Thursday, August 9, 2018

Review: The Chase (Briar U #1)



The Chase
by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #1
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Publication date: August 6, 2018
Published by: Elle Kennedy Inc.
Ebook, 377 pages
My rating: 2/5 ★
Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.

And that his best friend has a crush on me. And that I just moved in with them. Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?

He knows where to find me.

Before I get into my review of The Chase, I want to start by saying that the Off-Campus books (the companion series to this one) are some of my favorite New Adult reads. I love them because they don't overdo the NA stereotypes and generally manage to tell entertaining, if somewhat unlikely tales of college love. They are centered around a group of hockey players, and although I love sports novels, those types of books often tend to be the most filled with annoying tropes of them all. But while the Off-Campus books definitely had the *super popular hot athlete blah blah* stereotypes, I felt like it never went too far. 

So with all of this love for the companion series of The Chase, I was super excited for this book and 100% ready to love it just as much. Even more so because Summer and Fitz are both characters that were previously introduced and I was ready to root for them. Unfortunately, The Chase turned out to be a disappointment for me.

While I was super happy to be back in my beloved Briar surroundings, Fitz and Summer's story just didn't work for me. Mainly, I found both of them to be so hurtful to each other and the people around them. Especially some of the things Fitz said to Summer went too far in my opinion and I couldn't get over it with the simple explanation of "oh this girl drives me crazy". 

Their developing relationship and especially the sort-of love triangle Summer and Fitz find themselves in really reminded me of the first book in the Off-Campus series. I don't remember exactly how it was resolved then, but this time I felt like Summer and Fitz both were real jerks to their friend. The situation could have definitely been handled better and less frustratingly. Somehow, I just didn't end up liking either of them, even though I had really enjoyed what we saw of Summer in previous books.

Also, there is a lot of effort to promote girl power in this book, which technically I definitely appreciate. However, it felt so forced at times. While I usually believe that it's better to include such topics a little forced rather than not at all, this time I couldn't really get on board, mainly because Summer often acted very contradictory to her supposed mentality of women supporting each other. The way the book tried to follow this "feminist" approach while also sticking to the classic NA stereotypes just didn't work for me. 

Finally, one development about Fitz also really irked me. At the beginning, he was this introverted, nerdy guy who liked to draw and play/design video games. By the end of the book, however, he was saying things like "I'm glad I don't have to live my life in the shadows anymore" etc. And what bothered me wasn't even that this was all because of this gREAt love he and Summer had found. Rather, it somehow felt really degrading towards introverts? I don't know, but as an introvert myself, I just felt like shouting at him that being an introvert doesn't mean you haven't somehow reached your full potential yet or something. As if all introverts should aspire to becoming extroverts, to "evolve" in that way. I think it's perfectly fine to be an introvert and stay an introvert, thank you very much. I'm sure it wasn't meant this way and I believe Fitz is still meant to be more of an introvert by the end, but these statements kind of bothered me anyway.

What I did enjoy was especially the friendship between Summer and her female best friend. They were really great together, and I basically enjoyed reading about everything they did as long as it didn't involve Fitz. I also liked meeting some old favorite characters, but I will say it was very obvious that all of the past main characters had to be involved in the book in some way or another, which unfortunately also felt a little forced. But I definitely still really enjoy this setting and am looking forward to the next book in this spin-off series! Unfortunately, Briar U just didn't get off to a great start with me.