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A Love Hate Thing

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When they’re stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love.

When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the wealthy coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares and the feeling of not belonging. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the rough streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything, much less how the rest of his life will play out.

Golden girl Nandy Smith has spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in when it comes to her hometown Pacific Hills where image is everything. After learning that her parents are taking in a troubled teen boy, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames.

Now with Trice living under the same roof, the wall between their bedrooms feels as thin as the line between love and hate. Beneath the angst, their growing attraction won’t be denied. Through time, Trice brings Nandy out of her shell, and Nandy attempts to melt the ice that’s taken Trice’s heart and being. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.

464 pages, Hardcover

First published January 7, 2020

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About the author

Whitney D. Grandison

2 books192 followers
Whitney D. Grandison is an American young adult fiction writer. Some of her works can be found on Wattpad, one of the largest online story sharing platforms, where she has acquired over 30,000 followers and has amassed over sixteen million reads. Outside of writing, she is a lover of Korean dramas, all things John Hughes, and horror films. Whitney currently lives in Akron, Ohio.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 464 reviews
Profile Image for Kayla Brunson.
1,288 reviews237 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
January 1, 2020
DNF. I can’t read anymore of this. It’s 2020, can we please have books about black teens where the characters aren’t stereotypical.
Profile Image for Ms. Woc Reader.
457 reviews627 followers
September 24, 2020
When I first heard about this book I was excited. The cover was beautiful and I was on the prowl for a YA contemporary romance featuring black teens. I thought I would adore this book but it might be my biggest disappointment of 2019.

As I read I was transported to those Kimani Tru books(also published by Harlequin) of my young teen years. This book had all the same dated slang and similar writing. Except this book is set in 2020. You'd never be able to tell with all the references to the early 2000s from movies to tv to music. People who are 17 in 2020 were not jamming to B2K as kids, watching You Got Served, or The Proud Family and Static Shock. All of that was popular when they were too young to be tuned in to pop culture. It's like the author wrote this book back when she was a teen and used this story to try and relive her glory days. Has she spoken to teens in 2019? This book needed a black editor or at least black beta readers so badly!

Dated dialogue and pop culture references aside this book was simply not entertaining. It floundered on and on with no real purpose and more than halfway through this lengthy story I found myself skimming to the end. Tyson was so laughable. One minute he's a wannabe thug. He's a bad boy but not really bad. His friends are the bad ones and he just tags along with no refusal but he's not really into what they do. At one point he talks about an annoying neighbor he had as a child. And his friends going out of their way to set her off. Then he says one night she was robbed and killed. He wondered if his friends did it. But he just let it go.

He's also a hotep who reads Roots and The Color Purple for fun, preaches about back when black people were kings and queens, and tries to school Nandy in black culture. Why is he is the first one to introduce Nandy to the origin of her name instead of her parents?

Nandy is a prissy rich girl who is supposed to be root worthy. She's more annoying than anything else. She spends a chunk of the time looking down on Tyson until she decides she's in love with him. Then despite having a boyfriend acts possessive over Tyson. Even to the point of being rude to her best friend who is showing an interest in him. Why did this black love book have me almost rooting for the white girl to take him away?

Our author keeps trying to sell this idea of Nandy and Trice having been in love since 7 years old. At one point Nandy reflects on Trice being her first kiss and heartbreak back when they were 7. It's a little creepy. And this idea that they held a flame for each other despite not seeing each other in 10 years is ridiculous.

One minute there would be meaningful dialogue and discussion like Tyson and Nandy expressing their thoughts on the term African-American and their feelings as black Americans. The next we got nonsense like this,

"This ain't the hood, Tyson We do not braid hair on the front step," I said."

This story had potential since it put black teens in an environment we usually don't read about them in but unfortunately it just fell flat.

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
1,999 reviews15.7k followers
January 10, 2020
Whitney D. Grandison has written a compelling debut. This was kind of a mash up of the friends to lovers/enemies to lovers trope. Tyson Trice has just gone through a major tragedy and the loss of his beloved Pops. Five months away from turning 18 he goes to live with old family friends who live in an affluent area of Southern California. When they were little Trice and Mandy were the best of friends, but now Mandy is not quite certain of Trice because of his background. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist or a romance aficionado to figure out where this one’s going. Even though this story was predictable and somewhat clichéd I still enjoyed the story.

Trice, (Who prefers to go by his last name rather than his first name, because he was named after his father) was a lovable sympathetic character. Although he was constantly contradicting himself, there were some definite conflicts between his words and his actions. Then there was Mandy, what a spoiled entitled princess she was. I grew up in Southern California somewhere between these fictional cities of Linderwood and Pacific Hills. This is such a diverse checkerboarded area that I really doubt anyone would automatically assume someone was a “thug“ just because they were from a bad neighborhood. Well that is with the exception of dear Mandy. Even though we were constantly told what a sweet person she was I never saw that through her actions. I honestly thought Trice could’ve done much better for himself, possibly with her best friend. But I guess the heart wants what it wants. The story was told from both characters perspectives and I really got quite annoyed when I was in Mandy’s head. While I appreciated the diversity in the story I thought occasionally it was a bit stereotypical. I guess this is all to say I’m a little conflicted on this one. On one handI thought the characters were very vivid and well drawn, but on the other hand I really was not rooting for this couple. I was definitely wanting the best for Tyson, but I could’ve cared less what happened to Mandy. So I guess the title is super appropriate, it was kind of a love-hate thing!

this book in emojis. 📱 💰 📓 🎵 🏖

🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook was narrated by Adenrele Ojo and Barrie Buckner. I thought both these narrators did an outstanding job and really added the perfect voice to these characters (even that Mandy).

