The Bookworm Crush
The Bookworm Crush is a light-hearted YA novel about a bookworm (Amy McIntyre) and a surf god (Toff Nichols) joining forces to win a social media contest in which the prize is meeting Amy’s favorite romance author.
Amy has been secretly crushing on Toff since kindergarten. He’s everything she’s not – vivacious, competitive, everyone’s friend, flirty. When Amy decides she’s going to pull out all the stops to win the contest, she decides she needs a coach to teach her how to up her game on social media, someone to push her outside her comfort zone, someone to give her some swagger. After Toff rescues her late one night after a yarn-bombing gone awry, Amy decides Toff is the answer.
Amy hasn’t been on Toff’s radar except as a friend to his soon-to-be step sister. But when he rescues her, he is unexpectedly charmed by her freshness and nerdiness. When Amy asks him to coach her, he agrees and throws himself completely into the project, learning about her bookish world and teaching her how to swagger online. Along the way, Amy ends up helping Toff examine his priorities in life and come to a better place with his father’s impending re-marriage.
Amy and Toff are having a wonderful time posting messages for the contest, posing as a couple to attract more buzz. But is it all just an act or are Amy and Toff becoming their own HEA?
Both are sweet characters and a cute example of opposites attracting. Toff hasn’t read a book since his mother passed away nine years earlier, and Amy’s life is full of books from her job at a bookstore, her reading group, and her book review site. He can’t understand how she lives so much of her life between pages and she can’t understand how he thrives on all the attention as the local surf hero. It’s entertaining to watch them try to understand where the other is coming from.
The other characters in the book act in somewhat predictable ways. Amy’s younger brother has a fairly large role and I found him to be annoying – but I guess that’s what most little brothers are. We see Toff and Amy maturing along the way – Toff recognizing that there could be more to him than just surf god and Amy realizing she has her own store of swagger already. I’m glad there was a growth trajectory for them but it took a long 400 pages to get there.
The Bookworm Crush is full of book references as Amy relates more to fictional characters than real life people sometimes and I enjoyed that. It is also full of social media references and hashtags which may be less appealing to a more mature reader. It’s definitely a YA book written for a YA audience. Readers who enjoy light YA romance will enjoy The Bookworm Crush, although I found it a little too predictable for a full recommendation.