Title: The One That I Want
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: Paperback 2012
Classification: YA Novel
Challenge: 2012 Contemporary Challenge
Summary from Goodreads:
Gemma can’t believe her luck when the star football player starts flirting with her. Max is totally swoon-worthy, and even gets her quirky sense of humor. So when he asks out her so-called best friend Addison, Gemma’s heartbroken.
Then Addison pressures Gemma to join the date with one of Max’s friends. But the more time they all spend together, the harder Gemma falls for Max. She can’t help thinking that Max likes her back–it’s just too bad he’s already dating Addison. How can Gemma get the guy she wants without going after her best friend’s boyfriend?
I have only ever read one other book by Echols and I really enjoyed it. I think my trend with her books is that I’m going to really connect well from my personal life with one element. When I read Forget You that element was swimming. In The One That I Want I was instantly drawn to the main character, Gemma. I just loved how she was sassy and sarcastic, yet insecure about herself. She reminds me so much of myself that she was instantly my favorite part of the entire novel, even when I was only 50 pages in. From the awesomeness that was Gemma came some unsavory characters that really drove me and Gemma nuts.
Gemma is friends with a girl named Addison who I would have loved to smack upside the head every chapter or so. She was self centered and only did things that would further along her chance at being popular or getting the best looking guy at the school. I instantly related to Gemma once again because I always hated being around those people, except in my case I was never so nice about it when I pushed them out of my life. Of course early on in the book Gemma and Addison just happen to come across two hot guys. The problem here is that Gemma instantly takes a liking to Max but Addison already dug in her claws and decided she would date him. So do you be loyal to the bonds of friendship and step back or do you go for the guy you want to be with?
For the rest of the novel the story really fades for me as Gemma lets herself get dragged along on Addison’s coat tails. This is where the novel becomes the same old same old as Gemma keeps denying her feelings for Max, all the while watching Addison try to make something happen with him. It is a great look at high school drama, which although I hate drama I think it worked for the situations Gemma was in. The thing that I did not like was that such drama was played out in the same type of double date scene several times over and over again. It was great the first time, cute the second time but by the third time and the novel being close to ending I was rather tired of it.
Overall, I’m a bit torn on this one because I can appreciate the teenager drama that happens in this novel because I know I certainly went through that phase in high school. I also really love Gemma, she was really great and had a great mix of not knowing who she was and yet trying so hard to get it right. Her personality and everything really worked for me, plus she was the odd girl out being she wasn’t drop dead gorgeous. She was actually a real teenage girl who struggled with her emotions and her weight and I have huge respect for that and Echols creating such a realistic teenage girl character. While mixed in with these great elements was a pretty bland storyline so this one gets 4 hearts from me.