*** Big thank you to Harlequin and Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

For more of my reviews and bookish thoughts please visit my blog
February 21, 2022

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A LOVE HATE THING was an impulse buy for me. I saw that the reviews for it weren't all that great, but it's enemies-to-lovers, and I'm a sucker for that, so I went ahead and bought it anyway. I don't think it's as bad as a lot of people were saying, but the complaints are all fairly on point: it relies on stereotypes, sometimes the dialogue feels canned, and it's a little bit vapid at times. But on the other hand, it's a story of teen drama set on the beach, so I wasn't expecting Tolstoy.

Trice and Nandy were friends when they were young, but then Trice moved to Lindenwood, which is a not-so-great area. Trice ended up involved in a gang and purchasing a gun, which his father then used to shoot his mother, himself, and Trice. Trice was the only one who survived, and ended up becoming the ward of Nandy's family.

Nandy is a spoiled rich society princess who is dating a white guy and spends all her time by the beach or planning social events with her multiracial group of rich friends. She's less than thrilled when Trice moves in and makes all these pretty toxic assumptions about him. Once she starts to get to know him, though, she realizes that she had him all wrong, and that where you come from doesn't really define you as a person. (Surprise!)

So here's what I liked about the book. I liked that both the hero and the heroine were Black. I thought it was cool how Nandy had an adopted younger brother who was Thai. I loved the beach drama and how it made me vaguely nostalgic for things like Laguna Beach and The OC. I liked how both characters had pretty dramatic character arcs. I liked the big cast of side characters. I liked that there were break-ups and make-ups and that these were handled mostly with maturity. I liked how the heroine was difficult and not all that likable, which made her feel very complex.

Here's what I didn't like about the book. I didn't like how Trice was made out to be this really talented writer when his work was just straight-up self-insertion. This is a key element of his character development, so it kind of stuck out. I didn't really like the romance between Trice and Nandy. They felt like they were more convincing as friends than boyfriend and girlfriend (although if you're into stepbrother romances, this ends up kind of being like that, since he's the ward of her family). I didn't like how the drama sometimes became circuitous and repetitive. I thought the book took a long time to get rolling and sometimes it felt more like an after school special than, you know, beach drama. Also, MYSTICAL COMA DREAMS. I hate this trope so much. I'm sorry, but I do.

Overall, though, I did think this was fun, and it has an AMAZING soundtrack in the back. If you like your drama to be served up with a side of real world issues, you'll probably like this a lot. Just keep in mind that, true to classic teen movie format, it's pretty clique-driven and every character in here kind of boils down to one defining stereotype (although the author does subvert a couple of them in interesting ways). This won't be topping my favorites lists, but I'd read more from this author for sure.

2.5 to 3 stars
Profile Image for Sofie |.
243 reviews148 followers
May 25, 2021
I'm such a sucker for those cartoon covers, and enemies to lovers is my SHIT, but this is now my second DNF of the year. Oof.

A Love Hate Thing reads like a 2003 Wattpad story that the author edited together into some semblance of a manuscript.

A Love Hate Thing follows a guy, Tyson Trice, a guy from the ~wrong side of the tracks~ who had to hustle to survive and has a secret heart of gold, as goes to live with a rich, hoity-toity family after his grandpa dies because... his grandpa used to be their gardener? And he asked them to? And they said yes? Because I guess he used to be friends with their daughter, Nandy?

Anyway, Trice shows up to their house and Nandy is judge af because he's from liNDEnwOod and that means he must be a thug or a murderer or a r*pist or something. But, surprise! They actually used to hang out with each other when they were 7 and Trice's grandpa used to bring him to their house on jobs. And, at the ripe age of 7, they were each-others first ~crushes~ and first ~kisses~ and first goddamn HEARTBREAKS?? (i can't remember the name of literally anyone I knew when I was 7, but ok)

And after an ~icey reception~ from Nandy, a big blow up fight like, 20% into the book, it's revealed that Trice's dad So Nandy feels like a b*tch (cause she was being a b*tch), and then they...make up? Sort of? If that's what you call that God-y, yoU GoTTa hAve FAITH in our LORD AND SAVIOR filled chapter. The literal next day, Trice has to do some illegal job in Lindenwood cause his buddies there ask him to and they're his family, and Nandy walks into his room and he's gasp shirtless. So, she sees his bullet scars. And she... let me just show you.

Drawing my gaze back to the wound, I found myself leaning closer and placing a kiss on it, as if that could make it go away or be better. By some instinct, I knew it was an exit wound, and I went around and placed a kiss on the other side, too.

GIRL. You literally JUST because ACQUAINTANCES YESTERDAY(!!!!) and you have a BOYFRIEND (who's a dick but still) and you're... kissing his scars. Um. Okay.

Mind you, we're like, 25% into the book at this point and I just know the whole "enemies" part of enemies-to-lovers is probably done, and now so am I.

This book is RIDDLED with stereotypes. The black-kid-with-a-shady-history-and-an-icy-exterior-but-a-saint-at-heart, and the black-rich-girl-who-acts-snobby-but-ALSO-has-a-heart-of-gold-and-just-suffers-from-internalized-racism. Nandy hates her name and has never read The Color Purple!!! She must hate herself!!!

I only got like 30% in, so you can read some of the other critical reviews for a better picture. But apparently,

Yawn. I hate not finishing books but I couldn't do it. Sorry.
Profile Image for Cleo.
341 reviews49 followers
March 27, 2022

mini review
Maybe this book had some poignant social commentary that I would have enjoyed, but I just could not. The characters were bad and the writing was bad. I was not going to suffer through this for the sake of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Because right now, the tunnel is infinite and not structurally sound, there's an eerie creek as the tunnel teeters into total collapse, with me still in it, so for the sake of me living, I'm just going to get the fuck out.


