Friday, November 09, 2018

Love Me, Love Me Not, by S. M. Koz

After years of abuse and neglect from her mother, seventeen year-old Hailey is now in the foster care system, but she has a hard time staying in any placement for long because her jealous boyfriend Chase keeps sabotaging them.  But on her most recent placement with a wealthy and generous family, she may not need Chase’s meddling – she’s fallen hard for her sexy foster brother Brad and gotten embroiled in an illicit tryst with him.

Finally offered an opportunity to graduate, maybe even go to college and make a future for herself, will she risk throwing it all away for a guy?  Well, you can pretty much can guess what comes next and how it turns out!

Occasional moments of implausible events aside, this was an entertaining read.  Nothing too heavy and the pace was brisk.  I was disturbed however by the premise of the romance.  Koz works hard to convince us that the boy isn’t exploiting Hailey, but there’s so many levels of inappropriateness taking place here (Hailey's emotional vulnerability, the class differences, the fact that Brad's family is providing shelter and material well-being, etc.).  And the damage done, while depicted, is played down.  The romance was simply too creepy for me to take as the blissful True Love thing Koz wanted to show it as.

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