Unmaking Hunter Kennedy
by Anne Eliot
Publisher: Butterfly Books (Oct. 2012)
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook (422 pages)
Source: From Author for Blog Tour
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★½☆ (3.5 stars)
After a car accident–an event he considers a prank gone bad–pop star, Hunter Kennedy is forced to hide out with his aunt in small-town Colorado. He’s supposed to rest, heal his scars and attend high school in disguise until the press dies down. But he only wants to get back to work.
Worse, the girl who’s been assigned to make him over into a geek is a major geek herself. Vere Roth is a chattering pixie, a blushing tornado and a complete social disaster. He’s never met a girl who’s never-been-kissed, believes in romance and thinks Hunter’s a ‘nice’ guy.
Funny thing is…Hunter is nice around Vere because she’s his first real friend. He also can’t seem to stop sharing his secrets or keep her out of his heart. Knowing he’d never deserve a girl as sweet as Vere, he resigns himself to the friend zone, and helps his new bestie with her own makeover.
She tortures him daily for ridiculous guy advice on how to snag her life-long crush. A guy Hunter thinks is totally wrong for Vere, and sadly, one who has taken note of Vere’s transformation.
When Vere asks her best friend for some kissing advice, Hunter can’t resist…
And that’s when things get out of control…
At A Glance
The concept was very fun and the characters kept me reading, but there is a lot that could have been cut from this book to make it stronger.
Here’s The Story…
Hunter Kennedy, a famous teenage singer, has gotten himself into trouble lately. Crashing a car is only the beginning of his problems. Hunter’s mother decides he needs rest and relaxation, away from the stress of stardom. Forced to live with his aunt in a small town in Colorado, all Hunter can do is think of ways to get back to his flashy life in LA. But things start to look up when this nerdy girl, Vere, is charged with making him look like a nerd himself so no one will recognize him at his new high school.
Vere is different, she has a bubbly personality and isn’t impressed by Hunter’s stardom. Her outlook on life makes Hunter finally feel at peace. But once Hunter does a makeover for Vere in thanks, her long time crush finally starts noticing her. Vere couldn’t be more thrilled, but Hunter is in hell. Hunter knows he doesn’t deserve a sweet, innocent girl like Vere, but he can’t help but want her. Once Vere starts asking guy advice, Hunter can’t resist teaching her all about boys, even though its killing him on the inside to see her with another guy. That is until she asks him to show her how to kiss. That’s when things get interesting. But can Hunter put aside his past and let Vere in? Can Vere get over Hunter’s public persona and love the guy underneath?
When Your Smiling…
The concept drew me to this book. I thought it sounded so cute. Sometimes I have this craving to read the kind of light YA reads that make me want to smile. And I wasn’t disappointed. But I wasn’t expecting the real issues this book also covers. We see the horrible outcomes of depression and how fame can change people into something they don’t recognize. That was a nice surprise.
Hunter was an interesting character. His behavior, to me, rung true for teen stars these days. His problems really got to me. I wanted to cry for this guy who is really just a kid who wants his mother to love him. When he felt hope for the first time while spending time with Vere, I felt hope right along with him. Vere was just what he needed. Someone who wasn’t a fanatic over his celebrity. Someone who just saw him as a nice guy. Someone who can just laugh with him without ulterior motives. And though I hated seeing him hurt over Vere and her boyfriend, Curtis, being together, the way he handled it was pretty funny. Hunter also had a lot fun being a geek. He really got into the character. It was hilarious. I smiled a lot in this book.
Vere was like a breath of fresh air. She didn’t follow the norm. She wore what she wanted, blushed like crazy, enjoyed things to the fullest, and didn’t care what people thought of her. She lived with passion and naivety, which might not always be a good thing, but with Vere it worked. I hated watching her go out with the jerk Curtis. She was blind to Curtis’s bad side. But once she started to see Hunter as more than a friend, I wanted to squeal in joy. I just wish she didn’t use silly excuses to keep pushing him away.
And Let’s Not Forget…
Unmaking Hunter Kennedy had great side characters. Vere’s brother, Charlie, was both bad and good. I was often upset by his protectiveness with Vere because he did some messed up things because of it. He also pushed Curtis on her, and it was obvious Curtis wanted only one thing. But I also saw the good in Charlie because I think he really did love his sister, he was just a stupid guy sometimes. Which made it more realistic. Not all characters can be perfect. But Jenna was all kinds of awesome. She is Vere’s best friend and an all around kickass chick. She doesn’t care what anybody thinks and speaks her mind to the fullest. Jenna’s antics and behavior had me cracking up more than any other character.
The best part of this book was that I had fun reading it. Each character was entertaining and they made me care about them. Anne took some serious teenage problems and dealt with them beautifully. I left Unmaking Hunter Kennedy feeling very satisfied.
Half the book was about Hunter moving to Colorado then getting a make-under by Vere. Literally, it takes 50% of the book. I think that was way to long to spend on that and it made the beginning slow. I was waiting for Hunter to walk through school with his new look and I had to wait a long time. Yeah, didn’t like that.
A lot of the conversations were repetitive. Vere and Hunter brought up the same stuff, fought about the same topics over and over again.
The ending was sooo cheesefest, but still cute I guess.
That. Kiss. Wowzer. That was smokin’. The first kiss between Vere and Hunter is HOT. But that’s the extent of the snuggly. All very YA. But still, I am even now thinking of that kiss.
This is not the best book ever written, but it will entertain you. The characters draw you in and keep you reading. I would recommend this to people looking for a very cute YA-ish read.
He laughed low and ran a finger along the top of her mouth. His touch sent shivers of sparkles down the back of her neck. “You have heart shaped lips in a heart shaped face. Has anyone ever told you? This one—this top lip alone—could drive a guy out of his mind?”
“Everything else—don’t let it matter.” She smiled wider, trying to convince him. Herself. All the while her heart aches for him. “It will all sort itself out. One breath at a time. It’s all we can control, huh?”
“Jenna. I hate your new ‘geek-street’ persona. You sound and look like a Hello Kitty hipster crossed with some trash-mouthed prairie-girl.”
“I know. I’m ahhmazing cute, huh? And yet I still hang out with a girl who’s sporting her dad’s jeans cut down to shorts from nineteen-eighty seven. AGAIN. Matched with her big brother’s monstrous, grubby hoodie. AGAIN. Plus the same brown, twisty bun? A look you’ve held on to since eigth grade. At least my whole outfit can be found in a magazine.”
“Please. You know you love my look. And, as someone who truly loves you, I claim the right to veto the fake-cursing thing.”
“Maybe you’re right. I’ll e-ffing re-think my e-ffing potty mouth. But it’s so e-ffing fun to feel like a bad-girl.”
“You’re not even close to bad if you can’t say the real word. E-ffing stop. It’s going to backfire and force us into an even lower social status.”
“Is there one lower than ours?”