Book Review: Love Me Never by Sara Wolf

by - 4:23:00 AM

Title: Love Me Never
Author: Sara Wolf
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Contemporary/ Romance
Release Date: 05 April 2016

From Goodreads: "Don’t love your enemy. Declare war on him.

Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to Buttcrack-of-Nowhere, Ohio, to help her mom escape a bad relationship. All the girls in her new school want one thing—Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter's never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he's never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face. Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.

The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.
The game board: East Summit High.
The reward: Something neither of them expected."

Contemporary YA has never really piqued my interest like other genres have. A lot of the books have to do with high school drama and boys and I have to admit, I got enough of that when I was in high school and I wasn't too keen on getting that in the books I read. But Love Me Never snuck up on me and took me hostage and I fell head over heels in love with it. I can't recall a contemporary genre book ever doing this to me but I am absolutely hooked, and I can't wait to share it with everyone I know!

Isis Blake hasn't fallen in love in over three years. Three years, nine weeks, and five days, not that she's counting or anything. Ever since Nameless did what he did, she's moved away to a town in Ohio to help her mother escape from a really bad relationship, put purple streaks in her hair, and lost a ton of weight. All Isis wants is to start over in this new town, forget what happened in Florida. And then Jack Hunter comes around and Isis has to punch him in the face. That punch begins a war between Isis and Jack and the outcome is something that neither of them had prepared for.

To say that I flew through Love Me Never would be an understatement. I started and finished this book in just a few short hours and I found myself hooked from page one. Isis is one of the best written characters I've ever read about in any YA book. She is incredible and I made multiple notes while reading about how sassy and funny she was and how much I genuinely loved her character. The writing was fantastic and despite my general disliking of split POV in books, it really worked for Love Me Never. A large majority of the book was in the point of view of Isis, but there were a few small parts where Jack cuts in and you get to see what he's thinking and feeling at certain important parts of the book. I enjoyed those small insights into his thoughts and it helped to get a better understanding of him as a person.

The character development throughout this book was very well done. Jack was pretty much the Ice Prince for a large majority of the book, but I think readers really got to see beneath the icy wall he has built up around him towards the end. He certainly got me smiling and happy at the Halloween party! With Isis, she was already the queen of sass and just an all around amazing character, but I think that she really opened up towards the end and allowed herself to feel things that she had previously thought she didn't deserve. She spent the entire book allowing the words of her previous love to warp her image of herself and it absolutely broke my heart to hear her think that she was fat and ugly and didn't deserve to be kissed or loved. While it is incredibly sad, I think it can be extremely relateable for a lot of readers, both male and female. A lot of people allow the negative words of others to change the way they see themselves, and it's difficult to change that way of thinking after years of hearing such awful things. It certainly sends a message that words really do hurt, and it's a powerful message that needs to be spread all over.

One of my favorite parts of this book (besides Isis, of course) was the writing. Sara Wolf really has a way of creating and keeping the flow of words throughout the entire book. I was not only in love with the characters that she created, but also the world that she built and how she wrote about it. Her words absolutely captured me from the very first page and kept me interested until the last word. There was just enough build up throughout as you learn bits and pieces of Jack and his past to keep you guessing and wanting to read more and more until you've uncovered his secrets. The way the story unraveled was so much fun to follow and I found myself immediately picking up the sequel, Forget Me Always, because I was so deep into the world of Isis and Jack that I had to find out what happened next!

I also really appreciated that the author touched on the issue of emotional and physical abuse in relationships. Isis was involved with Nameless, who really treated her terribly and caused some serious issues for her long after she left. Her mother was also in an incredibly physically abusive relationship that left her with crippling PTSD. Abusive relationships are something that seems to be a touchy topic to write about, but I think it's a good issue to bring to light, especially in YA books. It provides young readers with the knowledge of what an abusive (physical, mental, emotional, etc.) relationship is and allows them to be aware of the warning signs and take care of themselves. I really want to commend Sara Wolf on bringing it to light and writing about this issue in such an honest way.

Whether you like contemporary books or have been on the fence about picking one up, I highly encourage you to try Love Me Never. It will give you something completely different from the normal contemporary genre reads and you will absolutely fall in love with Isis and Jack, but maybe mostly Isis. It's funny, heartbreaking, intense, and just an all around fantastic read. Once you finish, you'll be dying to find out what happens next!

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