Oh man. The feels. It's all about the feels in this book.
(I've actually live tweeted while I was reading the book, so if you're interested in my reactions, you can follow the hashtag, #KaireadsNoLoveAllowed.)
Title: No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista
Release Date: April 19th 2016
Published by: Swoon Reads
Source: Won from the author's contest
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
It's all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.
Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!
It's the classic "two people who belong in two different worlds, brought about by certain circumstances" kind of love story but by the Book Gods, it worked and then some.
And it all started with ice cold water. Didi was having a bad day and glasses of cold water got dumped in a girl at the right place and the right time, she was fired, and she has met Mr. Golden Boy, and was given an opportunity for an unforgettable summer with no strings (or emotions) attached. That is, until feelings get in the way.
As I've mentioned in my live tweet, I was skeptical, maybe a little bit apprehensive with Didi's character (I blame the summary of the book for this!) but the first few pages changed my impression of her, what she did in those first . Unpredictable, yes. Funny and honest, yes. Creative person with a a complicated soul, yes. And to use Caleb's description of her: smart, perceptive with a hint of spice for flavor. Dare I use the word 'fierce'? Not really, but Didi is spontaneous and she views the world in colors, giving off a vibrant feel each time and I just can't help but be drawn and like that part of her. I love the way Kate framed her personality, that feeling where something more hides beneath the portraits, paints and pills.
For someone who's supposedly mastered the art of being a jerk, Caleb is a little bit less than that and more sensitive and attentive over Didi, which endeared him to me a lot. Seriously, a lot of what he does, may they be on purpose or just by instinct, makes me swoon. As a reader, I always have a smile on my face picturing Caleb inside my head. Described as someone who has everything (a.k.a. money and extraordinary good looks), Caleb's life has been maped out for him, pretty much been ruined by love, and I understand why he's trying to get away from it. Ah, but the feeling of smugness at that moment when the very thing he's avoiding happened was priceless.
I just found myself enjoying everything about this book, immersing myself in the story in a flash, relishing every moment of my reading experience. Didi and Caleb were mesmerizing enough to read of with the combination of their banter and perpetual teasing, the subtle cues and hints that they're slowly but surely falling for each other, but the supporting characters added such flair to the story that made it ten times better. Raise your hand if you love Nathan! He's like the fairy godmother Didi needed, and he's this bright ball of sunshine, all smiles and kindness and was just basically one top notch specimen that entertained me so much and made me so curious about him at the same time, that I found myself wishing that he gets his own story. (And we are getting one, thank goodness!) Him, Natasha and Preston are proof that they might be rich but they aren't a bunch of spoiled brats, with them providing good support for Caleb and their interactions with Didi, which more of then than not reduces me to giggles.
See, Kate piles fluff and feelings on top of the other until you feel warm and fuzzy and then she cuts you off with a conflict that on hindsight is something you know will happen, but the feels just overcomes you when you're at that part. A bunch of bated breaths and a whole lot of bracing (myself) around 30 pages before the end because at that point, I was eager to know how it was going to end, rooting for them and needing a happy ending. I was totally swept along with the story and I absolutely love the touch of reality that Kate added, of things not being "always like the movies", and being faced with an illness that puts uncertainty not just in their relationship in the long run but both Didi and Caleb's life as well. I didn't expect Caleb to be that emotional nor his decision on how to face it. Ah, love. It just does things to you. And I don't know how Kate managed to weave such an important theme into the story and make such an integral part click and make the story whole.
Overall, I can say that I really loved this book and I recommend it to everyone who loves a feel good read! It's got such a simple premise but the way it was written just made me breeze through it. It made me laugh, it made me smile, it made me feel frustrated, it made me sad and ultimately it made me feel such fluffy, romantic feelings. Ultimately, No Love Allowed made me fall in love with YA contemporary romance stories again.
Content (plot, story flow, character):
I flipped to the last page and I'm like "where are the rest?!" because all that was left were acknowledgements. I needed more! Also, this might just be me nitpicking a bit, but using and inserting the word "f*cking" in quite a few sentences got on my nerves a little because sometimes it felt unnecessary. Still a REALLY GOOD book though!
Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!
Perfect visual for what the story is about!
Perfect visual for what the story is about!