Book Review – Hate To Love You by Elise Alden

by Maryse on June 8, 2014 · 8 comments

in My Book Reviews

Hate to Love You
Here’s another book that gave me a recent blurb-jolt, and of course, a boat load of guilt for being excited at that turmoil it promised. lol

The truth?

I slept with my sister’s fiancé. Hot and sweaty, all night long in a room so dark he couldn’t tell I wasn’t her.

The lie?

Said fiancé is the father of my child.

GAH!!! WHAT!????

And then I received some awesome recommendations that just cinched it for me!

Jody: I just finished ‘Hate to Love You.’ Loved it! It was a first time I have stayed up until 3am reading in a long time. Didn’t want to put it down.”

Mary: i just read hate to love you. soo good.

Emma says: I loved, loved , loved ,,,,,Hate To Love You !

Cheryl: Just finished Hate to Love You. It was so much more than I expected. It was steamy, frustrating, and gave me the angst I was looking for.

Amy: Hate to Love You – that one moved up on my list. I can’t be the only one who really has a hard time with certain, um, “situations” in real life but loves the drama of it all in a book. Seriously, my moral compass is just so wrong when it comes to reading…whatever, I admit it and embrace it. :P

Maryse: Amy… you’re not alone. Right there with ya!!! rolleyes *shakes head* annnnnd… *giggles with glee*.

Yep. I love ‘em bad!! And it delivered quite nicely!

Mind you, I pictured it going a a bit differently than it did. As messy as it was (and as much as I cringed in the beginning), I expected an even crazier and more “soap-ish” feeling than that, throughout. But it actually had a kind of… eloquent feel to it, even in all of the… er…. distasteful actions (that’s putting it mildly ;) ).

My elation had drained away. I wanted to recapture it but it was no use. I felt like a monster, my ugliness exposed to the world and to myself.

I loved being in her head because there was real personal growth (amidst the chaos of her life choices), and I appreciate this story even more for it.

“F@&k the past. It’s the future I’m going to change.”

Good attitude! :D

I love the direction it took. And believe me, at times I wondered how the heck she’d get out of it all, and finally find peace. When it came to Paisley, it was always one step forward, three steps back. She couldn’t seem to catch a break, but considering her notoriously bad choices, I couldn’t see it going any other way.

I grasped my forehead.

What the f@&k had I just done?

Snowball effect, and all that. ;)

So what’s it about?

It’s a sweet (and sometimes dark) story about injustice, horrific choices, devastating lies, and sometimes, even more devastating truths. Sure, the truth can set you free… but in Paisley’s case, it seemed to be from one “prison” to another.

“Black sheep” Paisley, raised in an uber-strict catholic family with her “perfect” older sister Caroline, appears, at first to be struggling against the usual “unfairness” of how family treats each other. Quick sidenote: I believe this is a “British” book (taking place in the UK), and I’ve found that many of ‘em take on this similar theme. That of the horrifically “evil” perfect sister (that only the “other” sister truly sees, and all of the poop that ensues).

Anyway, despite Paisley’s bad-girl demeanor, and irritatingly obvious attempts at pissing everyone off (you know… constantly making bad decisions and running her mouth, making it even worse), we soon realize that many of her choices were compelled by her need to escape a very dark truth (and I mean dark). Her attempts at running away as a young teen. Her life on the street. Her addictions. Her “reputation”. Her need to act out… it all comes from not just a lack of support, but a total lack of love. Her family? Just utter… UGH!!!!!! It didn’t take me long to realize that they were the biggest part of the problem. Now I’m not trying to make excuses for her, but… well. You’ll see.

However that said, her awful choices as a teen, continue into her life as a new adult, and she continues to pile on a few more bad decisions. And I mean bad! And then these things snowball right into her full-on adulthood (which is where the bulk of the story takes place).

Paisley runs away again, but this time for the better. To make something of herself, to grow into the “deserving person” she actually is, and away from all those that have slowly destroyed her. And she comes back SO much better for it. But real-life forces her to face the consequences of her past, and we get to go along for the ride.

And what a ride it is!

After all, it has a bit of everything. That dark angsty truth, the whole “we know who’s really bad in all of this” but we have to live with her as the “bad one“. The pining for someone that you can’t have… and then maybe can have, if only just… (ahhhhhhh that sweeeeeetness) and then having it ripped from us and shattered into a million pieces.

I couldn’t think of how to put the brakes on and take it back. I felt like crying and I hated myself for it. Gone from James’s face was the kindness from the bridal suite and in its place was revulsion; friendship had been substituted with enmity. There was nothing beautiful about me now…

The gasp-worthy actions that just kept getting worse (and BOY DID I GASP)!!! And the extreme fall-out.  And then the attempt at trying to put it alllll back together (believe me it wasn’t easy, this one). Oh and did I mention a certain steamy scene? One that had me reading in slow-motion, vs. skimming it (which is what I find myself doing lately with other *ahem* scenes). ;) *fans self* This one felt soooooo wrong and soooooo private, and sooooooo *oooooooph!!*

I really enjoyed it! Maybe not unputtdownable, for me, but one that I absolutely wanted to finish (and finished quickly). I’m so glad I read it! Sure, a few times I was all….. “Whaaaaaa? How plausible is this?” and “No way!” but you know what? The author managed to tie up the loose ends, and I found myself believing the reasoning (and the truth) of it all.

So while I didn’t fall in love obsessively over the guy (which can really influence my rating and “love” for a book as a whole), I absolutely recommend this as a good, entertaining, fulfilling, well-rounded, “tumultuous-but-better-than-that” read. The “bigger picture” is what counts here. It’s not really a “romance” even though the potential love story is the bulk of it. But first, there’s all of this stuff that we need to work through (vs. indulging us in extreme romance and romance-angst). But no matter, I’ll remember this one forever! Good stuff, great writing and lots of emotional action. And it has an epilogue that made me grin. :)

4 stars!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer June 8, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Thanks, Maryse! Your reviews are always spot-on! I started this one this morning.

Maryse June 8, 2014 at 12:45 PM

YAY! Let me know what you think of it, Jennifer! :D

Amy June 8, 2014 at 1:19 PM

You nailed it without giving anything away. :)

I didn’t care for Paisley at first, but I grew to really like her as she matured and acknowledged how destructive her decisions were to not only her but the others that were affected. Oh my, that was a rough road to travel with her!

Maryse June 8, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Agreed!!! At first I thought she was despicable and I wasn’t sure how much I’d connect to this ’cause of her (and her sister – ugh!)… but OH MY how it developed into such an intricate story. Right down to every detail. Her sister, her parents… all of it.

Fabi June 8, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Your review just sold me on it. I wasn’t sure about this one but now it sounds like it’s going to be next. Thanks!

Cheryl June 8, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Great review!! I didn’t like Paisley until I understood why she acted the way she did; although it doesn’t mean I agreed with everything she did. I agree the writing was great and not what I was expecting from the blurb!

Sarah June 9, 2014 at 3:42 AM

I loved this book! Paisley was, well just young and stupid but as the book went on and she grew up and took responsibility for her actions and the truth came out I understood more about why she did the things she did and symphathised with her in the end. The only bad thing was that it came to a finish too soon! Can’t wait to read more from this author! Thanks for finding another great book Maryse xx

Carol June 9, 2014 at 3:03 PM

This book is brilliant. I loved Paisley she is witty, intelligent and a fucked up teenager, but she comes through it. I specially love when stories are set in the uk as most authors of romantic stories seem to be American, hey not that they can’t tell a story,. Specially love This Man and Unsticky.

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