I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
You're a disaster. You fascinate me.
Title: Why I Loathe Sterling Lane
Author: Ingrid Paulson
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Date Published: June 6, 2017
Per her 537 rules, Harper Campbell keeps her life tidy—academically and socially. But the moment Sterling Lane transfers into her tiny boarding school, her twin brother gets swept up in Sterling’s pranks and schemes and nearly gets expelled. Harper knows it’s Sterling’s fault, and to protect her brother, she vows to take him down. As she exposes his endless school violations, he keeps striking back, framing her for his own infractions. Worst of all, he’s charmed the administration into thinking he’s harmless, and only Harper sees him for the troublemaker he absolutely is.
As she breaks rule after precious rule in her battle of wits against Sterling and tension between them hits a boiling point, she’s horrified to discover that perhaps the two of them aren’t so different. And maybe she doesn't entirely hate him after all. Teaming up with Sterling to save her brother might be the only way to keep from breaking the most important rule—protecting Cole.
Why I Loathe Sterling Lane changed my outlook on YA contemporaries. I loved the plot of this book. It had the classic bad boy and good girl in it but it wasn’t cliche. My favorite thing was how each character had a backstory that was woven in throughout the book.
I will be honest, I didn’t like Harper at the beginning. As the book progressed, I grew to like her more and more. The character development of Harper and Sterling was truly phenomenal. Even the side characters like Kendall, Parker, and Cole had character development. It was completely unexpected as Why I Loathe Sterling Lane is a standalone novel. For example, in the beginning, I could not see Harper and Sterling as a couple. At all. My opinion completely changed as the characters changed.
I found Harper’s loyalty to Cole to be very admirable. I think it was the backbone of the story and it really made the story great. Overall, I think this is a really fun, quick, and worthwhile read!
Buy Why I Loathe Sterling Lane:
1. What is your favorite scene in Why I Loathe Sterling Lane?
I love this question! When I sat down to write this book, I knew it was going to be a radical relationship evolution, turning love to hate. But I’d never written something like this so I spent forever agonizing over the turning point in their dynamic. And then it just happened. During the scene in the headmaster’s office, when Sterling and Harper have their first big collision, even in the first draft of that scene, I felt the sudden sizzle between them. That’s when they both realize they’ve grossly underestimated (and misunderstood) their nemesis. Even eight million drafts later, there’s one line (I DO NOT want to date you) that still makes me giggle.
2. What is your favorite book(s)?
At the risk of sounding cliché, my favorite will always be Pride and Prejudice. That book was really the first romance novel I read, but it also had all the key components I love: banter, tension, and dramatic character development. Judy Blume was the author who made me truly fall in love with books.
3. What is your favorite candy?
Anything chocolate. I've never understood the point of fruit-based desert!
4. What is your favorite thing about writing?
Surprising myself. Sometimes the characters do the craziest things and I just don’t see it coming. When I’ve completed a draft of something, I always let it sit for a couple of weeks before re-reading, and often when I pick it up again, there are lines or scenes that surprise or delight me.
5. What is the hardest part about writing?
The hardest part about writing is revising. I always say I use the math part of my brain when digging into a draft, particularly when working with an editor, they point out inconsistencies, errors, or just flat-out cheesy scenes that make you cringe with embarrassment. It’s also hard to cut certain lines or scenes that no longer fit after a revision. I have a word document of just junk—scenes or lines I loved and had to cut but then always hope they’ll fit in a different book (which never happens).
6. What book would you recommend to fans of Why I Loathe Sterling Lane?
SL has been compared to THE HATING GAME enough times that I picked up a copy and completely loved it. So that's an easy recommendation.
by L.J. Smith
Goodreads 2017: 81/100