Nereyda: This will go down as one of my favorite books of the year and one of my favorite NA’s. And to think that I wasn’t even planning on reading this. Somehow, this book had escaped my radar, but thanks to Nick, I immediately added it to my TBR when she told me about it. I was eager to get my hands on this one and started it as soon as I was able to get a copy. Once I started, I flew through it and even stayed up until almost 3am reading it (something I rarely do anymore). I loved it so much, that I re-read it as soon as I finished it.
Nick: It nearly flew under my radar too! I came across it on Jessica @ Loving Los Libros’ Stacking the Shelves post and she mentioned how much she loved it. I read the summary and I KNEW that this was a book I needed in my hands right away. And boy was I right! This book was so damn addicting. Like Nereyda, once I started, I didn’t want to put it down, but I was struck by the stupid cold which made me lose a lot of reading time. I had read about 50% before I fell sick but I picked it up again on Friday and finished it within an hour. I thought I had grown tired of NA books until this one smacked me right in the face with its brilliance.
Nereyda: What I loved the most about The Deal, was the great cast of characters. Especially Hannah and Garrett. Man, oh man, I can’t stress enough how much I loved Garrett! I admit that when I first started The Deal, Hannah annoyed me. To be fair, almost all girls in NA books annoy me. But, after passing the 10% mark, Hannah really started to grow on me. The more I read, the more I liked her and by the end, I was so freaking happy that she wasn’t your typical female NA character. She was tough, but vulnerable. She didn’t take any crap from anyone, least of all Garrett, and she said what was on her mind. I loved that she didn’t get offended by the things Garrett and his friends said sometimes and how she was able to form a great friendship with all of the guys. I could devote a paragraph to list all the things I loved about Garrett, but I’ll try to keep this short. I heart Garret! I adored his friendship with Hannah and how he loved to tease her and push her buttons, but he was always looking out for her. When their friendship started to grow, I loved how in tune he was to her and how much he paid attention to the little things. The chemistry between them was crazy hot, and I was dying of anticipation for them to get together. Their first kiss? So freaking hot! I loved how their relationship was just the right amount of sexy, without it being too much or crossing into cheesy territory.
Nick: I have to agree with, Nereyda! The characters were the absolutely best in this book. They were very well-developed and I thought Elle Kennedy did such a great job at fleshing out these realistic college-aged characters. I don’t know if it’s because you mentioned to me that Hannah was a bit judgmental and annoying at first, Nereyda, but I never got many annoying vibes from her. I was full on expecting to hate her, but I think because I already knew she was going to be judgey at first, I wasn’t too put off by her character. What I really liked about Hannah’s character was how much growth she underwent throughout the story. You could tell by the end of the book that she was not the same girl. I liked how she realized by the end that Garrett was so much more than just a dumb jock. And yes to the comment about her being simultaneously tough, but vulnerable. Seriously, how many NA books have you read where the girl is not plagued by her the “tough event” in her past? I can count them with just one hand. I loved that even though Hannah had this truly awful thing happen to her, she was willing to move on and to fix herself without waiting for a guy to come and fix it for her. Oh and of course, I absolutely loved Garrett! He was undoubtedly my favorite character. He was such a cocky bastard, but he managed to charm the pants off of me. The one thing I loved about Garrett was how much more there was to him than meet the eyes. He was definitely a playboy, but the kind that told girls what they were getting into when they approached him. But he was so different with Hannah! Theirs was a relationship that started out from friendship, a fantastic one at that, and slowly developed into more. Throughout all that wicked banter and constant bickering was some hot hot hot chemistry. Phew! Not gonna lie, I was ready for these to already make out and as Nereyda said, their first kiss was beyond HOT! Speaking of the romance, I want to clarify to all of you worried about her crush, once Hannah gets into a physical relationship with Garrett, she forgets about her crush. So, there’s absolutely no cheating going on in The Deal. And honestly, the crush was never an annoying kind where I just wanted the girl to forget about the guy. I mean, we’ve all had that unattainable crush, right?
Nereyda: It’s getting increasingly harder for NA books to avoid the typical cliches, but The Deal successfully managed it. There were a few times when I was worried that this would fall victim to the typical NA storylines, and I kept getting surprised when it would go in a different direction that one I thought. Just when I was starting to get a ‘I have a bad feeling about what’s coming next’ vibe, Kennedy did something unexpected that just made me love The Deal even more. I’m so happy I read this (twice!) and I know I’ll be re-reading it again. I really hope that this comes out on audio so that I could listen to it over and over. I wasn’t sure what to expect with The Deal, but it was such a fun and addicting book. I recommend this to everyone! I can’t wait to see what Elle Kennedy has next for us in the Off-Campus series and I’m really looking forward to Logan’s story.
Nick: I agree! It’s hard to find a new NA book with a story that you haven’t already read before. The Deal follows a similar story line to other NA books, but somehow does a fantastic job at being original. I think what made this book so successful was the author’s writing. There was a very addicting quality to it and the story flew so nicely. I also have to add that Elle Kennedy was great with the dual POV. She was able to capture that male voice in a very authentic way. Speaking of Logan, Nereyda, I love the hockey boys that lived with Garrett so much! They all had such great contrasting personalities. And their dynamic with both Garrett and Hannah was very well-written. I know their books are going to pretty epic! I need Logan’s book like yesterday! I’m so glad I discovered this gem of a book. I wish we got more NA books like The Deal. ...more