Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review: The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

Title: The Hook Up (Game On #1)
Author: Kristen Callihan
Publisher: Self
Released Date: September 8, 2014
Acquired Via:

The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all… No falling in love.

Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right?

Too bad he’s committed to making her break every rule…

Football has been good to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there’s one problem: she's shut him down. Completely.

That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she’s truly hooked. It's a good thing Drew knows all about winning.

All’s fair in love and football…Game on.

My Review

When I first heard that Kristen Callihan was writing a new series, I was excited, because I love her Darkest London series. When I found out it was New Adult, I was apprehensive because New Adult is extremely hit or miss with me. I shouldn't have worried; The Hook Up was everything I could want in a New Adult.

It started just like any other NA; two kids in college. It also reminded me a lot of both Easy and All Lined Up, but I think that was because it was set at a southern university and involved football. But by about 25% through I could tell that The Hook Up was going to be a lot different than any other NA I had read.

First off, neither of the characters is broken. They are both strong, smart and determined. They are both also able to function as normal adults in society apart from each other. Their relationship is also not toxic or unhealthy. It was so refreshing. Anna and Drew find something in each other that makes each other stronger. And, Anna was never a pushover with Drew. She also didn't take any shit from anyone, including his friends or fans or her best friend's (douchy) boyfriend, and eventually befriended Drew's friends.

The dual point of views was great. I loved seeing Anna through Drew's eyes and vice versa. I probably would have disliked Drew at the beginning without seeing his point of view, because of Anna's strong dislike and judgment of him.

One of my favorite things about Anna was that she was chubby as a teenager, and it was still a point of insecurity. She was still curvy, and Drew (and a lot of other guys) were completely attracted to her. As a former heavy girl, it was nice to see it in a heroine. Her insecurity over her body and wanting to stay out of the spotlight just made her more real to me and more relatable.

In fact, pretty much everything in the book was relatable. Probably one of the reasons that I liked it so much. I could understand the hook up between Anna and Drew. Almost everyone in college had at least one fling, even if it was just making out and not having sex.

Speaking of the sex, I do wish that Callihan would have drawn out the anticipation a little longer. But, I understand that the whole point of the book was that after the sex Drew would want Anna, but Anna would only want him to remain a hook up. The sex scenes were great. Some were steamy, some were sweet. While there are a lot of sex scenes in the book, I do feel like the focus is about their relationship rather than just sex. They have pretty normal beginning relationship issues which, again, just makes them all the more relatable.

I also like that Callihan didn't throw in a huge traumatic event like rape, recent death of parents, domestic abuse, etc. There were some parental issues but they weren't recent, and other than that there were only some exes and a little bit of insecurity on both of their sides as baggage. Because there wasn't a huge outside conflict, the book was very character driven. It's a good thing I loved both Anna and Drew. Now I can't wait to read about Gray Grayson in The Friend Zone!

- 4/5 Stars -

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | iTunes
Smashwords | All Romance

To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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