Just a Little Crush by Renita Pizzitola
Series: Crush series #1
Also in this series: Just a Little Kiss
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date: October 21st 2014
Genres: New Adult
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Good girls stay away from Ryder Briggs . . . or, at least, they try to.
Brinley Dawson doesn’t drink, she studies—and despite the accusations of her alcoholic mother, she’s still a virgin. But if Brinley’s life is so put together, why is she freaking out to be going to college with the gorgeous, green-eyed jerk she kissed on a stupid dare in high school? Ryder Briggs can have any girl he wants . . . and the rumors say that he does. So why, after publicly embarrassing Brinley four years ago, is he suddenly acting like he’s interested?
Ryder never forgot Brinley. In fact, those perfect seven minutes permanently raised the bar for what a kiss could be. The truth is, Ryder doesn’t dare get too close to anyone. He knows how that worked out for his parents. But when his roommate takes a shot at Brinley, Ryder can’t contain his jealousy. Now he must do the hardest thing he’s ever done: forget about sex and convince Brinley his feelings are real.
Brinley isn’t sure whether she believes Ryder, but for the first time, her body isn’t playing by the rules. Then she discovers that she’s an unwilling part of a cruel game, humiliating her all over again—and Ryder might be to blame. Has Brinley’s little crush turned into a huge mistake . . . or has she found the one guy worth trusting with her heart?
When Brinley was a freshman in high school she attended a party with her friend Mason. The party participants started playing spin the bottle and it landed on her. She ended up in the bathroom with Ryder who was all kinds of hot. She wasn’t sure what she should do and Ryder was giving her different options when he finally just kissed her. The kiss was amazing – for both of them – but when Ryder started getting excited, as high school boys do, Brinley was mortified. She ended up running from the party and falling in the pool much to the delight of the snobby party-goers.
Now Brinley is in college and is attending a party with Mason – who became her best friend the night of that high school party. She’s trying to avoid a guy named Noah – who is the host of the party and is obviously after her – when she spots Ryder. She was aware that he attended the same college but as he was a year ahead of her and she hadn’t seen him around campus she felt she was safe from mortification (if he recognized her). Noah tries to subtly make a move on Brinley but she’s saved by, of all people, Ryder. When he shows up at her dorm the next morning she’s shocked (and secretly pleased) that he was nice enough to return the phone that she she’d lost at the party. As much as Brinley said that she hated Noah in high school she had just a little crush on him the entire time. Now he’s being nice and they start spending time together.
Ryder doesn’t honestly believe that he’s good enough for Brinley but he gets attached quickly. He has a lot of experience with girls but none have been like her. Brinley soaks up the attention that Ryder gives her. She has issues with her family and with Mason’s jealousy but she deals with it with Ryder’s help they get closer. That is, until she finds out, right after she sleeps with him, that there’s a website that is rating girls’ hotness and the guys gets points for getting laid with those girls – and both she and Ryder are on the website. Needless to say Brinley is crushed and thinks he’s an ass but all things are not what they seem.
This was a very cute book. I really enjoyed reading it and I liked Pizzitola’s style of writing. There wasn’t a huge mystery about what was going to happen and that made it a little predictable but I liked Brinley and Ryder so much I didn’t seem to care. The supporting characters –the fellow college students, Ryder’s sister and Brinley’s grandmother – were all great. I really got into the story and couldn’t quite manage to put it down until I was done.
That being said I did have one issue with the story and that’s the fact that it seemed to glamorize alcohol to an extent. Brinley’s mother was a fall-down-drunk alcoholic who blamed Brinley for everything – really just existing. At the beginning of the book I liked that Brinley didn’t drink all that much as it seemed to fit with her character and her experiences with her mother. As the book went on, however, her friends kind of forced it on her and she caved to the peer pressure. She ended up drinking more and more and I hated that. The Brinley I was reading about didn’t seem to be the kind of girl to give in to the pressure but yet she did. It made it seem like she could be happier and less uptight if she just drank alcohol. WHY? I kept expecting her to have that a-ha moment where she realizes having a beer is okay but having multiple shots and beer and getting disgustingly drunk isn’t. She never seemed to have that bad of a hangover either. Her friends seemed to suffer horribly but not her which was bizarre. Anyway – those portions of the book didn’t work for me at all. (Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with alcohol just the roll it played with Brinley in this book.)
Despite that drinking issue I really liked the book and I’m looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Rating: 4 out of 5