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Contemporary YA Guest Review: That Boy by Jillian Dodd

Thanks to my wonderful Goodreads friend, Sofija, who once again agreed to review a book for this blog! If you remember last year, she ended up DNFing Gabriel's Inferno. This time she is talking about a book she really enjoyed.

That Boy by Jillian Dodd (That Boy #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
That Boy is a contemporary romance about falling in love with the boys next door.

You know, being friends with two cute boys does have its benefits.

There's Danny. Danny is a golden boy in every way. He has dreamy blue eyes and blonde hair that always looks perfect, even when it’s windblown or been stuck under a football helmet. He’s the boy every girl crushes on. The boy I get into trouble with, the boy I fight with, the hot quarterback no girl can resist, not even me. Being with Danny is like being on an adventure. He has a bright, contagious smile and abs to die for. He’s pretty much irresistible.

Equally crush worthy is Phillip. Adorable, sweet Phillip, who I have known since birth.  Phillip has dark hair, a perfect smile, brown eyes, and the sexiest voice I have ever heard. He’s the boy I talk to every night before I go to sleep. The boy who rescues me, the boy who can read my mind, the boy who is always there for me, the boy who tries to keep me out of trouble, the boy who irritatingly keeps getting hotter, and whose strong arms always seem to find their way around me.  And when he gives me that grin, I can never say no.

One boy will give me my very first kiss.
One boy will teach me to make out.
One boy will take me to prom.
And finally, one boy will ask me to marry him.
They will both be my best friends.
But only one of them will be the boy I fall in love with.
Only one of them is That Boy.

Amazon  US | Amazon kindle US/UK


* * *
 Why didn’t I read it sooner? This book was so much fun!

Let me say, that I am not a fan of the cover. Even if it fits this book perfectly, I don’t think that a person who hasn’t read That boy will be interested in it because of the cover. It looks too simple and immature for my taste.

The book tells Jayden James Reynold's (JJ for short) life story starting from pre-school age and finishing with after-college years. The storytelling is similar to a diary form. It’s very well written, and this journal style makes you feel closer to the characters, almost like being a part of their lives. Moreover, the book has little drawings in it that are cute, fun and also show JJ's evolution from a child to a grown-up.

This is how it all starts. New boy (known as Devil Danny) moves to a house next to JJ, tries to steal her best friend, and tells her that girls can’t play football. So JJ punches Danny in the mouth and that’s how their lifelong friendship is born. Add up JJ’s longtime friend Phillip and you will get a lot of funny times with this three hilarious characters growing up.

The best thing about this book was Jayden voice. I had a girl-crush on her! I wish I had a friend like that. She is sweet, intelligent, down-to-earth, a little bit naïve, sometimes a little bit shy, sometimes a firecracker. Her thoughts, ideas and views are so much fun and will probably remind you of your own thoughts at that age.

“Maybe I'll just give up on boys. Okay, maybe not. I mean they're just so cute!”

What I love the most is that Jayden is a tomboy but it doesn’t stop her from being a girly girl either. She is a genially nice person and everybody loves her. She gets into a lot of awkward situations that will make you laugh out loud. My favorite part of the story is JJ & Co. teenage years. What I can say? These hormones made her do crazy things! *grinning*

So I talked to my friends, Katie and Lisa, about how to properly make out. But, well, here is just a bit of their unhelpful advice.
Just let him take the lead, do whatever he does.
Um, couldn't that get me into a lot of trouble?
Just sort of kiss his tongue, but try not to drool.
Don't open your mouth too wide.
And then, just open your mouth wide.
Stupid, conflicting information.
And this from girls who supposedly know how to do this!
I feel like I'm an undercover CIA agent trying to wrestle vital information out of a ruthless double agent, and the fate of the free world depends upon it. All the while, the President is yelling at me in panic, saying, Somebody! Anybody! Just get me the truth!
The only drawback of this book is that I felt like we didn’t get to know Phillip quite as well as Jayden and Danny. JJ talks about him a lot, but there are not enough dialogues or straight interactions with him.

