Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a YA contemporary romance by Lisa Brown Roberts along with YA Bound Book Tours. HOW (not) TO FALL IN LOVE is a compassionate look at a rich girl whose life has gone bad, real quick.
Seventeen-year-old Darcy Covington doesn’t know the difference between a pawn shop and a thrift shop. Even her dog eats gourmet food, so she’s totally unprepared when her car is repossessed from the parking lot of her elite private school. Turns out her father, a semi-famous motivational speaker, has skipped town, abandoning his family while his business collapses. Even David Letterman comes up with ten reasons why her father won’t ever return home.
Desperate to sell her expensive jewelry for much-needed cash, Darcy discovers that her dad’s brother runs a funky thrift shop on a street full of eccentric characters, including a coffee shop owner named Liz and one supremely hot fix-it guy named Lucas.
Darcy finds some solace hanging out with her uncle and Lucas in the thrift shop and working in Liz’s coffee shop, while the rest of her life falls apart. The time she spends with the uber hot Lucas helps takes her mind off her family’s troubles, even though she’s sure he’s only nice to her because he works for her uncle, especially when she meets the cover girl beauty she thinks he’s dating.
Can Darcy find the courage she needs to adapt to the necessary changes brought about by her family’s drastically reduced lifestyle? And will she open her eyes to the amazing realization that Lucas wants much more than friendship from her?
How about a tiny taste?
“Truth, Darcy,” Lucas said. “How’s everything going? For real.”
I stumbled and he put out a hand to steady me, which didn’t help since the sudden warmth of his touch made me even more klutzy.
“I’m okay,” I said, once I’d figured how to walk again.
“You’re lying,” he said conversationally, like he’d asked me about the weather. He tossed his long dark hair out of his eyes and I swallowed, trying to maintain my composure. “You’re worried about something. More than usual, I mean.”
My lips parted in surprise. “How can you tell?”
He shrugged. “I just can.” I gazed down at Toby, whose tail wagged at warp speed. “It might help to talk about it,” Lucas said, his voice soft.
I glanced at him, startled at the intensity I saw in his eyes. I turned away, pretending to be interested in the jumble of model airplane kits in the window of the run-down hobby store.
His hand brushed mine, lacing our fingers briefly, but before I could catch my breath, he released my hand and took hold of Toby’s leash. He cleared his throat. “That’s what friends are for, right?”
Friends. Right. Of course. I let go of the leash, letting Lucas take over. “Yeah,” I said, my voice a little wobbly. We walked in silence and I wondered if I’d hallucinated the whole almost-held-my-hand thing.
“If you don’t tell me what’s up, I’ll just ask Charlie.”
I took a deep breath. Inhale calm. Exhale obsessive need to analyze potential hand-holding event.
Darcy is a girl in a serious bind. Her car is repossessed, her mother is distraught and her father, uber-positive celebrity life coach and motivational speaker Ty Covington, is gone. AWOL. Radio silent. The first few days are terrifying, but that doesn’t even compare to the terror of realization when his postcards begin to arrive: Dad my never return.
The family assets are frozen while Darcy’s father’s company Harvest Industries refunds thousands of tickets for upcoming Harvest shows on his speaking schedule. Without Ty Covington, Harvest Industries is…well, bankrupt. See, HE is the product, his endless hope and uplifting platitudes, and without him to share his good will with the people who attend his event, Darcy’s family is flat-busted financially.
Thing is, Darcy doesn’t care about the money. She sees how her mother drinks herself to sleep every night, and the ugliness of the media who speculate that her father took off with Harvest’s money to an island in the sun. Darcy wants her dad back.
In the meantime, however, Darcy bucks up and gets a job. She reconnects with her Uncle Charlie–her dad’s brother who’d been locked out of her life a long time ago–and learns more about relationships that MEAN SOMETHING. Plus, she meets Lucas, the college engineering student who fixes all the gadgets that arrive in Charlie’s thrift store.
Lucas has a broken family, too, but he’s past the initial grief and is able to give Darcy some perspective. They develop a bit of a tender romance, though this is secondary to Darcy’s life missions: 1. Survive 2. Get her mother sober 3. Find dad.
See, she thinks she’s found a pattern to the random postcards that arrive every few weeks. They originate in areas near Stonehenge replicas and Henge tourists stops all along America. As she plots the course, she begins to suspect where he may be, at a given time.
Darcy wants to find her dad more than anything. But hunting him down could nearly cost her everything.
It’s a heart-felt story with excellent pacing and realistic plot. Darcy moves from mouse to lioness as she claws her way through the morass of bankruptcy, estate sales, eviction and starting over. Throughout Darcy hears echoes of her dad’s many talks–the words she always felt were hollow and barren–and realizes that the hope in them is what she always found lacking. Now, when all Darcy only has hope to her name, she embraces the power of these positive thoughts and changes her life into something that works–even if it’s a far cry from her previously posh life. The life lessons abound, but they aren’t preachy. The book deals with alcoholism in a frank way, and touches upon mental illness near the end. The romance is wholly innocent, which was a source of humor in the book. Especially when Darcy’s mom attempts what she believes is a “belated” sex talk.
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About the Author:
Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life’s painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.
Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, several four-legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.