 

This was an enjoyable read for sure. Ella Martin is not only a great friend, but also an excellent author, and I'm definitely considering going back and getting the first book in this series and reading it just to get more detail on the events I had missed and only been briefed on in the second book. Talia is a very entertaining and headstrong character and it was interesting to be in her head and see how she viewed the world - and in a lot of ways, we are very alike.

The one thing that frustrated me about this book was that I saw the ending coming about halfway through. I picked up on some of the clues way too quickly and it became a race to the end to see if I was right (and I was). Even though the ending was definitely very heartwarming and made me feel good, I felt a tinge of disappointment at not being surprised and at being able to figure it out so early in the story. But maybe that's the way it was supposed to be - everyone except Talia was supposed to be in the know. *shrugs* It didn't really ruin the story for me at all, so that's a plus.

All in all, I Love Him, I Love Him Not was a heartwarming story of love and loss, finding yourself and where you belong, and just dealing with the daily problems that seemingly all of us teenagers have to endure - high school, drama, relationships, jealousy, and various other curveballs. I love Ella Martin as an author and as a person so I definitely hope to be reading more of her work in the future! :-)

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