Okay, for real. This book reeks of Wattpad, it's like a stench is imbued into it and it's making my eyes water. I'm shocked this was actually published because this is exactly what I think about when I think about Wattpad. What do I mean by this? Well, immediately after we're introduced to a character, or in a new environment, we get basic character descriptions, race, background, what the characters are wearing, etc, and then extremely drawn out descriptions of settings that are absolutely not necessary. It's all very tedious. (And strongly reminiscent of the books I used to read on Wattpad).

But, the thing I hated the MOST about this book was that whenever Trice meets a new character he psychically monologues about their nature. Here's an example of his commentary (after meeting someone for the very first time), "I could tell she has a good heart." Honestly, it's just lazy. The author couldn't wait to show us relevant/pertinent character traits and how Trice perceives them. Again, its just lazy and it made this book even more insufferable than it needed to be.

To summarize: this was very bad and for the sake of self-preservation, I do not recommend this.
Profile Image for It's Jess✨.
102 reviews445 followers
February 10, 2020
All these opinions are my own. I personally did not enjoy this book, maybe others will but I'll list the pros and cons I had with this book below.

- The concept of two black people from different walks of life falling in love is rare to have especially highlighting two intelligent black teens.
- I liked how the female relationships were not affected by the boys.
- The representation of adaption was beautiful!
- The family bonds displayed were amazing
- Loved that most of the men/boys handled women with respect

- Black trauma was a huge plot point and it was not handled in a way that I could appreciate. Due to the characters treating Trice as "better then other guys" it criminalized everyone else. Everyone else in that neighboorhood also had a rough upbringing but Trice was the only one worthy of a good life? Also, they claim this neighborhood to be middle class and not bad but spend most of the time talking poorly about it and the need to escape it.
- The stereotyping of Nandy and Trice was apparent. Both characters stereotypical black people either in being sassy or scary. The story never broke down those stereotypes. Nandy was selfish and rude for most of the book painting black teens as "hysterical." I understood that appearance meant a lot to her but the way she treated her friends and family did not show a loving person, except a few rare moments she thought beyond herself.
- There were a lot of contradicts where a character would say it's okay to cry but then later call it weak. Or Nandy would say she's not judgemental but turn around a judge everyone, even her closest friends.
- There was a HUGE lack of fun/loving/joyful moments. Most of the book the angst was Nandy avoiding her feeling due to jealousy.
- The dialogue was cringey.

This book was trying to tackle too much and I hope in the future we can have black love stories without exploiting black trauma.

I would not recommend
Profile Image for Nursebookie.
1,947 reviews299 followers
January 12, 2020
"A LOVE HATE THING" BY Whitney D. Grandison

I thoroughly enjoyed this heartwarming read about Tyson Trice and Nandy Smith. Tyson who has a protective shell he has built around him from living in a tough neighborhood and now have undergone a terrible family tragedy and now will need to live in Pacific Hills an upscale and rich neighborhood. A huge change for him coming from Lindenwood. Nandy Smith has a reputation to uphold having lived in Pacific Hills her life. Now will she risk her reputation for her family taking in a troubled boy Tyson.
I found the story to be heartfelt and emotional. I enjoy a the to love relationship where the attraction is undeniable. I found that over the time reading this lengthy book, I did form an attachment for the characters especially reading about Tyson's troubled past. Overall, I was satisfied with the ending and this was a great love story that Grandison was able to execute. I enjoyed this read very much!
Profile Image for Yna from Books and Boybands.
741 reviews345 followers
April 3, 2020
We were all different with different hopes and dreams, but at the end of the day, we had each other's backs and tried to relate and understand each other. Nothing beat friendships like this.

📚 Series:  No.
📚 Genre: YA Contemporary.
📚 POV:  Dual POV.
📚 Cliffhanger: No.

⚠ Content Warnings:  Dealing with grief. Parental death. Violence. Breaking the law. Racial prejudice. Stereotyping.
⚠ Read if: you love clichè-ish YA romances.

First off, let us applaud the beautiful cover of this book. I have to admit that this is the feature that pulled me in.

A Love Hate Thing is one of the books that can be read very easily, one that you can finish in just one sitting. It can be imagined as a film because of the way scenes were written and how the story flowed.

This book tells the story of childhood friends that were separated and were able to reconnect, albeit due to unfortunate circumstances. Tyson (Trice) moved into the house of Nandy after he went through a shooting and lost his parents. This brought them to have a chance to rekindle their lost friendship (once Nandy gets her pride in check.)

One major point that I hated in this book was how Nandy was written. She was judgmental and pretentious throughout the story. Basically, she is a rich spoiled brat and I tried really hard to connect with her and not give up on the story.

Trice, on the other hand, was very likeable. He showed his strength and was very straightforward. He knew who he is and he stuck with it.

The best part of this book is the friendships within. There were no girl on girl hating and the great dynamic was shown by all of the characters.

All in all, this book was a stellar debut. Though a little cliche on the romance side, there are days when we all need sappy cliches and sweet highschool stories.


🌼 Blurb:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Main Character:⭐⭐☆☆☆
🌼 Significant Other: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Support Characters:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐☆☆
🌼 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Romance: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Pacing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Ending: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Unputdownability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Audiobook Production: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

☁FINAL VERDICT: 3.92/5 ☁

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Profile Image for Emma.
893 reviews872 followers
February 6, 2021
2.75/5 Stars

I wanted to like this book so much, but I ended up considering it a novel with a lot of potential that could have been explored more.

