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Inspiring: A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison

A beautiful and inspiring debut to kick off 2020!

by Whitney D. Grandison
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication Date: January 7th 2020 by Inkyard Press
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Rating: ★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
When they’re stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love.

When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the wealthy coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares and the feeling of not belonging. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the rough streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything, much less how the rest of his life will play out.

Golden girl Nandy Smith has spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in when it comes to her hometown Pacific Hills where image is everything. After learning that her parents are taking in a troubled teen boy, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames.

Now with Trice living under the same roof, the wall between their bedrooms feels as thin as the line between love and hate. Beneath the angst, their growing attraction won’t be denied. Through time, Trice brings Nandy out of her shell, and Nandy attempts to melt the ice that’s taken Trice’s heart and being. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.
This debut was a wonderful roller-coaster! As most of you know, enemies-to-lovers is my favorite trope in the world, so it's no surprise I wanted to snatch this one up.

I didn't look the same. I didn't act the same. I wasn't the same. And I didn't care.

Nandy Smith is ready for her summer to begin. Nothing could ruin her summer, until her parents bring in a boy from Lindenwood, the bad and shady part of town. Once she finds out he's the same boy who would spend summers with her, she feels angry at him for abandoning her.

Tyson Trice has lost everything dear to him. He doesn't have a choice but to go with the family his grandfather used to work for during the summer at Pacific Hills. He can't believe he's back at Nandy's house and looking at her after ten years. She's still as bossy and with even more spitfire than before.

Right from the start, I was in love with Trice. He's so much more than were he came from. What made his character shine to me from the beginning was when he schooled Nandy on her African roots and how she should really learn about her history, including her name. Something he said spoke volumes to me:

"You can meet a Mexican or Asian who'll speak English and know all of our pop culture, but still have their hands in their roots. Us, we've been here for centuries and little by little our touch with Africa has been lost."

Nandy's character was a tough pill to swallow at the beginning. I'm glad her character slowly evolved during the story, but at the beginning, I couldn't stand her. She was so stuck up, a brat, and always judging Trice for everything. A lot of the choices Nandy made got on my nerves, but when I read the acknowledgments and found out the inspiration for this world was The O.C., it made a whole lot of sense.

If I were keeping score on the bizarre, twisted teen drama I'd fallen into, I had to take a guess and say I'd just met the extra-bitchy best friend to Nandy's main mean-girl character.

In a way, this story was filled with a lot of stereotypes, but at the same time, it wasn't. I loved seeing the diversity of characters and all the representations. Each one brought their own uniqueness to the story.

Aside from Trice, the friendships shone brighter than the sun in this novel. My favorites have to be Travis and Shayne. These two were amazing towards Trice. They didn't judge at all and were there for Trice 100%. The loyalty Trice's new friends had was a breath of fresh air in this world where only your image and money matters.

We were all different with different hopes and dreams, but at the end of the day, we had each other's backs and tried to relate and understand each other. Nothing beat friendships like this.

Family was another major factor in this novel that I believe was a wonderful addition. Nandy's family was simply amazing. Maxine and Parker Smith were parents who truly cared for everyone. I especially loved how Maxine didn't get wrapped up in the Pacific Hills drama with other women. Instead, she chose to work and also provide for her family, which got her some backlash from the other women.

My mother was the anomaly, choosing to work and get her hands dirty rather than sitting back and playing some clich√© role while my father worked. My mother inspired me. 

Overall, A Love Hate Thing was an inspiring debut, filled with friendships, family, a dose of reality, and acceptance.

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