Her wicked revenge, or his wicked heart... Hazel McCallister loves her life. Perfect grades. Perfect best friend. Perfect boyfriend. Until her perfect boyfriend cheats on her with her perfect best friend. Now Hazel’s in free fall—until her best friend’s brother, Felix, gives her the perfect idea. Reclaim her power by taking revenge on her cheating ex. Felix James loves his life. Casual relationships. Loads of surfing. He’s as drama-free as they come. But he can’t stand by when his sister steals her best friend’s boyfriend, and the dude insists it was Hazel’s fault. So Felix vows to help turn Hazel into a girl her ex can’t resist—so then she can break his heart. With an alliance in place, Hazel’s revenge is all but assured. But with each piece of payback, she feels a stronger attraction to Felix, even though revenge will turn her into a girl Felix could never be with. And soon Hazel has to make an impossible choice: revenge...or Felix, the boy who’s stolen her heart. WARNING! This book contains betrayal, revenge, and that most tempting vice of all, the bad boy you know you can't have.
Not Okay CupidFeatured
What works: I'm a huge fan of Kling's. NOT OKAY CUPID is a lighter change from her edgier PAINT MY BODY RED. Fast-paced sweet romance that has a 80s movie feel going for it. Think modern SIXTEEN CANDLES.
I also love how readers see both points of view. We see not only Hazel's reaction to the betrayal of her boyfriend(seriously, what so-called best friend would suck face with her friend's boyfriend RIGHT before Valentine's Day? I hated Kimmy right from the start.) We also see inside the mind of Felix who isn't as shallow as Hazel and others think.
Kuddos for the banter that had me giggling more than a few times. The text and email exchanges also give readers insight into Hazel and Felix's growing relationship.
Loved Hazel's mother. Even with her quirkiness with following the latest health fads? She seems very loving and concerned about Hazel's plight.
There's also an awkward scene when Hazel does get an invite to the Valentine's Dance. I only thought what would happen if no-one got invited? But this scene and her reaction work really well.
Fast-past sweet romance that has a perfect plan of revenge turn on it's head. Fun banter exchanges and with an ending reminiscent of the Taylor Swift song YOU BELONG TO ME meets SIXTEEN CANDLES.
2. Light, sweet romance
On the scale of 1 to 5, how scalding is the romance/chemistry? I would put it at a mediocre 2. I've seen much better written ones, but when comparing Felix/Hazel to Jay/Hazel, Felix/Hazel is a darn 4 while Jay/Hazel is somewhere between 0 and "in my dreams, he's the perfect guy for Hazel." Still, it's nice to see the friendship side of the endgame pair and they do have their share of sweet, tender moments. And moments of denial.
Told from two perspectives, the story takes the very familiar "pretend to be in a fake relationship to make ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend jealous" route and brings it into a high school setting. The conflict is always fun to watch, and Hazel and Felix struggle hard to figure out what they are feeling for one another.
The writing style is simple enough to read and follow along. It doesn't use many flowery language, and it doesn't dive very deeply and dig into characterization of the main characters. There's a lot of telling, especially when it comes to Jay's character. Felix's character is a bit better, leaning towards "showing," but there are still some moments of straightforwardness. I must also point out a few grammatical errors I saw here and there, but they don't interrupt the flow of the story.
The ending, of course, is a sweet HEA. It's a good ending, and it'll leave the readers satisfied with the book. Unfortunately, Felix isn't in a... Oh, I forget myself. Spoilers, as usual. (I must not tell any spoilers.)
In conclusion, NOT OKAY CUPID is a delightful, light romance for any readers wanting a story to distract them from their day. The conflict is hopelessly cheesy, but it'll bring a smile to anyone's face. It's a much happier story than Kling's other book, PAINT MY BODY RED.
Rating: Three out of Five