A Love Hate Thing

Inkyard. Feb. 2020. 496p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781335016041.
Gr 9 Up–Nandy lives in Pacific Hills, a rich neighborhood close to Lindenwood, a less affluent and notoriously tough neighborhood. Nandy’s closest childhood friend, Trice, is from Lindenwood and would visit with his grandfather who worked as a landscaper for Nandy’s family. But Nandy and Trice lost touch when they were seven years old. Ten years have passed and Trice is suddenly living with Nandy’s family in Pacific Hills. Convinced that he is a dangerous criminal who will at the very least ruin her summer plans, Nandy shuns Trice and excludes him at every opportunity. While Trice struggles with his tragic past, he develops friendships with some of the people in Nandy’s social group. The mounting tension between Nandy and Trice results in an argument in which Nandy finally learns the truth about Trice’s past. A renewed friendship follows and allows Nandy and Trice to indulge their romantic desires for each other. Told in the alternating, indistinguishable voices of the two teens, the plot moves slowly through almost 500 pages. Supporting characters are one dimensional and do not add depth to the story. The lessons about tolerance and friendship are almost entirely lost among the overly stereotyped situations and dialogue.
VERDICT This book may find an audience in the author’s following on Wattpad but it is otherwise an additional purchase.

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