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Release Date: March 14th, 2018
Trigger Warnings: partner abuse, manipulation, emotional abuse
Publisher: Nixon House
Genre: romance, contemporary
Everyone has secrets. He wants all of hers.
Meet the man next door…
After years of military service, Evan Miller wants a quiet life. The small town of Ravenswood seems perfect—until he stumbles upon a vicious web of lies with his new neighbour at its centre.
Ruth Kabbah is rude, awkward, and, according to everyone in town, bad news. Thing is, no-one will tell Evan why. Does she perform ritual sacrifices? Howl at the moon? Pour the milk before the tea? He has no clue.
But he desperately wants to find out. Because Ruth doesn’t seem evil to him; she seems lonely. And funny, and clumsy, and secretly quite sweet, and really f*%king beautiful…
The more Evan’s isolated, eccentric neighbour pushes him away, the more he wants her. Her—and all her secrets. Because there’s no way a girl like Ruth truly deserves the town’s scorn.
… Is there?
Please note: this book contains mentions of intimate partner violence that could potentially trigger certain audiences.
R E V I E W
I would like to start this by saying I’m not typically someone who reads romance. I much prefer YA books because the few romance books I have tried haven’t worked for me. That all changed with A Girl Like Her. This is the first romance book ever I have rated five stars. That’s a pretty big deal. Basically, if you aren’t a romance reader but need a romance book I can’t recommend this more. It is goofy, it is funny, it has depth, and it is own voices representation of autism and POC. Also, the love interest was created due to a gif of Chris Evans. So, it’s confirmed that Chris Evans is the love interest in this book and I don’t make the rules.
In A Girl Like Her, we follow both the main characters POV, Evan and Ruth. Their relationship is slow and the dynamic is honestly enough to make my cynical heart melt. Evan pushes into Ruth’s comfort zone (with her permission, it’s okay) by bringing her food. An ex-military blacksmith making food for the heroine? You bet I swooned. Due to Evan being new to the town he doesn’t know Ruth’s past, despite her being open to some extent she doesn’t reveal all the truth. It is hard to read at times because it is so raw, and as mentioned there is partner violence.
Ruth also isn’t a likeable main character, which I loved. She is rude, awkward and not afraid to tell the truth. It was refreshing. Especially since this book is just positive in so many ways. Ruth is autistic and fat, something which can be represented so poorly in books. The own voices of these topics are so clear due to the care of which Talia Hibbert writes them into her story, they flow so seamlessly. It is just so good to read a fat positive and sex-positive book that shows consent, in so many ways.
Anyway, let’s get into more detail of what I loved about this book and hopefully convince the person reading this to give this book a chance!
L I K E S
✗ SLOW BURN BUT SO WORTH IT
A Girl Like Her was a bit of a cat and mouse game at times. Evan slowly weaved her way into Ruth’s life but at times she got scared due to her past and would retreat. It was so frustrating to read but the pay off at the end was so worth it. Watching these two characters build a relationship was a fantasy and it was so positively done. There was just a rawness about this and with this being my first Talia Hibbert book I wasn’t sure if this was a theme that carried through (I have since read another one and she definitely carries through the rawness). I honestly don’t know how to describe it in actual words but it was just so realistic despite being fiction.
Do men like Evan actually exist? If so send one to my doorstep, thank you.
✗ AMAZING FAMILY DYNAMIC
I’m a sucker for a family dynamic. My family is the most important thing to me despite the mess we have faced in our life and seeing how close Ruth and her sister were? I loved it. My younger sister is a mess and in a bit of a bad relationship, and I related to the older sister on so many levels. I literally can not wait for her book. I will be laughing so hard, I’m sure of it.
I love sisters who bond instead of being enemies. I say this despite the fact I would fight my sister 10/10 because she is a pain in my ass. But, I’m the only one who can call her a pain in the ass.
✗ CHRIS EVANS LOOKALIKE? A THING OF MY DREAMS
IN THIS MOMENT I JUST REALISED EVAN IS LITERALLY NAMED AFTER CHRIS EVANS TIME TO GO CRY IN A HOLE.
It’s not that I love Captain America, because I don’t really. It’s that I love Chris Evans. The man seems so genuine and unproblematic that it gives me damn butterflies. My mum and I have gotten into numerous fights over who is the better ‘Chris’ – she thinks Hemsworth, thoughts? – and this book just allowed me to live all my damn fantasies with Evan. I honestly don’t know how Talia Hibbert did it, but she literally created the perfect man. I’m babbling, I know, and I also know this makes no sense bUT STILL LET ME LIVE.
✗ COMIC BOOKS
This is just a small thing (not really, it does take up a large % of the book) but I just loved how Ruth had passions. In this case, it was comic books. Now, I’m not a big comic book reader but that is simply because I can’t afford them. I really loved seeing the MCU mentioned throughout this book and seeing Evan and Ruth discuss it.
D I S L I K E S
✗ WISH WE GOT MORE HERO BACKSTORY
This is literally my only dislike. I have one dislike from an entire book. I know, it’s insane. Anyway, I feel like we got Ruth’s backstory – something that pushed the story forward. I don’t feel like we got Evan’s story. He’s an ex-military blacksmith and we just got…nothing. I totally know why the author didn’t, so there was a larger focus on Ruth and her story but I feel like there could have been an extra layer of depth to Evan if we had been told more about his time in the military.
Overall, please pick up A Girl Like Her. It is not a waste of time. It is possibly the best book I have read so far in 2018. A romance novel, the best book I’ve read? I’m a little shocked too. I have definitely discovered a new favourite author with Talia Hibbert and I am beyond excited to read everything else she has written. Basically, I love soft heroes. Give me more.
Happy reading everyone!
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