Author: Paige Harbison
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: 7th February 2014
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Anything to Have You is a story of typical teenage life - arguments, parties, drinking, friendships and boys. Natalie and Brooke have been best friends for a long time, but they couldn't be more different. Natalie doesn't go to parties, while Brooke practically lives at them. She finally manages to persuade Natalie to come to a party - "Senior year and all that!" - but that's when everything starts to go wrong... Secrets are kept, lines are crossed and friendships start to unravel.
I was really excited to read this. I've been after a good contemporary for a while because I've been in a reading slump after reading a couple of rubbish books, and this sounded perfect! I loved Natalie and Aiden and I was rooting for them from the start, even though I shouldn't have been. They're both really likeable characters and they brought much-needed maturity to the book. Brooke was wild and she frequently went off-the-rails, and it was a bit ridiculous. However, she balanced nicely with Natalie and Aiden, and everything they dealt with was entirely realistic.
This story is focused on relationships, and because of that it was a slow-burner. I didn't properly get into the story until I was just over halfway through it, and then it really started getting interesting! There were quite a few surprises, but they didn't have the 'wow factor', and I'll tell you why; it's because the writing kept changing POVs. Anything to Have You starts with Natalie, and her POV went on for so long that I actually thought the whole book would be from her as I hadn't realised it was dual perspective. Then it flipped to Brooke's point of view (which, I'm sorry to say, was pretty boring), and then Natalie's, and then back to Brooke's... it really messed up the flow, and plot twists that should've been amazing just felt deflated. The book had been brilliant until the dual perspectives came in to play and I think the book could have been so much better had it just been from Natalie's point of view.
So, you can see I had mixed feelings about this book. It was very slow in places, but something kept me reading right into the early hours of the morning. It's just...nothing extraordinary happened, you know? I never thought I'd say this, but I think I'm going off the contemporary genre (don't hold me to that. It could just be a phase. *fingers crossed*)
I'll admit this book had a lot of promise, and the characters each had their own voice and personality which was great as this hasn't been the case in a lot of books I've read recently. I do recommend this because it's realistic, fun and has a darker side that made it much more interesting; the only main issue for me was the changing POVs. A good cop/bad cop contemporary with a dark side...