There are some aspects that I appreciated, like for example Tyson' backstory and him trying to cope and come to terms with everything that happened. I liked how he learned to open up and to talk about things. And I was very curious to see how Tyson could start trusting and loving people again. It was great to see him form such strong friendships in Pacific Hills.
But what wasn't so great was his relationship with Nandy. I'm sorry to say I could not stand the girl, especially in like the first half of the book, her behaviour was just a no for me and I don't really think she "redeemed" herself in any way. Also, I get that Tyson and Nandy were childhood friends and crushes, but I didn't see a spark between them in the present, I just saw some bickering and that was it. In some parts of the book I truly felt like Tyson was idolizing Nandy, to me he was more in love with the idea of her and what she represented in his past than anything else.

I would recommend this book for its friendships and also for how it deals with some heavy topics, but definitely not for the romance.
Profile Image for Ari.
949 reviews41 followers
March 18, 2021
You know there's a problem when I was rooting for the white characters (Travis, Shayne and Kyle) over the Black ones. Never thought I'd see the day where I typed that out but here we are! This is absolutely I book I shouldn't have finished but I'm a glutton for punishment when it comes to YA about Black teens and I kept (foolishly) hoping the book would get better. The dialogue is cringeworthy, the pop culture references don't make sense for teens in 2019 and the book needed to be 200 pages shorter. Around page 240 I legit stopped reading and was confused to see I had 200ish more pages to go because the book could have concluded right there, with an implausible enemies to lovers YA ending. But instead we get more mess. I've never seen the OC but the author mentions that was an inspiration which...checks out based on the little I do know of the show (meaningless drama + real drama). I honestly should have known this would not be the book for me when a character was described thusly, "Shayne Mancini was a beautiful Sicilian girl", I've never heard a Black person IN MY LIFE describe a white person this way, at most we'd just say Italian. I have however heard white people describe themselves this way and always find it amusing. If this was satirical or meta I would have appreciated it but as you read on and get more character descriptions you realize the author is absolutely serious about identifying the ethnic background of every character. It's also bizarre because for such a "diverse" suburb a lot of the kids are awful and no one calls them out on it except the white girl (Shayne). There's also a lot of telling, very little showing especially when it comes to Trice making snap judgements (that all turn out to be right).

The dialogue was especially rough because it didn't seem believable for teenagers, particularly teenage boys. As sweet as Trice was, I rolled my eyes countless times while reading his fictional story and listening to his intense inner monologues. He constantly tells himself, and Jordy, that it's ok to cry and be emotional but somehow he himself is never able to. He read like a fictional character, the ideal 'tough boy with a heart of gold' stereotypical crush. He also gave me hotep vibes (is that a term people know offline?), which he's young enough to grow out of but again no one even calls him or teases him about his random love of "Africa" and insistence on talking about kings and queens. Nandy is absolutely insufferable, there's really nothing else to say. She never redeems herself and this book becomes such a drag because she's so hot and cold in her treatment of Trice. It's insane but somehow it's all fine because they've been IN LOVE since they were seven and she's just bitter he "abandoned" her (again at age SEVEN). There is really no excuse for the way she treated Trice especially when her parents were such great people, going out of their way to demonstrating healthy parenting and respecting Trice's boundaries. Furthermore I HATED how Trice had to apologize to Chad when Chad was a racist idiot repeatedly. I'm not sure how you date someone who used to date such a deplorable person and STILL defends him even when he was clearly in the wrong. Couldn't stand Nandy, adored Trice but he wasn't realistic at all.

A LOVE HATE THING is a book you should skip or get from the library. The dialogue is forced, the very real (and important) issues brought up are quickly discarded and the insta love is asinine. There are contemporary YAs about Black teenagers that are a lot better. I thought there was a lot of potential here, a chance to show how harmful classism can be and the ways it manifests in internalized Blackness via Nandy. But the author doesn't go there. Lindenwood is a constant punching bag and even the parents don't try and get Nandy or any other characters to see the error in judging a place that seems to be misjudged by the media and surrounding white suburbs. There could have been a come to Jesus moment with the parents too were they realize they raised a spoiled brat who looks down on Black people but nope. They just think she's annoying and all is eventually forgiven. The only good thing I can say is this was surprisingly low angst when it came to teenage issues such as having sex and drinking. There's no moralizing, the teens just do it and they don't agonize or second guess their choices which did feel refreshing and realistic.
Profile Image for Kate Olson.
2,086 reviews727 followers
July 6, 2020
So ..... I came in here planning to give this book 5 gushing stars.

I picked it up from a random pile of books I had purchased for my HS library and inhaled it in a day - didn’t read reviews before. The entire time I was reading I kept thinking of who I wanted to tell to read it and why.

And then I came here to review it. And saw some scathing reviews - all of them about issues I literally I didn’t see in the book. So, since some of those were written by Black reviewers and I always value #ownvoices reviews above all others - I’ll just sit with this now and try to determine why I (white) read the book so differently.
Profile Image for Last Book Marauder.
269 reviews23 followers
January 8, 2020
I am so sad that this book just did not work for me. It had everything going for it: beautiful cover, enemies-to-lovers, young adult. However, in spite of all of that, it felt like a chore to finish this.

Nandy is one of the worst characters I have ever read. She is a selfish, entitled, spoiled, rich girl and I never really came around to liking her. The reader is told many times that Nandy is actually very sweet and welcoming and incredibly involved in her school and her neighborhood - but we never see that. We only see her whine about every tiny thing that doesn't go exactly her way. She does become slightly more tolerable after the first half of the book, but she never lives up to this character she was painted to be. If she has all these amazing qualities, as I reader, I want to see her exhibiting them.

The writing also felt a little inconsistent to me. Several times the author wrote absolutely beautiful paragraphs about race, adoption, and friendships. Then have her seventeen year old characters say things like "jump street" or complain about being embarrassed because Trice was having his hair braided outside and her house "ain't the hood."

