Thursday, June 9, 2016
Book Review: Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein
Author links: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Purchase links: Amazon - Book Depository
Description (from Goodreads):
When Harry Met Sally for YA romance readers. This opposites-attract love story is perfect for fans of Huntley Fitzpatrick, Stephanie Perkins, and Jenny Han.
June wants high school to end and real life to begin. Oliver is soaking up senior year’s glory days. They could have coasted through high school, knowing about—but not really knowing—each other.
Except that their moms have arranged for Oliver to drive June to school. Every. Single. Day.
Suddenly these two opposites are fighting about music, life . . . pretty much everything. But love is unpredictable. When promises—and hearts—get broken, Oliver and June must figure out what really matters. And then fight for it.
The number 1 reason for why I was VERY excited about this book was the fact that Jen Klein is a member of the Grey's Anatomy writers team. As you might know, Grey's Anatomy is one of my favorite shows EVER, so anything that a member of a team responsible for that show writes, I AM SO IN! Shuffle, Repeat ended up being just the type of YA contemporary read I needed at that moment in time - funny, cute and extremely well written (can you expect anything less from a Grey's Anatomy writer?)
June is waiting for high school to end so she can start her "real life". When her mother decides to move them to a new house, June has to options - either to take the bus in the mornings and wake up WAY TOO EARLY or to drive with Oliver, the son of June's mother's best friend. Knowing that the bus-thing won't work in long term, June decides to accept Oliver's offer to drive her.
Oliver loves high school and is sure the memories he makes there will stay with him for the rest of his life. When June declares that nothing that happens in high school really matters, Oliver is determined to prove June wrong. As a very competitive person, also June is sure that she can prove Oliver wrong. To make their bet a bit more interesting, they decide that whenever one of the proves a point, that person gets to add a song to a playlist they listen to while driving to school (they have VERY different tastes in music, so losing a wager is never good!). As they spend more time together they start to see each other as friends... and maybe as something more?
June is SUPER opinionated and continually insists that she does not really fit into the world of high school, a world inhabited by the likes of Oliver, who is popular and liked by everyone. As she starts to get more integrated into Oliver's world, it is quick to notice that maybe the problem never was that she did not fit in. Maybe the problem was the she never ever tried to fit in. I'm pretty sure some readers will think June is annoying, but I was able to find traits of myself from her, especially when I thought back to myself in high school. I think she is an interesting, flawed character and one that I had a really good time reading about.
Oliver is SO FREAKING DREAMY! He is popular, but does not really fit into that whole "popular guy who seems like an asshole" stereotype often found teen movies. He is funny, protective, kind of romantic, and willing to challenge June. The dialogue between June and Oliver is done so well, which I think is only a testament of the fact that Jen Klein is a television writer. For some reading tastes, Shuffle, Repeat might seem to lack description, but I really enjoyed the fact that it is more reliant on dialogue and on interactions between the characters.
While reading this one, especially the conversations between Oliver and June, I kept thinking this would make an awesome teen television drama (hello ABC, want to do an awesome show about this one? I would totally watch it!). The supporting characters and the relationship June has with her parents adds to the novel, but never really takes the focus away from the main relationship this novel focuses on - the relationship between Oliver and June. In addition to a lot of other good things, this novel includes one of the best 1st kiss scenes I've come across - SO SO SO SO SO HOT (and it involves tequila, just like a lot of kisses in Grey's Anatomy).
If you are looking for a quick-to-read, entertaining and romantic summer read, I DEFINITELY would like to recommend Shuffle, Repeat for you. And if you are a fan of Grey's Anatomy, pick this one up - you won't regret it!