I’m back today with another blog tour review – this time for Sandy Hall’s The Shortest Distance Between Love & Hate. This was a nice quick read that I enjoyed overall because who doesn’t love a good enemies-to-lover romance?
A teen girl starting at a new school is torn between long-held loyalties and a bright new love in this irresistible new YA contemporary romance from the author of A Little Something Different.
Paisley is really looking forward to college. She is ready to take charge of her destiny and embrace some new experiences! Finding a hot guy to make out with at her first ever college party seems like a great start…until her best friend informs her that mystery guy is actually Carter Schmitt, Paisley’s sworn enemy who basically ruined their lives in middle school.
So much for new people and exciting new experiences. Oh well. Paisley will just pretend he doesn’t exist. Of course that would be easier if Carter, AKA her super-hot-sworn-enemy, hadn’t ended up in three of her classes AND the same work study. Is it too late to rethink this college thing?
Sandy Hall, author of A Little Something Different and A Prom to Remember, is heading back to college in this sweet and quirky contemporary romance.
I’m always looking for quick and fun contemporary romance reads just because they’re usually really light-hearted and something I can get through even if I haven’t been reading a lot. I also love a good enemies-to-lover trope so you can probably see why I wanted to read Hall’s latest.
Let me start by saying that I can absolutely see some readers not liking Carter and Paisley together as I myself had some mixed feelings on them at times. They have moments where they are mean to each other and downright immature. And while a lot of us will agree that this is an essential part of an enemies-to-lover romance, in a contemporary setting it just seems… off at times. I tend to read enemies-to-lovers mostly in fantasy books where the two are against each other on the sides of some competition or something which I think suits the trope a bit better. Because when you’re faced with it in a contemporary setting, it’s hard – at least for me – not to see the behaviors as abusive or toxic.
With that said, the character growth is done really well in my opinion. Yes, Carter and Paisley are mean to each other and sit there pranking each other. But as things start to spiral and have real consequences, they begin to realize that they’re being immature and risking too much over things in the past that don’t really matter much anymore. While there were times where I honestly was taken aback at how they treated each other, I did really enjoy seeing the two of them mature and realize that there were better ways for them to be handling the situation.
The characters themselves were really likable. Paisley was kind of a lot at times, but I loved her regardless. Man, can she hold a grudge. Carter has grown a lot since he was a mean middle school kid and he’s honestly kind of a sweetheart which I loved. There are also some side characters that are really great and well-rounded despite not having a huge role. One of Paisley’s best friends, Henry, especially stuck out to me.
Overall, The Shortest Distance Between Love and Hate was a fun and enjoyable read for me. I can definitely see some readers not liking Paisley and Carter together but I thought they were cute – when they weren’t sabotaging each other, of course.
Who would I recommend to? Readers looking for a quick contemporary romance, perhaps for a day on the beach or who really like enemies-to-lovers romances.
Who should stay away? People looking for something super thought-provoking or people who are picky about their romantic pairings as I can definitely see a lot of people not liking Carter and Paisley together.
I’m a teen librarian from New Jersey where I was born and raised. I have a BA in Communication and a Master of Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. When I’m not writing, or teen librarian-ing, I enjoy reading, slot machines, marathoning TV shows, and long scrolls through Tumblr. A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT is my first novel.