Falling for the Wrong Guy is my first book by Sara Hantz. This story is a standalone young adult novel. While there were some really positive messages here and moments that I liked, unfortunately there were also a lot of things that didn't work for me. I think that there are those out there that will really enjoy this book, however there were just too many things for me that I had issues with.
Mia Davis (My ARC had the heroine's name as Mia but the blurb actually says Ruby...so I am going to call her Mia since that is what I read and am familiar with) has always liked her brother's best friend Drew. But after a tragic accident occurred, her brother felt betrayed and Drew has been off limits ever since. Drew has suffered since that horrible night, but he knows that he is responsible and views all the pain and looks he gets are his karma for what happened. After taking some time off from school, he returns and finds himself face to face with Mia. No longer the cute little sister type, Drew starts to see Mia in a completely different way though he knows he needs to stay away. But when a school project forces them to work together, the feelings between them are more than either of them can fight. Can they ever hope to have anything together though when Drew feels constant guilt and Mia's brother refuses to accept them together?
Part of my problem here was Drew and Mia. Mia was weak and let others walk all over her. She was a good girl, seeing the best in people and trying to be there for them. She was kind and compassionate, and yet she let others treat her horribly because of it. Instead of standing up for herself, she would apologize and be upset with herself when others reacted poorly. Drew was suffering a huge amount of guilt and grief, and yet he was just wallowing in it and lashing out at people. He had pretty much no one on his side, including his awful parents, and yet when Mia would reach out he would be an absolute jerk to her and always assume the worst. I just didn't see much improvement over the course of the story, and most of the change was right at the very end and hard to really believe at that point. I didn't feel the connection between Drew and Mia since he pushed her away so much, and when they finally did start to connect it seemed to be more on a physical level than anything. They could make out in private and that was their "being together" yet nothing could be done out in the open for others to know about, and they didn't spend any real time talking or developing a real relationship that we saw.
Between the character issues and lack of development, I found myself skimming a lot and wanting to just get to the end to see what would happen. I wasn't invested, and the ending felt rushed and abrupt. I didn't buy it, and though it seemed everything turned out well wasn't that satisfying since I didn't really believe it. The overall message of not judging others based on appearance as well as forgiveness and healing were positive and I felt like they were really great for readers to see. But I just wish that the story had been better to really get the full effect of such positive ideas and themes. While I do think that this story had a lot of promise, it just fell flat.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**