Published by Albert Whitman Teen on September 1, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Social Issues, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
Rose is the wild girl nobody really knows. Chase is haunted by his past. Both are self-proclaimed "disappointments," attracted to each other enough to let down their defenses. When Rose's strict, adoptive parents forbid the relationship it only makes things more intense. But Chase can't hide from his own personal demons, and Rose has secrets of her own. After they're wrenched apart, a cryptic email arrives in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve, beginning a desperate pursuit and a look back over their tumultuous romance. Will they find each other before the night is over, or will they be torn apart forever?
In some ways I’m proud that I’ve developed the power to move on from a book when it’s just not working for me, but DNFing is always sad. This one was a little easier for me, because I never connected with the characters, but like any breakup there’s some hurt feelings.
This past year or so I’ve read a lot of YA Contemporary, which I didn’t think was my thing, only it turns out it is my thing (just like YA Dystopian or YA Horror or YA Thrillers are). I like the cute and fluffy romances, but I also like the darker toned, more realistic books. The Opposite of Love definitely falls into that category as both main characters, Chase and Rose, are dealing with less than perfect lives. I might have warmed up to Chase if I’d read more of the book, and the author does a fairly realistic portrayal of how young men look at women, but I just prefer to pretend that all guys are secretly not womanizing horndogs despite vast evidence to the contrary.
I just couldn’t connect with the characters or the writing style. I dnfed at page 30 or so, which is a little premature for me (I usually give at least 50 pages), but I just didn’t want to read anymore. Maybe Rose has good reason for hating her adoptive parents, but I didn’t care enough to find out. I found her behavior to be pretty bratty, and the whole sleeping on the porch and Chase just happening to come by early in the morning to snuggle with her was weird.
Although I thought the very beginning was promising, it just didn’t pan out for me. I think there is an audience for this book, teens that will be able to readily identify with Chase and Rose, but it’s not for me. Maybe the negative portrayal of adopted parents soured me early on, because my nephews are adopted and there’s many adopted members of my extended family. I found the tone of the book to be depressing and a lot more realistic that I necessarily was in the mood for at the time. I’m not writing this author off, and would give her a future try.