Rating: 4 Stars
Full Disclosure: The author, Tara Reed, and I became friends on Goodreads a few months ago when discussing our mutual interest in history, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I. I did not realize that this book which was on my to-read list was hers at first and last week she sent me a message saying it was free on Amazon for a short time, so I grabbed it all quick-like, because I love free books. It's even better when they are GOOD free books! This did not impact my review in any way.
So onto 'Love Him Not'.
When I was a kid I LOOOOOOVED the Choose Your Own Adventure books. I read through them like crazy and read some of my favorites over and over. What kid didn't love exploring volcanoes or inadvertently becoming a Russian spy?
So, this is like that...well, in no way. You don't get to be a spy or anything like that, but you get to become the main character, Elle Masters (like L Masters? like Love Masters? Or am I just the one weirdo who reads too much into names and sounds and how they fit together?) Anyway. You are Elle and you get to navigate a brand new relationship with a charming (sometimes) and handsome (always) man named Nick Wright (Right?! Mr. Right?!) who you meet on a night out with your gal pals.
As the cover shows, there are sixty possible endings for your relationship. When the author says they are mostly unhappy endings, she is not joking. 58 of the 60 are unhappy, monsoon-of-tears worthy, infuriating endings. Some are blind-siding (like the cheating ones, him not you) and some are totally justified. I had a lot of fun meandering my way through the messes that I got myself into, as well as finding the two happy endings fairly early on, after I'd only gone through about half of the not-so-happy ones. I won't spoil what those endings are or how you get there, but trust me, they exist!
I contemplated putting the book down after that, because all those unhappy endings prior were not so much fun - especially when you invest a lot of time, the story keeps moving along, you think you are heading toward marriage and then BOOM, you break up. But I really wanted to see how the rest of the endings went so I plugged on and found most of them. After I did find the two happy endings, I went back to the beginning and started just making the worst decision in each instance - in those times, the relationship ends REALLY quickly.
I liked the concept of navigating a relationship in this way because it is realistic. You will recognize yourself or your friends in the main character, as well as in her two friends who both help and hinder your relationship with Nick. It is safe to say that most, if not all, of these situations have presented themselves to you or someone you know at some point in your dating life. You have had to decide if you will be the calm, level-headed, logical person, or the psycho who freaks out all the time. We've all been there. It was fun to be able to make those ridiculous choices without it having any real-world impact - like snooping through his email.
The only complaint I have here is the format; reading it on my Kindle was tough sometimes - not impossible, but tough. You might get yourself into a situation that ends in a big flaming ball of fire as your relationship crashes an burns, and want to back up to make a different choice. But you might have forgotten which section you previously came from, and end up in completely in the wrong spot. To aid with this, the author offers a little cheat sheet on her website that you can print off to check the sections as you go, so you know where you have been. I would recommend that.
Overall this was a fun, light-hearted read - as much as it can be for a book that is mostly about breaking up!