Book Review,  Reviews

Anything to Have You – Paige Harbison

“I heard her before I saw her. Music blasted from inside her car despite the fact that she was in a quiet neighbourhood. I climbed in, and she turned down the volume. 

‘So fucking cold outside,’ Brooke said as I buckled my seat belt. 
‘It’s winter, it’s supposed to be cold outside.’ 
She rolled her eyes and turned around in my driveway. ‘Im moving to, like, California or something. I can’t stand this. Okay, so,’ she said. ‘Justin continues to to notice me, despite my employment of slutty tank tops.'” 

Natalie and Brooke are and have always been best friends. Senior year is meant to be the best time of their life, but quiet studious Natalie’s life is over shadowed by the party Brooke makes her go to on valentines day weekend. Despite not usually being up for parties, and never drinking, Natalie gets wasted and forgets the entire thing. Waking up the next day in a bed with Aiden, Brooke’s boyfriend, the two of them decide things are best kept on the down low. But things between Natalie and brook suddenly get strange and for them senior year will not just be a year of partying and getting into good colleges, it’ll be a year of home truths, true friendship and struggles which make you who you are. 

Anything to Have You starts out like your average college girl high school drama with a love triangle thrown in. I was honestly not feeling it until half way through the book then something clicked and I couldn’t put it down. A tale of true friendship told by true to life teenage voices is quite refreshing in places and sometimes just what you need to escape the monotony of your own life.
The story is honestly quite predictable. I knew exactly what was going to happen for the most part, especially with Aiden and Natalie. There were other things I didn’t see coming, like Brooke’s escapades, but mostly I knew where it was headed. However I wouldn’t say this was a bad thing, I enjoyed seeing how it got to where it was going and I liked the characters. 

Told in split perspective but told in blocks, rather than each chapter alternating between two voices, I loved the way this book was written. For the most part you get Natalie telling the story, then a snippet of Brooke, back to Natalie for a little while and back to Brooke for longer. I loved the points the author choose to split the narratives and it worked so well to fill in the gaps of the story. It was like she knew when you would have enough of one character and needed a bit of a change of pace. The voices were very realistic and unique too and I loved Brooke’s inability to go more than a few sentences without swearing, but in a fun and very true way, I was the same as an 18 yr old! Other characters gave you things to think about but you mainly just got to know Aiden, Reed and Natalie’s Dad, they were all good but for the most part Reed was the most interesting; you could see why he had the effect he had on people and didn’t blend in at all. Brooke’s parents were present but her mum was a bitch and I couldn’t stand her, it kinda explained why Brooke was the way she was a little too. 

Things were a bit slow going with the reveals of this book and it was obvious to me what was going on. But that could possibly be to do with my life experience. I felt for the characters by the end of the book and thought they were great. If contemporary high school drama is your kind of thing you’ll love this story and it is worth a read. Paige Harrison’s previous book New Girl was fantastic and unfortunately this doesn’t beat it for me but I have definitely not been put off trying more by her. 
Anything to Have You was published on February 7th by MiraInk. My copy was sent to me form the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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