Hostile ~ Nicole Dykes
An artist and a jock, who are opposite but also so perfect for each other, is always a win in my book. I just love these types of books, and god did I love this one. I just had such a good time reading this book and this book made me feel so many things, I laughed, I cried, I got frustrated at some of the characters, I just went through so many emotions and I had the best of time reading this book because of that.
Grayson and Rhett are both 18 and in their last year of high school. Rhett is a brooding artist who wants to be a tattoo artist, and Grayson was the star quarterback of the football team. He plays other sports too and he's trying to fit in with his friends, even if he doesn't feel like he can relate to them. He's putting on the jock with a trust fund persona, but he has a lot more layers than that. He is also hiding the fact that he's gay. Grayson has been staring at Rhett a lot and he's really into him, they start spending a lot of time together and they fall in love.
I didn’t know it was my job to make him smile until I met him. Now I know. This is my destiny. Making my grumpy guy smile.
First, I really enjoyed how they got together. I liked how Grayson was always staring at Rhett and just wanted to know him so he did everything so he could get to know him. Rhett was reticent at first, but Grayson proved him that he was worthy of his attention. It's the kind of things that I wouldn't want to happen to me in real life but I just love it so much in books and I really enjoyed how it was done in this book. I really enjoy the don't talk to me, I don't want you, but I'll still try to spend time with you because I like you, I just don't want to admit it vibes in books and this book had so much of those vibes and I just loved it.
Second, the relationship development in this book was just so lovely to me. I loved how their relationship flowed and evolved the more time they spent together. I loved how they went from unlikely friends to wanting to spend more and more time with each other. I just adored how the relationship flowed in this book.
Third, Rhett has been abandoned as a child and because of that he feels like he is broken and he has a lot of trust issues. He was adopted by foster parents who gave him a lot of things but he feels like he doesn't deserve it and like the life he has is not a life he should have. He feels like he has to make his own way because he does not deserve the things he's been given in life. Rhett is super grumpy and moody because he just doesn't feel like he's good enough for the life he has and it's making him act out. I loved how the book put so much of a focus on him finding his place in life and finding where he belongs and finding it in himself to like the person he is, that just really worked for me.
Fourth, Grayson has his future planed for him by his family, meaning studying real estate at an ivy league college and then marry a upstanding woman and work for the family business, but that's not really what he wants to do in life. And a lot of the book is him having to come to that conclusion and trying to find his own way and the things that make him happy in life. I really love when we get to see past the facade characters put on to see who they really are and what their motivations are and that was the case for Grayson’s character and I loved reading about it.
Fifth, this is probably one of the only book about 18 years old that I have read that I felt like the characters actually sounded and acted like their age. I loved how they were in life situations that reminded me of when I was 18 and how realistic their lives felt. They had to make big life decisions and they were kind of lost on what to do and they had no clue what to do most of time and that just felt like everything I remember feeling when I was 18 myself. I just really appreciated how Rhett and Grayson felt like real people who were a little lost in life, but trying to figure it out even if it seemed impossible a lot of the time. I really really appreciated how they were a little lost and never sure of what to do or how they felt because that's just such a relatable feeling to me.
Also, I really enjoyed how most of their high school life sounded realistic instead of sounding like a teen movie from the 2000's. I could actually relate to most of their actions and life events and that felt like such a breath of fresh air to me. This book did have a little too many melodrama moments about high school for me, but I could see them actually happening, I just didn’t really appreciate them. I’m just not really into this kind of melodrama in books.
Sixth, I really enjoyed how this book talked about the main characters' sexualities. We had Rhett, who isn’t sure what he identified as and who hadn’t been into anyone until Grayson kissed him and who didn’t know what he identified as, just that he has never been into anyone but Grayson. Which is something I really enjoyed how it was portrayed. And we had Grayson, who is gay, but who was afraid to came out to his family because he thought that they would disown him. I have to say I absolutely adored how Rhett never told him he had to come out or made it seem like Grayson had to come out in a time frame that isn’t Grayson's. Way too often that doesn’t happen in books and I just loved how it happened in this one. I just really adored the representation of their sexualities, it was just done so well to me.
Seventh, the relationship in this book felt shockingly really mature for 18 years old and I really loved that. I felt like it felt their relationship super well and I loved how they dealt with everything thrown their way, that part of the book just really worked for me.
Eight, I just want to mention the sex scenes in this book because there is a lot of sexual exploration going on in this book and I just loved all of it. The way it was done was just so wonderful, and so lovingly written, I just really appreciated it and I love reading all of the sex scenes in this book, they were just so good.
Ninth, the plot of this book is one I read many times before, but one that I really enjoy and I particularly enjoyed this book's take on this plot. Everything about how this book treated the different plot elements just worked for me. I really enjoyed everything about this one and how it took on the subject's matter, it was just done in a way that really worked for me.
Tenth, if I just had to say one thing, the climax of the book just didn’t really work for me, I liked it but it didn’t satisfy me as much as I wanted it to.
Regardless of that, I still had such a lovely time reading this book and I absolutely adored reading this one.