REVIEW: How to Break a Boy

Posted February 26, 2017 by Lanae in 4½ stars, Book Reviews, contemporary, Four Star Reads, Romance, Young Adult / 0 Comments

This novel got the tear-factory up and running.

And yes, it’s true that I’m a TOTAL marshmallow. But I’m also someone who avoids popular books like Fault in Our Stars and anything Nicholas Sparks because I hate when it feels like a story is trying to manipulate me into the FEELS zone.

Seriously, Fuck that .

How to Break a Boy is a novel that begs to be compared to one of my former CW guilty pleasures: Gossip Girl. “Best Friends” Olivia and Adrienne are pretty much an Alternate Universe where Olivia is Blair Waldorf, Adrienne is Jenny Humphrey and, check this out, Jenny is the WORST, most cruel of the two of them when it comes to torturing her peers (and friends). These two lovely ladies have a best friend, Claire, who, like Serena Van Der Woodsen, pretends not to notice how horrible her BFF’s are until their feud directly effects her (read: screws her over). Hell, there’s even Ethan, who plays the role of clueless, sad puppy Nate Archibald to a T.

Honestly, I think your enjoyment of How to break a boy depends heavily on whether or not you can sympathize with or even love someone like Blair . I’m not sure how much Leighton Meester’s portrayal of Blair had to do with it, but Blair was my favorite character. She was someone I rooted for even when she did horrible things. And, on the rare occasion that these horrible things came back to bite her in the ass, I sympathized with her because unlike the person serving her her comeuppance, I, the all-seeing viewer, knew what triggered her to behave the way she did.

I went into this expecting a light, scandalous read about 17 year old Olivia using a boy to ruin her best friends life, only to fall in love with said boy. It’s not exactly an original scenario, but I was excited to see if I enjoyed this the way I thoroughly enjoyed Burn for Burn. I got a Hell of a lot more than I expected. I figured this would be the reverse of the usual “Bad boy changes for Virginal Princess” scenario, but it wasn’t. This was about more than a good boy making a very bad girl want to be good for him.

Whit Durant, the love interest and chosen mark in Olivia’s plot for revenge was more than a love interest. You familiar with the expression, “You can’t help those who won’t help themselves?”

Well, Yeah.

Olivia didn’t need a guy, much less one who initially hated her and everything she stands for, to help her realize she’s a monster…which she really is. No, Seriously, her BFF Adrienne is a fucking monster, but Olivia’s far from being an Angel. And if we’re talking black and white, with black being flawed and evil, while white is being the straight arrow who’s perfect in every way that doesn’t have to do with actually living…Olivia (Black) and Whit(e) benefited each other because even when the black bled over the white, the end result wasn’t more black than white….there was Gray in the middle, where every awful thing Olivia was, every bad thing she did wasn’t as simple as her being a terrible human being.

HARRY POTTER REFERENCE TIME!!!!!! (No Joke, I can compare anything to my fave)

Olivia and Adrienne are the equivalent to Severus Snape and Lord Voldermort. There’s no question who is beyond redemption (or even wanting it), but without that final penseive memory (or in this case full insight into Olivia’s brutally honest 1st person POV mind) it was safe to assume Snape was (just as) almost as deplorable as the Ring leader. Basically, this is my longwinded way of saying that if, like me, you loved the middle name Harry Potter chose for his youngest son and his reasons for it, I think you can find a way to sympathize with Olivia Clayton even when she’s at her worst….which, I’m not going to lie to you, is easily 60-70% of the book. I’m just throwing that in there because I know some of you won’t give a shit that she doesn’t actually enjoy being awful, because some of you see things in black and white 😛 LOL.

Actually, you know what, I think I’ll stop here before I start waxing poetic about how I can also relate Olivia Clayton’s Hyde side to Adelina Amouteru in The Young Elites because her default response is to be evil. You know, without magical powers and shit. *Snickers*

This isn’t a love story about a teenage girl breaking “good” when she accidentally falls for her pawn. It’s about a leopard realizing that it didn’t actually get (all of) it’s spots from someone else because: Personal Accountability, you fucking Brat.

Oh and How to break a Boy is the most misleading title in my opinion. The boy isn’t really the focus at all. And if Whit was the focus, I think the title How to train your Dragon would be more fitting because….man, Olivia Clayton is a piece of work.

Bravo, Ms. Devore. You got one gigantic, rambling review from me after I told myself I was done doing these. I didn’t love Olivia Clayton. Hell, I didn’t even like her half the time….but I do like how the story ends.

4.5—made me friggin (cry) care—STARS

About Lanae

I'm the original rambler & founder of The KBR. I write fan-fiction as V.O.L.C & my original fiction under the pseudonym 'Nae Marx'. I also blog about my favorite books & thoughts on writing with my sister Diva.

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