Plus, the actual plot if the book was unoriginal and pretty bland in a majority of the book. The minor conflicts were incredibly repetitive and the major conflict was just glossed over.

There is also a lot of mentions of religion, but for no real purpose. It doesn't play a real role in the story, but is referenced many times. I kept expecting it to mean something in the end... but, no.

With all that said, I did like several things from this book. I already mentioned that parts of the writing were done well. I loved that the author touched on boys dealing with their emotions, loss, and abuse. I also really enjoyed Trice's character. Learning about his past and watching him grow and heal was done very well. I loved his appreciation for his heritage and sharing that with the Smith's.

***Copy received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
Profile Image for Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked).
295 reviews1,476 followers
September 29, 2021
Started this in July of 2020, put it down and forgot to pick it up (we can thank the lovely combo of mom brain and ADHD for that one). Finally finished it now, at the end of September 2021. The first time I read it I got 100 or so pages in and was hella annoyed with a few things. This time around, I was annoyed by the same things, but I'm happy to say they were (almost) all resolved by the end. The main thing I was annoyed about was what an absolute stuck-up bitch Nandy was. For no fucking reason. Thankfully, she came to her senses and turned that shit around.

What wasn't resolved by the end of the book had nothing to do with the characters or plot, but with the writing style. It's unfortunate, but I've gotten used to books by white authors only describing someone's skin colour if they're not white, painting white skin as the default. It sucks, but like I said, I've gotten used to it. It sucks extra when that happens in a book by an author who isn't white. I can't think of a single time a white person's skin tone was described, it was only their hair or their eyes. It's something small that pulls me out of the story, and something that will usually prevent me from giving a full five stars. (Also nearly every character only listens to music from like pre-2010 and spoke the way a 40-something person would if they were trying to sound like a teen. Idk, maybe I'm just getting old and out of touch myself, but it didn't sound like any teens I know.)
Profile Image for Trisha (semi-hiatus).
243 reviews127 followers
July 22, 2021
Edit 22/07/21: I feel like I need to add this disclaimer for anyone liking this or reading this or just plain judging my reviewing skills form this review: This is one of my very first reveiws and it is seriously cringey so please don't judge my review writing skills form this horrifically badly written and ellipses-y review and check out some of my recent ones for coherent and readable reviews. Thank you. Also, I cannot be bothered to fix this right now, so this will stay this bad until I feel like fixing it.

I did not finish.

This book I waited a long time to finally get........and to be completely honest.......I just lost interest halfway through.

The premise was really interesting and the beginning was going really nice.......I don't know but the writing seemed a bit.......pretentious? and boring? and trying too hard?

And then it stopped making sense when she starts behaving weird for no reason.......cause she was behaving fine before......and then there was a sudden time skip.

Like till about halfway into the book......we were living the story from day to day......but then the sudden time skip ......like at the end of the chapter it's the start of summer.....and then suddenly it's one month through the summer in the next chapter........it really threw me off kilter.......and a lot of new stuff......as in people behving really weird.....like some characters did a total 180........it just made me lose interest.

The main reason I wanted to read this book was the really cute cover and the intriguing premise..........but then it just lost me.

I don't recommend this book for anyone who had high expectations of a quality rom-com......though for just passing the time i guess this might have been a good read......not really an interesting one.....but an okay book
Profile Image for SELINA.
240 reviews36 followers
July 12, 2020
A Love Hate Thing By Whitney D. Grandison (2020/07/11)
Rating 2/5 Stars
Disclaimer All thoughts and opinions are my own.
TW: Classism, death of a loved one, murder, domestic violence, domestic abuse, child abuse, racial stereotyping

This Story follows Nandy and Tyson (Trice) who were childhood friends but then one day one of them ends up moving away. 10 years later, Tyson Trice moved to Pacific Hill after being shot in Lindenwood. He ends up staying with Nandy Smith’s family and a romance blossoms from there.

What I liked about this story was that it follows two characters who have different lifestyles who fall in love. I also really loved how friendship and family bonds play such a significant role in this story. I love that the guys in the story treated women with respect. I found that to be very refreshing.

What I didn't like about the story was how stereotypical the story felt. Nandy as a main character was very hard to relate to. I found her character to be very selfish and judgmental and that really didn't change throughout the story. I didn't really enjoy reading from her point of view half of the time and I couldn't really sympathize with her either. I also didn't really enjoy the dialogue between the two characters. I found it to be very choppy and cringey.

Overall, I really didn't enjoy my time reading this novel. I didn't really see the chemistry between the characters, and I didn't find the plot enjoyable. I wouldn't really recommend this book however if anything I said in this review interests you then definitely give this book a try.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Beth .
290 reviews217 followers
January 25, 2020
* I received an arc of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review *

Neither of these characters were redeemable to me. The relationship felt forced and fake. The internalized racism was hard to read and didn’t seem to get any better as the book went on.

Out main character, Trice, has to move in with a random family that his parents were friends with, after his family all passed away. Turns out it was a family that he went to visit for two years between the ages of 5 and 7 while his grandpa worked for them.

This tried to be an enemies to lovers. Trice hated Nandy because she was rich. Nandy hates Trice because he was from ~Lindenwood~ which automatically made him a fugitive, thug, drug dealer etc etc. It took until about 77% into the book for Nandy to stop referring to Lindenwood as anything but a cesspool of awfulness. From the very start, she thought Trice was a bad guy and saw the worst in him and it didn’t really get any better.

Oh but then they both suddenly realized that they loved each other at the age of 7 and the only reason Nandy hated Trice is because he “left her”. And Trice never hated Nandy. So then they fell back in love and everything is perfect. Right?

