The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts
For the longest time, I thought this book was going to need a replacement crush instead of a Replacement Crush. I’ve had a bit of a weird relationship with this book. When I found this book back in June, I was jumping for joy. I was in the process of my meltdown into everything nerd-hot. I was still fangirling over the latest Marvel movie, screaming for the newest addition of Leah Rae Miller’s Nerd book series, and geeking out over all the additions of geeky and nerdy heros in YA literature: Graham from Geek’s Guide, Xander from All the Feels (even though I had not read it yet), and a bunch more. Nerd hot men were taking over the YA world.
Which is why I was so excited for this book to come out. However, I’m so picky about what books I actually buy, that I wanted to wait for this book, so I have one of those nice look insides from Amazon, since I did have a couple of bad experiences (i.e. All the Feels again). And what I read in the first chapter and the start of the second chapter didn’t excite me. I had a feeling this book was going to live up to The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller, which is the Holy Grail of nerd-hot books for me. And it wasn’t, so I put it on the back burner for a while.
I’m so extremely glad I moved it up to the front of the stove, because this book was
actually extremely good. I loved it. It’s not Summer I Became A Nerd, but it’s getting up there and definitely has become a favorite for me.
The premise is, yes, geeky but also pretty adorable. Book blogger Vivian – who focuses on cheesy romances (woot woot!) – is ready for some romance in her own life. After a summer of making out with surfer hottie, Jake, she goes back into school ready to officially be her girl. However, after some apparent gross miscommunication, Jake is telling Viv that they were never truly a thing and he’s with someone else. Eeks! So Viv decides she’s done with feeling and emotions and she’s going full-on Spock – complete with his tiny pointy ears. She’s going to find a Replacement Crush – a guy she whose logic she finds attractive and has absolutely no zing, so she doesn’t get hurt again. However, when new nerd-hot Dallas shows up, and continues to set off her zing meter, how will she manage to keep her inner Spock under control?
This book was adorable. It was adorable, cheesy goodness, and it was exactly what I needed. I didn’t know how much I was craving a cute contemp until I read this. There was much more to it than fluff, though, and I really appreciated that, since I really just expected it to be a cute little light piece.
I loved the characterization in this book. I loved Viv, I loved her friend group, I loved Dallas, I loved the book group and the little old romance ladies, and I absolutely loved her mom. Each one of these characters was fully developed. Yes, they might have started off as tropes (Toff the dumb surfer – I mean, his name was Toff, what the heck do you expect?) but most these characters evolved along the way (especially Toff). I also loved how people realized how badly something light could hurt someone and when the end came to the replacement crush missions, people realized the consequences and made amends for them. I could tell each character apart, and it was nice to be able to do that in a contemp, when many characters may just fall to background noise.
I also loved the sly and subtle female empowerment in this book. Jaz, Amy, and Viv had a nice friendship group. It felt realistic, and they never tore each other down when they really could have. They looked out for each other, and they were there when they needed it. Instead of Jaz berating Viv for falling for Jake when they all knew what would happen, Jaz lifted Viv up. Also, later on, the “other girl” in a sense became a much more detailed character, and instead of cutting her down, Viv and the author really showed the human point of view and there were much more to a person than a stereotype. I very much
appreciated it, since I’m noticing just how badly stereotypes that we grow up learning in fiction affect our everyday lives.
The romance was adorable. It progressed naturally, and even though Viv’s zing started flying pretty instantly with Dallas, it didn’t fall into the instalove category. Instead, it made sense for these two, and the pacing was just right for Viv who had been burnt by it before. I found myself hardcore feeling the feels and rooting for these two to just get their acts together and get with it.
The idea was an interesting little addition to the contemporary romance genre. I know the whole rebound trope exists, but this was definitely a nice little original twist on how to make it a bit more interesting. The geeky, romance book blogging characterization was also super fun, and since I’m clearly into both of them, it made me connect with the book a bit more as well.
Roberts also has a really great writing style. It was super readable and easy to read, and I seriously stayed up till one in the morning to finish this book – something I haven’t done
in a really long time. I just wanted my little baby turtles to get their shells together. There were so many funny lines that had me mentally lol-ing and actually lol-ing (something I rarely do). The whole mother-murder-writer thing had me giggles, and Viv would get pretty sassy at times, which was great. Whenever they brought up the cheesy romance cliches – I’m looking at you, Toff – I was dying as well.
Overall, this is an adorable contemporary romance, and you’ll love it even if you’re not into the whole nerd-hot, geeky trend of YA. I’ve only seen the new Star Trek movies, so trust me, you don’t need to be a Star Trek lover to get into this. You’ll enjoy great characters, a cute plot, and an adorable ship. This is definitely a favorite, and I totally recommend! Bring on all the Princesses for this one!
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