Book Review + Giveaway: THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH by Lisa Brown Roberts

A quirky teen book blogger breaks all the dating rules in THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH!

Lisa Brown Roberts’ The Replacement Crush isn’t always strictly logical (despite Mr. Spock’s many attempts,) but this fun fall fling will definitely burrow its way into the hearts of romance lovers!

Vivian Galdi is a book blogger, the daughter of her small town’s bookstore owner, and a bit of a romance expert. Maybe that’s why she thought she could change “Jake The Snake” Fontaine from a womanizer into boyfriend material after he invited her for a few summer makeout sessions under the pier. But on the first day of school, Jake is already busy kissing someone else and pretending he’s never met Viv before.

Utterly crushed by rejection, Viv is even more freaked out when she finds herself almost immediately attracted to Dallas Lang, the new guy in town who’s helping out at the bookstore. She doesn’t want to rush into another relationship where she’ll just get crushed by a boy she likes too much for her own good, so Viv comes up with a plan with a little help from Star Trek: She’ll use Mr. Spock’s Vulcan logic and refuse to form an emotional connection. She makes a “Replacement Crush” list of boys who are safe to date; boys she finds generally nice and interesting, but with whom doesn’t feel any chemistry. However, Dallas quickly finds out about Viv’s mission thanks to her best friend Jaz (more on that later) and he’s out to change the rules!

The story is moved along wonderfully but the “zing” between Viv and Dallas, as well as their uncanny abilities to always catch each other in awkward moments. However, the story gets a bit frustrating because there are so many opportunities for them to just get together already and they don’t because of the protagonist’s stubborn mission. A few instances of rejection are expected with this premise, but it felt a little too drawn out, especially followed by longer sequences of the characters avoiding each other. Still, the flirtations that they shared were so fun!

As for secondary characters, we especially loved Toff, who is practically Viv’s brother– Their parents have been dating for half of their lives. He’s a surfer dude and a total ham who doesn’t always say the right thing, but always cares about Vivian’s heart and wellbeing. She also has two best friends, Amy and Jaz. Amy is shy and romantically starry-eyed in the same way as Viv, often playing the voice of reason against her friend’s mission. Jaz was very funny but also a bit hard to swallow, given that she has the world’s biggest mouth and enthusiastically spills all of Viv’s secrets. She sometimes felt like an information-spreading plot device at the cost of being a decent, realistic friend. The girl needed to be told off and we’re still a bit disappointed that it didn’t happen.

However, there’s only one irredeemable villain– Viv’s initial heartbreaker, Jake. We didn’t think we’d see much of him after the first couple chapters and really, we were okay with that. But in the last third or so of the book, Jake came back with a vengeance in a very stereotypical “angry, jilted jock” kind of way, introducing a sequence at a bonfire party that was by far our least favorite. It served a purpose plot-wise but felt cheap and just didn’t work emotionally. We’d rather Jake just stopped noticing Viv on day one and it stayed that way.

But as far as big gestures go, this book as an ultra-adorable all-star ending that will leave you smiling like crazy. Lisa Brown Roberts certainly knows how to capture the frenzy between two teens who unquestionably want to be together. And being the major geeks that we are, this story wins all the points for subtly stringing in Star Trek themes and references!

Our only big question is this: When is the Amy/Toff spin-off happening?! WE NEED IT!

RATING: 3.75 out of 5 stars (Or Crocs, by Viv’s scale!)

The Replacement Crush is on sale now. Buy it via Amazon!

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After book blogger Vivian Galdi’s longtime crush pretends their secret summer kissing sessions never happened, Vivian creates a list of safe crushes, determined to protect her heart.

But nerd-hot Dallas, the sweet new guy in town, sends the mission and Vivian’s zing meter into chaos. While designing software for the bookstore where Vivian works, Dallas wages a counter-mission.

Operation Replacement Crush is in full effect. And Dallas is determined to take her heart off the shelf.

By Molly

Molly is a proud Canadian who is currently attending university in Scotland. She loves to read, write, watch films, and talk about Sarah J. Maas books. If not snuggled up with a book, Molly can usually be found tapping at the dance studio, or writing yet another essay.

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