Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt was so adorable I nearly died

UnconventionalTitle: Unconventional
Series: N/A
Author: Maggie Harcourt
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: February 1st 2017, Usborne Publishing
Pages: 464 Pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you to Usborne Publishing for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 4/5 cupcakes!
Lexi Angelo has grown up helping her dad with his events business. She likes to stay behind the scenes, planning and organizing...until author Aidan Green - messy haired and annoyingly arrogant - arrives unannounced at the first event of the year. Then Lexi's life is thrown into disarray.In a flurry of late-night conversations, mixed messages and butterflies, Lexi discovers that some things can't be planned. Things like falling in love...
When I received a copy of Unconventional to review I probably alarmed everyone in nearby proximity to me with the amount of high-pitched squeaking that came out of my mouth. I adored Maggie's debut, The Last Summer of Us, so my expectations were high...and they were so met and exceeded. The romance had me squealing and laughing and crying in frustration, the witty banter had me snorting with laughter more than once and the writing made me smile continuously. This is the perfect read for when you need an escape from reality - enter a world of conventions, cute boys who write books that seem to have been made for you, sarcastic characters and a dynamic friendship quartet - you won't regret it.


Let me bombard you with a list of all the things I loved about this book, yes? Lists are fabulous and this book was fabulous hence a list of reasons why this book was all kinds of fabulous will combine most admirably...

  1. I loved that it's set in a convention. I've never attended one before although I'd really like to so it was exhilarating being able to experience it. The atmosphere was chaotic and bustling and filled with excitement and adventure, it made me feel as if I were right there.
  1. I freaking adored Aidan. He's a writer, a cute, sweet, funny writer who loves books and words and who wonderfully nerdy and smart and I JUST LOVE HIM SO MUCH. Can I have him? I want him. He's definitely one of my new favourite book boyfriends and I fell in love with him from the moment I laid sights on him. 
  1. I really liked Lexi and I saw parts of myself reflected in her several times. I like to be in control of situations, I like having a set plan for things and anything that is unpredictable I can find quite terrifying (thanks, anxiety) so I loved seeing those characteristics of myself in Lexi. I also loved how she was very mature and responsible and I don't often see that a lot in YA. I also appreciated that she was a hard-working and quite a serious character, I haven't come across many female protagonists like her so reading about her was like breathing in a breath of fresh air – Unconventional was devoid of YA contemporary cookie-cutter characters (admire my alliteration skills) and I LOVED that (I guess you could say they're...unconventional. hahaha. i'll see myself out.)! Also, she is SO FUNNY. And sarcastic. And I would totally be best friends with her because I love people with her sense of humour. Also: she hides under tables when things get too stressful which seems to be a brilliant way of avoiding one's problems - why haven't I thought of this before?
  1. THE FRIENDSHIP. OH MY GOSH GUYS, the friendship it was fantastic! I've read quite a few books in the past where the female characters don't have any female friends at all which I find a bit strange, so I was SO PLEASED to see the strong relationship between Lexi and Sam (Samira). Their friendship was filled with banter, teasing and laughter and they were always there for one another. I also loved how they weren't afraid to call the other one out if they were being too snarky or abrupt - it was the perfect friendship filled with sassy comebacks, deep meaningful conversations and honesty - I absolutely loved it. Also part of their friendship group was Nadia and Bede who I ADORED, they were utterly hilarious and I loved the scenes where they were all together as I knew comical situations would abound!
  1. THE ROMANCE. GUYS, the romance. It was my favourite kind - a mixture of dislike that slowly, oh-so-slowly turns into a breathtaking relationship. It was so cute my heart flippity-flops just thinking about it. This book is over 400 pages long and the romance took awhile to fully reach a crescendo, if only they had seen the spark before I did...but no, they had to deprive me of their coupley adorable mess for that much longer. Seriously, though. I loved how adorable their romance was, I mean, it was centered around books and conventions - it doesn't get any more magical than that, now does it? Another thing I loved was how realistic it was. It showed that not every relationship comes easy, it shows that even with all our flaws and our messy, broken hearts we can be loved, that there are a lot of awkward moments in relationships and that not everything is as picture perfect as what we see in the movies - and that's okay, because it's real and it's raw and it's true. There's sometimes jealousy and insecurity, there is miscommunication and moments where we say the wrong things and do the wrong things without meaning to but it also shows the beauty in the initial uncertainty, the first steps filled with trepidation, the brilliance of the loving another person and all the incredible feelings that accompany it. Unconventional shows the many obscure - and the conspicuous - layers of love and it was sublime.
       6. This book causes sleep deprivation. You know it's good then. There were several nights that I stayed up far too late reading, did I regret it the next morning? Yes.  Did it stop me from doing it again? Heck no.
  1. I loved how this book was also about Lexi learning how to accept herself and realising her importance amidst the accomplishments of her father and the growing celebrity status of her boyfriend. I think at some point we've all struggled with feelings of inferiority and we've all found many flaws within ourselves and I loved how Lexi realised she was worth it, she meant a lot and I appreciated that she acknowledged her flaws and tried to shape herself into a better version of Lexi once she'd became aware of the less than perfect parts of her. 

As you can tell, I loved this book (and Aidan. I LOVE Aidan), the only thing that prevented me from giving it a full five stars is that I sometimes felt as if the convention aspect book was the main focus. I understand that it's a realistic portrayal of Lexi's life though as conventions are her life but as someone who has never really been to a convention and who isn't as in love with conventions as the characters, there were several moments where my attention couldn't be held BUT, those moments were quite rare and I still LOVED this book!

Maggie Harcourt has once again written a book filled with hilarious one-liners, fabulous friendships and a swoon-worthy romance. A perfect conglomeration of humour and heart that Maggie always seems to combine seamlessly, Unconventional will have you reeling from the heartbreak and uncertainty of first love and in the next minute, have you smiling so wide your cheeks hurt. You'll love it. 

I give it: 4/5 cupcakes!

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