Wrong! At every possible turn, Nandy still found ways to not trust Trice, to look down on where he’s from, to treat him like he was below her. There were absolutely no redeeming qualities to Nandy and I didn’t find Trice that interesting.

So unfortunately this is a pass for me.
Profile Image for Becca.
616 reviews52 followers
February 18, 2020
Thank you to Netgalley & Inkyard Press for providing me with a copy of A Love Hate Thing in exchange for an honest review!

Nandy Smith: Let’s get the elephant out of the room real quick — Nandy Smith is officially on my list of least favorite fictional characters. It would be completely different if she started off as a spoiled and entitled brat, and gradually changed throughout the read — but there’s not one point where I felt her character was redeemed. Sure, there’s a time where she, I guess, tries to be nicer, but the moment Trice says anything that upsets her, she goes back to being the Nandy that we met at the beginning.

She also has huge jealousy issues and wants Trice to herself & this is while she has her boyfriend, Chad. The moment her best friend showed that she had an interest in Trice, and Trice seemed decently happy for once — Nandy made sure to swoop in and ruin it.

& then we have her judgment of Trice. She freaked out when he was sitting on her steps getting his braided hair because apparently that’s not a thing they do in Pacific Hills. Throughout the read, she continued to look down on him; mainly because of him being from Lindenwood.

Tyson Trice: I’m not going to speak too much about the stereotyping that occurs in this book (& wow, it’s a Mess), but please check out other reviews on here that discuss it!

In the end, he was the only lead I cared about. & granted, there were times when he drove me insane as well. However, I did root for him throughout the read & he is the only thing making this book okay.

Nandy & Trice: If it wasn’t already clear with my Nandy opinions, I did not care for this ship at all. It was incredibly off-and-on & kept going back between love-and-hate, which okay I get it, it’s in the title of the book, but holy heck did it switch to hate over the smallest & dumbest things. They were constantly triggering each other throughout the read.

Plus, there is 0 chemistry at all. & no, I don’t care that they ‘loved’ each other at the age of seven. It’s weird and I hate it.

Religion Mentions: There’s a lot of mention of God in A Love Hate Thing, which cool — total respect, dude. However, it was pointless & in the end, didn’t even mean anything at all. After what Trice dealt with, he ended up losing his faith, and now everyone wants to tell him that they hope he finds his way back. It just felt so incredibly out-of-place in this book.

Cringe Dialogue & Pop-Culture References: To put it simply, the dialogue is le cringe.

As for pop culture references, I was here for it. But that was because I’m pushing 30 & know perfectly well what they’re referencing. But, y’all???? If I was the age that this book was marketed for, I probably would have been so lost.

But I would like to give the shoutout to both leads musical tastes because I too love Kendrick Lamar and Lana del Ray.

A Drag: My final complaint & note on A Love Hate Thing is that it felt incredibly too long. I almost DNF’ed multiple times.
Profile Image for Vicky Again.
582 reviews820 followers
June 20, 2020
I had really high hopes for this one, but it ended up falling a little short for me.

Personally, I found the framing around Pacific Hills as a great community that everyone aspires to live in to be...uncomfortable? deceiving? It's a rich neighborhood, and even as a semi-diverse one, I found it weird that it was being framed as a good place. One that is good to all the people who live there. Because real rich neighborhoods like Pacific Hills, complete with cotillion and deb balls, can get pretty racist and exclusionary. Deb balls are usually invitation-based and the invites go to rich white kids with connections. (But again, Pacific Hills is fictional, so on one hand, this is a nice fantasy to be able to write about.)

But especially when contrasted against Lindwood. A lot of the times it felt like the book was saying "Congrats, Trice! You got out! You get to benefit and chill in Pacific Hills! Time for you to cut all ties to Lindwood and start your new happy stage of your life with a bunch of rich kids. You deserve to get out...sucks for everyone else in Lindwood."

Idk. I'll update if I have more thoughts, but I'd definitely suggest reading some OwnVoices reviews. I'm not sure I would hand this to any white or non-Black reader who isn't well-versed in understanding complex social dynamics surrounding community and Blackness. Which isn't a flaw of Grandison or her writing, but more of a flaw of the white gaze that may read this and internalize some of the shit Nandy internalized at the beginning of the book.
Profile Image for ♛primadonna♛.
358 reviews94 followers
January 11, 2020
My emotions are all over the place.
First read of 2020 and it's a 5 star read that's gonna be hard to top in the YA/Romance department.! THIS is what I call a NOVEL.!
A Love Hate Thing reads like a movie. I could see it all in my head.

Nandy and Tyson.
just. ugh. Love. It's not love at first site. It's a slow burn. It's hate to love.
And I know that's so many people's favorite thing, but it's never been mines.
But if more hate-to-love stories are done like this?!
I'm all in.

A beautiful, tragic, emotional love story that tugged at my heart strings and totally Blew Me AWAY.!
I was shocked, blown away, laughing, in tears, just all over the place.!
Everytime I put it down I was drawn right back in because I just had to know what happens next?!
(I Know it's a Really good book when I start telling people around me about it and I was shouting about A Love Hate Thing from the rooftops nearly.!)
Every character was fleshed out. Even the side characters got complete stories and personalities. And I just loved so many characters in the end.
I need More.! I need this to be a movie that I can watch over and over again and again.!

Yes to diversity.! Yes to being honest and real about teen's sex lives.!
As I said before, Yes to fleshing out All the characters.! Yes to Tyson's entire life story.! Yes to Travis being so friggin hilarious and awesome (he's my favorite.!) Yes to so many inspirational quotes throughout.! Yes to two POV's.! And Yes to having a playlist in the back that I'm gonna keep on repeat for awhile especially whenever I think back to Trandy.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher and the author through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'?.
614 reviews104 followers
January 11, 2020
When Tyson Trice reappears in Nandy Smith's life 10 years after she had last seen him, she knew right away, he wasn't that same seven year old boy she used to play with. Trice is coming to live with the Smith's after the tragic death of his parents. He is angry and hurting and this is the last place he wants to be. But will he be able to come out of his funk and find the friendship he once had with Nandy? Will he be able to step away from his old life and try to build a new one with these people who are nothing like him?

Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for the opportunity to read and review this book.

I could not put this book down. I read it all of the time. I stayed up late, I got up early. Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, I was shocked by what actually did happen. This is a story about young rekindled love.

Trice and Nandy first meet each other when they are seven years old. Trice's grandfather does yard work in the neighborhood where Nandy lives and Trice plays with her while he does his work. Trice let's Nandy boss him around and they have a little puppy love. Then all of a sudden the visits stop and Nandy doesn't hear from Trice again until he's 17 and a very different person.

Did you ever have someone in your life when you were a kid that you played with all of the time and just knew you were going to be friends forever. But something happens and they are no longer a part of your life. You always wonder what happened to them and what would have happened if there were to stay in your life. What would you do if you had the opportunity to have them in your life again? Do you think you would rekindle old feelings or would you have moved on by then?

I really enjoyed this debut book by Whitney Grandison. I hear she has been writing quite a bit on Wattpad, so I may have to jump over there and check some more of her writing out. I hope this is a first of many books I get to read of hers.
Profile Image for Clockwork bibliophile.
129 reviews20 followers
June 15, 2020
Thank you Netgalley for sending me a complementary arc of this book.

I will give this book 2.5 stars. I really really wanted to enjoy this book. I thought it would have a nice enemies to lovers romance. But it just bored me. The relationship felt very forced and I was not invested in it at all. Even their bickering felt completely pointless - a lot of it didn’t even make sense. I didn’t care for Nandy’s character. She was very annoying and judgemental. Trice was a better character and it was interesting reading about his life and has struggles. His trauma and grief was portrayed quite well. Overall, I just didn’t care much about the characters or the plot. In fact, I thought some of the side characters were way more interesting than the main ones!
Profile Image for Gabrielle.
113 reviews6 followers
May 11, 2020
The writing style of this book made it very cringey at times ; the characters lacked depth and the book was full of stereotypes and cliches. I wanted to read to support a black love story but this was a difficult read.
Profile Image for Fanna.
979 reviews491 followers
Want to read
August 18, 2019
As a fan of the hate-to-love trope, I'm ready for a book that has both 'love' and 'hate' in the title.
Profile Image for rae ✌️.
207 reviews32 followers
September 16, 2019
You were my Neverland.

I received an ARC from Netgalley and Harlequin TEEN in exchange for an honest review.

wow whitney grandison, way to come out swingin' with your debut! this was an absolute roller-coaster ride start to finish, and lowkey felt like i was watching a season of a delicious teen drama (and now reading the acknowledgements and seeing grandison was greatly inspired by the OC, it totally clicks!)

this love story is about two teenagers from completely opposite worlds. trice was born and raised in lindenwood, the place where boys like him are destined to die. but trice isn't like the others; after getting shot by his father and almost dying, he gets a second chance to escape fate by living with a wealthy family in pacific hills, and reconnect with a girl who he thought lost to him almost ten years prior. nandy is said girl, and she's everything trice is not. obsessed with looking right in front of her peers and dating the most popular guy in school, nandy is less than pleased to be letting a lindenwood boy into her preciously upkept life, even if said boy is her first love from years ago.

the title a love hate thing perfectly sums up their relationship. they hate each other. they love each other. they hate each other again. the cycle continues, on and on and on, until eventually walls break down, revelations are found, and a long-lost love can't stay hidden any longer. grandinson perfectly takes the love-hate trope and pulls the best aspects from it, leaving you on the edge of your seat as you wonder if trice and nandy will ever get their acts together. put that against the luscious backdrop of a california summer, and you've got yourself one hell of a story.

even though i absolutely adored this though (the character work is truly amazing, and the side characters are equally as loveable as the main ones), my one gripe is that this is about 100 pages too long. the story easily could've been told in a shorter amount of time, and when half of the action is kids partying at nightclubs, it can get old fast. but, that's literally the only thing i was annoyed with. everything else was amazing, and i can't wait to have everyone else read this when it releases.

pick it up if you like enemies to friends to lover romances, teen drama, and steamy romance.
Profile Image for Tori.
339 reviews25 followers
September 22, 2019
Tyson Trice, you deserve happiness and a love more consuming than the deepest ocean ❤️

Review to come.

EDIT to include review - Sept 21, 2019

It was eminent. It stood against time. The love I felt for Queen was the closest I would ever feel for another person next to my mother. Looking into Queen's dark eyes, I felt peace and calm. I had found my kingdom. I was home.

CW: murder, domestic violence/abuse, child abuse, classism, racial stereotyping

Wow. It's been a while since I read a teen romance that connected with me and touched me on such a deeply emotional level. I not only felt the love the leading characters, Tyson (aka Trice) and Nandy felt for one another, but I felt rooted in their core selves. A Love Hate Thing follows the story of Tyson Trice, a 17 year-old black teen from Lindenwood, California (often stereotypically viewed by outsiders as "the hood"). Tyson is sent to live with the family of his childhood friend, Nandy Smith, after surviving a shooting. Nandy, also 17, is a black teen from Pacific Hills, California (a suburb like Bel-Air or Beverly Hills aka where rich folk live).

