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Review: Hickville Crossroads by Mary Karlik

Hey all, Dani here.

You guys, I bought so many groceries today, and yet I regret nothing. I’m going to be doing a little bit of meal prep, making up some soups and pastas in my Instant Pot that Damian and I can pack for our work lunches throughout the week. It’s going to be pretty great, honestly. Most of the recipes only require me to use a limited number of dishes and utensils, they take minimal cook time, and they taste delicious. I am so happy with this purchase.

We also bought several picture frames at the store because we bought quite a few metal art prints from Colorworld Books, and we wanted to get them framed and hung up on our walls quickly. Despite living in our house for over a year, we still haven’t hung up most of our art from conventions. I’m trying to get all of them framed so we can finally display all of our geekiness everywhere, but we can only pick up a few frames at a time–partly because stores only carry so many, but also because of pricing. When we get most or all of it up, I will definitely do an art tour of our house. It’s pretty cool.

So…I chose this book off NetGalley partly because of the cover and partly because of the summary…and it was only after I had clicked on the request button that I saw that this is book 4 of a series. Oops. Anyway, thanks to NetGalley and GPK Publications for granting me early access to this book; it did not affect my review or rating in any way.

Okay, let’s jump into the review.

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Book Details

Format: E-book

Pages: 191

Publisher: GPK Publication

Publication Date: May 4, 2020

ASIN: B0854H323Y

Summary

Frasier Anderson is one of the hottest teenage actors in the UK, but he’s virtually unknown in the US. Now he’s landed the leading role in a big-budget Hollywood film that could make him an international star. 

So how do you prepare a Scot for a role as a Texas high school student? Give him a fake name, a fake accent, and embed him in a Texas high school. He only has to follow three rules:

No drama. No girls. And no telling who he really is.

Jenna Wiley is smart, funny, and has a few no-drama, no-dating rules of her own. Her friendship with new kid Ethan Smith is perfect and might even lead to something more. Except for a few things that don’t add up. Like his mom being afraid to have company. Or their house, which is more staged than lived in. Or his sister, whom nobody talks about.

It all comes to a boil when Frasier’s biggest secrets hit the tabloids and the paparazzi swarm Hillside with Jenna in their sights.

Can Frasier convince Jenna that shy, goofy Ethan Smith is closer to real than the image the tabloids have created?

And can she ever forgive him for breaking the most important rule of all? Because for Jenna, when it comes to love and science, the truth is all that matters.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This was a quick read. Cute, fun, and easy. Did it feel a tiny bit short? Well, yeah, I guess it did a bit, but sometimes it’s nice to have a shorter read, and I’ve read a few books that are more novella length lately, and it’s fine.

I can say that I didn’t think this book was confusing at all for someone who hasn’t read the rest of the series. Thankfully it is a YA contemporary romance series, and each book technically follows a different couple, so I maybe missed some cameos, but that didn’t affect my enjoyment of this book.

As I said in the intro section of this post, I picked this book up because of the cover and then because of the summary. The Scottish flag caught my attention and the title saying Hickville. I grew up in the country, went to a rural school surrounded by farms and such, so oftentimes I do refer to myself as a hick, so that called out to me. Then I read the summary and it seemed like a cute and possibly predictable YA contemporary romance with a Scottish actor and an American nerdy high school student. Sure, I like stories like this.

There’s the typical high school drama, a lot of it revolving around relationships, school events, and secrets and the rumor mill. But it’s somewhat comforting to fall into a story filled with all those trappings of the standard story. I like to follow it in books, movies, and TV shows. It’s easy to fall into and the plots and tropes are so standard that it’s almost comforting in its familiarity.

I did enjoy learning about Frasier/”Ethan” and Jenna, and seeing them get to know each other, become friends and maybe something more, get torn apart by secrets and the tabloids, and then find their way towards a happy-for-now ending. If the rest of the series is like this, I could see it being a series of made-for-TV movies, maybe on a network like the Hallmark channel.

I might pick up the rest of the series, particularly if I’m in the mood for an easy and quick contemporary romance read. It’d be nice to learn about the other couples to see if there actually were cameos in this book that I didn’t know about.

Where to Get a Copy

You can pre-order your own copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or wherever else digital books are sold. This book will be released May 4, 2020.

You can also check with your local library.

1 thought on “Review: Hickville Crossroads by Mary Karlik”

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