Audience: YA Contemporary + Romance
Length: 328 pages
Author: Ben Philippe
Publisher: Balzer + Bay
Release Date: October 13th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
Henri “Halti” Haltiwanger can charm just about anyone. He is a star debater and popular student at the prestigious FATE academy, the dutiful first-generation Haitian son, and the trusted dog walker for his wealthy New York City neighbors. But his easy smiles mask a burning ambition to attend his dream college, Columbia University.
There is only one person who seems immune to Henri’s charms: his “intense” classmate and neighbor Corinne Troy. When she uncovers Henri’s less-than-honest dog-walking scheme, she blackmails him into helping her change her image at school. Henri agrees, seeing a potential upside for himself.
Soon what started as a mutual hustle turns into something more surprising than either of them ever bargained for. . . .
This is a sharply funny and insightful novel about the countless hustles we have to keep from doing the hardest thing: being ourselves.
This was so CUTE. I read this via book and audio version and both were great ways to take it all in.
I found myself laughing and smiling so much throughout. These characters were just lovable and felt realistically high school without the eye roll level drama. I felt the plight of trying to get into the college of your dreams and figuring out what the next step is after getting that diploma. I love that this wasn’t only a romance and added in elements of family, friendship, and more. Exploring the pressure of many topics in a light and sincere way.
BUT, the romance was too precious which is always a win. Henri and Cori were a MATCH. They hit it off beautifully and they clearly had chemistry. I liked the way they supported one another and were able to enjoy each other’s company.
The writing had great flow and storytelling. I loved the main characters, but the side characters/family members shown in their own way too. For a shorter read I thought everyone was incredibly devloped and made this book lovable.
Did I mention there’s also a lot of dogs? BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL ADORABLE. I don’t know how they didn’t steal the show (okay, maybe they did a little?).
Overall audience notes:
- Young adult contemporary + romance
- Language: some storng
- Romance: kisses/make-outs; brief innuendo