Title: Lola Carlyle’s 12-Step Romance
Author: Danielle Younge-Ullman
Release Date: May 5
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Entangled Publishing, LLC on NetGalley (A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.)
Check this book out on Goodreads.
Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend, Sydney, calls to rave about her stay at a posh Malibu rehab and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, she knows what she has to do.Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.
Lola arrives at Sunrise Rehab intent solely on finding Wade, saving him from himself, and—naturally—making him fall in love with her…only to discover she’s actually expected to be an addict. And get treatment. And talk about her issues with her parents, and with herself. Plus she has insane roommates, and an irritatingly attractive mentor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at every turn.
Oh, and Sydney? She’s gone.
Turns out, once her pride, her defenses, and her best friend are stripped away, Lola realizes she’s actually got a lot to overcome…if she can open her heart long enough to let it happen. (Source: Goodreads)
When Lola’s best friend tells her that her crush, Wade Miller, is in rehab Lola comes up with the perfect plan to help Wade and get her crush to fall in love with her – she pretends to have a drinking problem and gets herself sent to the same rehab. It turns out rehab isn’t as much of a vacation as she thought it would be though, and maybe Wade isn’t the person she remembered him to be. Lola is trapped in rehab and she finally has to start dealing with her own issues – her parents’ divorce, her abandonment issues, her terrible friendships, and maybe even her lying problems.
I could not get into this book at all. I found Lola unlikeable, I found the plot unbelievable and hard to follow, I thought the writing was subpar, and the overall feelings I got from the tone and discussion of addiction were not good. This book was not even fun to read in a way that would have redeemed it in any way. The think trying to make a fun, light book about such a serious topic was kind of a slap in the face, and it made me extremely disappointed in the book and the author alike.
The story of this book, Lola going to rehab to try and get a boy, seemed so unbelievable that I could not take the book seriously. I thought the whole premise was kind of ridiculous and a little annoying honestly. Lola’s journey in rehab is something of an improvement over the general premise of the book but is still not great. Lola learns to deal with her family problems and to be more honest about her life and herself, however it just seemed wasted on Lola who continues to be kind of a bad person, and sort of aloof and uncaring throughout the whole book. Lola learns things, but they just don’t seem as though they will actually stick, because she always just kind of continues with the same bratty, spoiled attitude throughout the book.
The romance in this book is not great. It is initially established that Lola has a crush on actor, Wade, who she follows into rehab. This is already kind of messed up and ridiculous. Then you get to know Wade and he seems like a less than great guy. Another romantic line is established once Lola is in rehab though. Lola starts to fall for her mentor, Adam, who is both too old for her, but also has a professional relationship with her. This relationship felt wrong and a little uncomfortable to me. He’s supposed to be taking care of her mental health, not taking advantage of her while she is vulnerable and in rehab. I was not a fan.
I didn’t really like any of the characters just in general. I suppose Adam was the most likeable character, but considering the circumstances of the relationship he develops with Lola he starts to come off as a bit of a creep. There are a few charming minor characters, like Lola’s roommate, Talia, who is sort of an unusual case but who remains sort of charming and interesting throughout the book. Overall though, I couldn’t even begin to care about most of the characters.
I had some trouble with the writing. I found the overall plot development kind of lacking, but then it often seemed that Younge-Ullman got a little over-excited and would sort of shoot off in random directions that didn’t make sense in terms of character or story development up to that point. The whole book just felt like a giant question mark of random unplanned action without any clear direction. I also felt that the text was trying too hard to sound young and hip and it came across kind of lazy and bad.
My one massive, huge, ridiculous issue with this book is that I felt it made light of addictions. Lola literally fakes have an addiction to get a vacation at a spa type environment. This is like a slap in the face of people with real addictions. Especially as the people with real addictions are presented so poorly throughout the book, and made to look like idiots on a regular basis by Lola. Even when she starts to learn it’s not enough, they’re still a joke. Lola is still normal and they’re still less than her. This whole idea made me so mad and made me to annoyed with this book.
I would not recommend this book at all.
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