For those of you, who hate love triangles, don’t be afraid to start this book, because even if it makes you wonder WHICH boy is THAT boy, amazingly it doesn’t have love triangle. Jillian Dodd is that good of an author!

You can’t categorize this book as a genre. Is it Young Adult? New Adult? Chic-lit? Romance? I think it has all of it and together it makes an extraordinary package! This book answers a question if the friendship between opposite sexes is possible. It shows how life experiences formed JJ, Danny and Phillip characters.

To sum it all up, this book is my favorite of the year. Three-way-relationship, make out tutoring, strip football, mysterious "that boy", awesome story and wonderful characters can make it your favorite too! One of the greatest books about friendship.

“You know life is weird. There are times I feel so grown up and like I know everything I need to know, but then I think about the future and realize how little I do.”
* * *

И почему только я не прочитала эту книгу раньше? Это было так весело!

Для начала скажу, что я не фанат этой обложки. И хотя она идеально подходит для этой книги, я не думаю что человек, который не читал That Boy может заинтересоваться книгой основываясь только на обложке. Она выглядит слишком простой и детской на мой вкус.

В книге рассказывается жизненная история Джейден Джеймс Рейнольдс (сокращённо ДД) начиная с дошкольного возраста и заканчивая годами после окончания колледжа.

Повествование ведётся в форме дневника. Книга написана очень хорошим языком и такой журнальный стиль повествования заставляет почувствовать себя ближе к героям, стать частью их жизни. Более того, в книге есть небольшие рисунки в начале каждой главы. Они милые, забавные и так же показывают эволюцию ДД от ребёнка до взрослого человека.

Вот как всё началось. Новый мальчик (известный читателям как Дьявол Денни) переезжает в дом по соседству с ДД, пытается «украсть» её лучшего друга, и говорит, что девочки не могут играть в футбол. ДД ничего не остаётся, как ударить Денни по лицу и вот так зарождается дружба на века. А если добавить к этим героям ещё и лучшего друга ДД – Филлипа, то вы получите огромное количество весёлых историй, происходящих с персонажами по мере их взросления.

Самое лучшее в этой книге – это голос Джейден. Я немного влюблена в неё! Хотела бы я иметь такую подругу как она. ДД милая, умная, не заносчивая, немного наивная, иногда застенчивая, а иногда - душа компании. Её мысли, идеи и взгляды на жизнь такие забавные, что скорее всего напомнят вам ваши же в том же возрасте.

Единственный недостаток этой книги был в том, что мы не узнали Филлипа так же хорошо как Джейден и Денни. ДД много говорит о нём, но самих диалогов или прямых контактов с ним недостаточно много чтобы полностью раскрыть его характер.
Хочу заверить всех, кто ненавидит любовные треугольники. Не бойтесь начинать читать эту книгу, потому что хотя на протяжении всей истории мы гадаем который из мальчиков тот самый мальчик, на удивление это происходит без любовного треугольника. Просто Джиллиан Додд настолько талантливый писатель!

Эта книга не поддаётся строгой жанровой категоризации. Что это? Книга для подростков? Для людей старшего возраста? Женская беллитристика? Роман? Я думаю, что That Boy собрала в себя понемногу из всех жанров и из этого вышла отличная смесь! Эта книга отвечает на вопрос, возможна ли дружба между мужчиной и женщиной. Она описывает то, как события в жизни ДД, Денни и Филлипа сформировали их характер.

Подводя итоги, эта книга пока остаётся моей любимой в этом году. Трёхсторонняя дружба, репетиторство по поцелуям, футбол на раздевание, загадочный «тот самый мальчик», великолепное повествование и замечательные герои могут сделать эту книгу любимой и для вас тоже. Одна из наилучших книг про дружбу!
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