I grew to love Nandy's character. Although she was extremely classist toward Tyson in the beginning, as the story progressed you see where her actions stemmed from. She was rich and spoiled but was often described by other characters as kind, friendly and welcoming (she reminded me of a more clever version of Hilary Banks from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or Whitley from A Different World ). These traits become more visible to the reader as her character grows throughout the novel. I loved that Nandy was described as dark-skinned with dark eyes and was often regarded as the "most beautiful" and "popular girl" in Pacific Hills. While beauty and popularity are obviously not character traits, it's so rare that a black girl (and a dark-skinned black girl at that) is described in such a way. Nandy also had a pretty diverse and amazing group of friends. The girl power and female empowerment among her friends was so strong and it felt like they were my own group of friends!

I absolutely LOVED Tyson. There's one description of him from Nandy that really resonated with me and summed him up perfectly:

"His strength and gentleness were two contrasts that made me admire him to my core"

Tyson was, indeed, strength and gentleness wrapped into one. He didn't always recognize his true strength but instead masked his deeply ingrained grief with indifference and a hard exterior. Tyson was a beautifully crafted character - he was incredibly intelligent, honest, respectful and loyal. I loved the author for writing Tyson as basically the opposite of every stereotype associated with the black man. He wasn't a "baller", a "gangsta" or a "thug" - he was a survivor.

Nandy and Tyson both struggled with their vulnerabilities and letting their guard down with each other (and even themselves) and it was beautiful to watch those walls crumble as the book progressed. Nandy became humbled and a pillar (but not a savior) for Tyson and Tyson became more open with his feelings, emotions, and grief.

The element of friendship was also strong throughout this novel. Nandy's relationship with her friends was honest and un-sugarcoated, albeit strong and understanding. There was a part where Nandy and her friend, Shayne, were on the outs but I admired the way they were able to resolve the issue and still stuck by one another. Nandy tried to get Tyson to be a part of her "in" crowd in Pacific Hills, but Tyson marched to the beat of his own drum and befriended the less "cool" guy, Kyle, and the "trouble-maker", Travis. The growth among these characters and their friendships (especially with Tyson and his friends) was incredibly strong and heartwarming to witness. We also see the element and hard lesson of letting go of old friendships and loyalties in order for one's self to grow and become a better person.

From start to finish, I found myself extremely connected to this novel. From the language throughout, Nandy and Tyson's relationship with one another and their personal growth, to the mention of music sprinkled throughout - I almost felt like I knew the author (I don't lol), through her characters and writing.

Nandy and Tyson's story (especially Tyson's) is one that I'm so honoured to have had the privilege of reading and will stay in my heart for a long time <3. Thank you, Whitney D. Grandison (wheadee), for writing a story about our people with so much heart and growth and including our rich history - I very much look forward to your future works!

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin TEEN for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Brinley.
937 reviews67 followers
July 22, 2021
So, I disliked this. And because it's late at night, this isn't getting a coherent review. It's getting a list of things I disliked.

First off; the characters. Where they even supposed to be likeable? Nandy was a spoiled rich girl who expected everything to go her way. She couldn't make up her mind, and strung every one of her friends along. Tyson on the other hand, was just bland. I still don't know what his personality was, and quite frankly, I don't care.

The plot of this was so much more convoluted than it needed to be. When I picked this up, I thought I was signing up for a cute enemies-to-lovers romance, not a story about shootings, car theft, and drama. Not a fan at all, this should've been 100 pages shorter.

Finally, the romance. There wasn't any chemistry at all. You know it's bad when I was shipping Tyson with Shayne instead of Tyson and Nandy. They got together because of proximity, not because of any connection.

Even though this had some of my favorite tropes (enemies-to-lovers, forced proximity) it was still a disappointment. I'm off to read something better and hopefully forget about this one.
Profile Image for Lulu.
772 reviews105 followers
November 19, 2020

Started off great, ended great. That middle section could have been left out and easily shaved 100-150 pages off the total page count.
Profile Image for Jenna.
315 reviews331 followers
March 4, 2021
I love reading love stories set in high school. As someone who fell in love with and married my high school sweetheart, it's just very nostalgic for me to read about others doing the same. This book had all the fun of a high school romance with some heavier layers to peel back and experience.

I listened to this book on audio and really liked the experience of two narrators - one for the male lead, one for the female. The two main characters couldn't be more different and the voice actors did a great job of making that come to life!

Here are 3 things I loved about this book:
I loved that we had a representation of both a girl who grew up privileged and a boy who grew up with a rougher life. The contrast between the two lives was fascinating, sobering, and well fleshed out.
I loved the mixture of the enemies to lovers and second chance romance. They knew each other in the past, then he came back into her life, she hated him, and then we got to witness them falling for one another.
I loved how it felt a little bit like Gossip Girl, but make it Los Angeles. We got to see the secret lives of LA's elite instead of Manahattan's.

Here are 2 things I didn't love about this book:
It felt a little too long for what it was. I got a little bored in the middle because of that.
I got a little frustrated with the main characters at times - I had to remind myself that yes, they were in high school, but they seemed quite a bit...frivolous.

Content warnings:
Gun violence
Physical abuse
Death of parent
Profile Image for Hristina.
512 reviews76 followers
January 2, 2020
Read my spoiler-free review and an exclusive excerpt on my blog, illbefinealone reads.

This was an exceptionally enjoyable read for me.
I really liked the characters. Trice was so perfectly developed and brought to the page. Nandy seemed to be set as an opposite to Trice, and I really liked their interactions. A lot in this book was well executed. I really enjoyed the dynamics between the characters, as well as the writing. The plot was okay, but the connection I felt to the characters allowed me to keep reading.
I have to note though that the pacing didn’t work for me, it felt a bit inconsistent. However, I liked the story, and I really wanted to see how it would turn out in the end.

*Copy received through NetGalley
*Rating: 4/5 stars
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