Hate to Love You - Elise Alden
1.5 STARS (the half-star is for the laughs)

"Shit happens and if you don’t die you pick yourself off the fucking pavement before a dog claims you as his turf"



The other day, when I turned on the TV (which, for some kind of freak accident, happened to be on MTV) a show called The Geordie Shore was on. And sometimes, even when you know it’s degrading, for that half an hour, it's like you lose any kind of self preservation and out of morbid curiosity, you keep watching just to see how bad it can possibly get.

Reading this book was like watching that show.

About the book:

The MC, Paisley, comes from an ultra-conservative family of Spanish Catholics, she's the black-sheep of the family, a troubled, crude, 18 year-old, who has problems with drugs and while everyone around her thinks she’s a slut, she’s actually still a virgin, so Paisley is shocked to find out she got pregnant at a party, after some guy jerked off all over her:

"My eyes cut to the test. “Shit on a stick,” I croaked. “It’s positive.”




After finding out that she’s now a "pregnant-virgin" and drowning this news in vodka, she considers having an abortion but soon finds out that this is not an option for her, because she’s not eligible to do one on the UK's NHS and she also doesn’t have enough money to do it any other way.

"My world was shrinking to the size of the little parasite inside my...Womb."



Paisley is constantly being humiliated by her family and always lived in the shadow of her “perfect” older sister, soon after learning that she's pregnant, her sister brings her fiancée home and for Paisley, it’s lust/love at first sight:

"I gaped at James like an idiot, my lips parted and my eyes fixed on his. They were jade green with little flecks of gold, bright with intelligence and humour—and something else I felt stab through my stuporlike wild fire. I was mesmerised, lost in the expanding black of his pupils, reading him effortlessly while my heart pounded in my ears. The air between us charged as the frenzied atoms zapped his thought straight into me, possessive and indisputable. Mine"


Before I go any further, you need to know two important things about Paisley: she has "the longest nipples in the world" and she can read minds:

"It’s more like I can read single words or phrases when I look at people.(...)It started when I was a child, when family and friends would pinch my cheek or sit me on their laps. My candid readings and blurted answers to their unasked questions caused my parents a lot of angry embarrassment"




Just like sparkles.

You know you have a winner when: to taunt her sister about sex, the MC compares a penis' head to a nazi's helmet and out of hatred for her sister, she shamelessly flirts with her sister's fiancée (some of this happens telepathically):

"I didn’t trust myself to speak out loud.
::I’m eighteen today, actually.::
He raised an eyebrow. ::Could’ve fooled me::
I blinked. He had not shot a mental comment at me, had he? Nobody I’d met could do that, see what I was thinking and answer back. James turned away, leaving me to bite my lip in confusion."




The turning point happens, one night, when Paisley is sleeping naked in Caroline’s bed and James comes to their house drunk and it’s very romantic because, he has sex with Paisley thinking he’s with his fiancée (Caroline )but, at the same time, James is fantasizing about Paisley, the sister he's actually fucking. This is how Paisley finally loses her virginity.

The words popped out before I could stop them.
“Do it then. Pretend I’m Paisley and get her out of your system.”
(…)
“Darling, this isn’t you,” he said, sounding dazed.
“That’s right,” I whispered.
“I’m Paisley, remember? And I...”
I gulped and took a deep breath. “I want you to fuck me.”




After that, they part ways and only get to see each other again at his wedding, where the groom still has time to flirt with Paisley. At the wedding, Paisley gets drunk and spills what happens in front of the entire wedding party and in the process, lies to James and says that he's the father of the baby she's carrying.



Like watching a reality TV show, out of morbid curiosity I kept reading this story and the second part turned out to be just like changing the channel and start watching a soap opera.

The second half of the book takes place 7 years after the previous events and we follow Paisley (who left for Spain after the scandal) as she goes back to the UK, where she manages to get a job at James firm'. Paisley is now a different person, she grew up, but that doesn’t stop her to make the most absurd decisions, like infiltrate as a waitress at a party in James’ house, to see her son. Here's what happens when she sees him for the first time:

“Wait,” I cried, then clamped a hand over my mouth.
He stopped and looked back at me, a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
::You can’t catch me::
My response was instinctive. ::You wanna bet?::
His eyes widened and then he giggled and sped off. As for me, well, I was shell—shocked. Seeing my son not five feet away from me after seven years was stupefying, but mental chit-chat?


Because her powers are hereditary.



After that, you can expect lots of self-loathing from the MC, pining over the perfect James and also jealousy, this overshadows her primary purpose – building a relationship with her son.



Then you have more stupid decisions, slut-shaming, offensive remarks and a superficial approach to serious subjects like substance dependence and sexual abuse Paisley was abused by her uncle when she was a child, which explains her erratic behavior. No one believed her, in fact, her sister, who is a psycho, told the police that Paisley was lying, she did this out of jealousy,because she was in love with the uncle.

On the second half of the story, for the sake of drama, Paisley has a confrontation with her abuser and, of course, James intervenes, acting as a hero.

+ Plot twist: James was, after all, the father of the baby, so yeah she wasn’t a "pregnant-virgin" and after some more drama, they get their perfect HEA




Except for some really weird choices on the sex scenes e.g:“I gushed like a fountain, covering his cock in hot fluid.”, overall, the writing was decent but, the story is probably one of the most ridiculous I’ve read lately.



A pseudo-inspirational/provocative romance (paranormal-romance?), full of gratuitous angst, exaggeration and ridicule.
A lost opportunity of writing a good NA book or, at least, another Twilight parody.