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Review: Shipped by Meredith Tate

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, fine, two fandom focused reviews in a row. You know what, I’m not sorry. Honestly it was partly accidental. I was going through my spreadsheet of both books I needed to review and NetGalley reads I needed to review and planning them out in my schedule and I didn’t really pay attention to the fact that it was two similar book reviews together. I guess that’s what I get when I’m planning my posts out a month in advance and I go down the calendar through the one spreadsheet and then the other. I guess that happens sometimes.

Yesterday’s fandom review was an adult novel and it was definitely aimed at adult readers thanks to the sexual content, but today’s book is a YA novel, so there is no explicit sex stuff, while still having the fan-fic and real-world romantic elements.

Okay, let’s go ahead and jump into the review.

Shipped by Meredith Tate

Can two IRL enemies find their happily ever after online?

Stella Greene and Wesley Clarke are Gene Connolly Memorial High School’s biggest rivals. While the two have been battling it out for top student, it’s a race to the bottom when it comes to snide comments and pulling the dirtiest prank. For years, Stella and Wes have been the villain in each other’s story, and now it’s all-out war.

And there is no bigger battle than the one for valedictorian, and more specifically, the coveted valedictorian scholarship.

But Stella and Wes have more in common than they think. Both are huge fans of Warship Seven, a popular sci-fi TV drama with a dedicated online following, and the two start chatting under aliases—without a clue that their rival is just beyond the screen. They realize that they’re both attending SciCon this year, so they plan to dress in their best cosplay and finally meet IRL.

While tensions at school are rising and SciCon inches closer and closer, the enemy lines between Stella and Wes blur when a class project shows them they might understand one another better than anyone else—and not just in cosplay.

From the author of The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly comes a heartfelt story about rivalry, friendships, and defying preconceived notions—even the ones about yourself.

My Thoughts:

Rating: 4 stars

I want to say I read this book quickly, and overall I did, but I also set it down a few times and basically forgot about it for a week or two. That doesn’t mean that the book wasn’t good. Unfortunately this is one of the books I was trying to read while I was slumping again. So I blame myself and not my reading material.

I think the banter between Stella and Wesley was pretty good, and it was amusing to see them paired up together for their AP Bio project. Also, while their prank war against each other was a bit ridiculous at times, it did seem like the sort of petty rivalry bullcrap that would happen in high school.

Character development and relationship development is an area that I feel didn’t do enough in this book. Stella in fact barely seems to grow at all. In the beginning she is a judgmental snob who doesn’t appreciate her family and puts down her sister repeatedly as a failure because of dropping out of school and being a teenage mother…and by the end of the book, well, yeah, she’s still pretty much the same there. It doesn’t matter what she is told from her family or her sister, or what developments she sees, Stella remains a perpetual snobby judge, thinking her sister’s life is terrible merely because she didn’t finish school before. Wesley at least seems to learn from the experiences he lives through and gains a bit more of an appreciation for those who didn’t have quite the same life benefits he did.

Stella’s fanfic didn’t even read as particularly good fanfic either, unfortunately. It felt as immature and snobby as Stella was.

I wanted to like this book so much more than I did, though obviously I liked it enough to give it 4 stars. The concept was great and there were nice moments, but the execution and the characters just weren’t there enough for me to fully love the story.

– – –

All right, well that is all from me for today. I hope you had a lovely weekend. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.

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