I apologize in advance for sharing a part of my non-existent love story.
TITLE: Love Hacked
BY: Penny Reid
SERIES: Knitting in the Cit #3
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
PUBLICATION: July 1st 2019 by Cipher-Naught
I’ve never been in love with a ‘boy‘ until Alexander Greene.
I know the one-sentence review above is not at all a proper review but it says a lot, isn’t it? “Love Hacked” is third in a series called “Knitting in the City” by my now-favorite Romance Contemporary author. It’s fascinating to admit that I once DNF’ed this book, rated the first two books in the series 3 stars and dropped the series for a while. I wasn’t enjoying it. But I always knew, in my head, that I should reread it and try the next installment in the series. My heart wasn’t feeling the stories but my head knew my heart is the problem because Penny Reid’s books has lots of elements that I love in a contemporary romance.
Thank God, I listened to my Head. (You should too, because our hearts can be easily deceived but our heads know facts and facts-based decisions are rarely wrong.)
The concept of Love Hacked is dearest to me. It features Sandra, a psychologist/therapist, who often ends up making her dates cry on first dates. The highlight of her date nights then become hearing the voice of Alex, the waiter in her favorite restaurant who’s been serving her for two years. But Alex doesn’t fit Sandra’s type and besides he’s way younger than she is. This is why the concept dear to me. I do believe in love, age doesn’t matter. Once upon a time, I, myself, have been in love with a guy younger than me though I don’t consider him a boy. We were in college that time only three years apart. We didn’t end up dating (because I don’t want a relationship) but we’re both crushing on each other. I enjoyed being friends with him and swoon whenever he says, “Lili, in love, age doesn’t matter.” Because he thought our age is the reason why I didn’t want to commit. He’s so wrong. Anyway, we’re still friends.
Why on earth am I telling the story of my non-existent love life???
Back to the story. Alex, genius Alex,is really a boy and in more than few ways, it shows. He shows signs of young man’s behaviour, especially sexually. He even did things that I wouldn’t call normal in normal circumstances but there is nothing normal in Alex and Sandra’s circumstance. There’s also a certain innocence in him and in his actions that you would never take his actions against him. True, some of his actions can be called problematic (but not too problematic) by other people, you would understand him, you would understand where he’s coming from, his history (which is really sad) and why he’s keeping so much from Sandra even when they started ‘seeing’ each other. The reveals in his character are really sad and his current circumstance is too complicated so I do get him. That’s why I like Alex, and even though I called him a boy, I don’t really mean that in a bad way, but only because compared to Sandra, he is a boy.
Sandra, on the other hand, is not a girl. She’s a woman and she knows how to act one. That’s why Alex’ behaviour didn’t appear as problematic at all because everything was handled and challenged in the story. Thanks to Sandra’s character. Sandra isn’t just a great psychiatrist, she is a great person. She’s someone who wouldn’t back out just because things seem off. She’s someone who would know the why’s and respect Alex if he can’t provide the answers to the why’s but knows how to persist when needed. She knows what she’s doing.
“You’ve shown me joy where before I saw only despair. You’ve taught me hope where before I knew only hopelessness. I may be broken, but all my pieces are yours. And I’ll work every day of my life to deserve you.”-Penny Reid (Love Hacked)
The progression of the plot is also well-executed. It’s fast-paced, that’s for sure, but there’s also a trace of slow-ish progression into it. It’s because, I believe every aspect, every area in Sandra and Alex’ relationship was thoroughly analyzed and explained and given a closure so that the reader wouldn’t feel as if the characters did wrong. Or the relationship is wrong. Instead, we get a love story that we know everything about, a love story we undoubtedly know deserves a happy ending.
The wrap-up or the way the conflict of the story was resolved is amazing. I loved it, especially because it wasn’t just resolved by the two main characters, but everyone in the series. It’s so good to see those side characters, really. I just love them. Penny Reid writes the quirkiest characters in fictionlandia. Also, this shows Alex’ character growth in the story. He was a loner and so ending the story’s conflict that way is perfect. Penny Reid knows what she’s doing. To be honest, I believe Penny Reid is one of the smartest authors I’ve read. Have you read her “Dear Professor” series? No? Well, read it now.
I loved every part of Love Hacked dearly and enjoyed reading it immensely and of course, I highly recommend this to Romance lovers. But I couldn’t give this a 5-star rating because of my new reading rule. I will only rate a book 5 stars if and only when it makes it to my list of all-time favorite books. And besides, Love Hacked has little flaws too. If you noticed, I didn’t call Sandra a psychiatrist even though in her words in the book, she said she is. If you read the book, you’ll know why I can’t call her a psychiatrist but only a therapist.
Other Books in the Series:
#1 Neanderthal Seeks Human – 3.5 ✨
#2 Friends Without Benefits – 3 ✨
#4 Beauty and Mustache – 4 ✨
#5 Happily Ever Ninja – Unread
#6 Dating-ish – 4.5 ✨ ( My Review )
This is the first review I’ve written this year (and decade) and I’m quite proud about it. I feel enthusiastic writing book reviews again and that’s a good sign.
Have you read this book? What do you think of it? Any recommendation in this genre? Let’s chat.