Title: One of the Guys
Author: Lisa Aldin
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Tomboy to the core, Toni Valentine understands guys. She’ll take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests over manicures. So Toni is horrified when she’s sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, where she has to wear a skirt and learn to be a lady while the guys move on without her.Then Toni meets Emma Elizabeth, a girl at school with boy troubles, and she volunteers one of her friends as a pretend date. Word spreads of Toni’s connections with boys, and she discovers that her new wealthy female classmates will pay big money for fake dates. Looking for a way to connect her old best friends with her new life at school, Toni and Emma start up Toni Valentine’s Rent-A-Gent Service.But the business meets a scandal when Toni falls for one of her friends—the same guy who happens to be the most sought-after date. With everything she’s built on the line, Toni has to decide if she wants to save the business and her old life, or let go of being one of the guys for a chance at love.
I love stories where friends become something more, and I am always on the lookout for more stories like that. When I heard that Lisa Aldin’s One of the Guys was just that, I knew I had to read it. Not only that, but it sounded like it had the potential to be a fun stories. And it absolutely was!
Toni Valentine knows how to handle boys. After all, her three best friends are all guys. It’s girls she’s not sure how to handle. SO when a prank goes wrong and she finds herself being sent at the Winston Academy for Girls, Toni is terrified. She’s at home in basketball shorts and having belching contests with her friends, not while wearing a skirt and learning how to be a lady. But unlike Toni, the other girls at Winston don’t have access to boys the way she does. So when one of her new classmates has boy troubles, Toni volunteers herself to help, staging a fake date with one of her friends. Before long, everyone at Winston hears about what Toni did and they all want in on it. Now, Toni finds herself renting out her three best friends to her new classmates, the whole system quickly becoming a profitable business. And all is going well until Toni realizes that she might be falling for one of those friends, the one everyone is after. But is he going to see her the same way?
There is nothing I love more than a story featuring two friends who gradually become more. And I love stories that feature realistic friendships between boys and girls. That second part probably has a lot to do with the fact that my own best friend is a guy and I fully believe that guys and girls can be JUST friends. My best friend and I have been doing it for over a decade. But that’s not the point here. The point is that Lisa Aldin’s One of the Guys caught my eye because it feature boy-girl friendships AND because it’s about best friends falling in love. Of course it also sounded like it had an interesting story. I mean, this girl ends up renting out her three best friends for dates—there’s just so much that can go wrong there and I was excited to see how it would all play out. At the end of the day, One of the Guys was just a fun story. One that I enjoyed from start to finish. It was just so fun to read about all the relationships that were developing, regardless of whether they were romantic or not. And of course all the drama surrounding the boy rental service was pretty fun to read about. But ultimately, what made me enjoy the story as much as I did (and as is often the case), were the characters.
Toni was a great character to read about. And in many ways, she kinda of reminded me of who I was in middle and high school. Though I’ve always been friends with girls, I’ve always gotten along better with guys and my closest friends were all guys. So that’s definitely something I could relate to while reading Toni’s story. And seeing her struggle to make sense of the girl world she entered at her new school was just entertaining to watch. At times, I definitely felt bad for because she seemed so confused about what was going on around her, but at other times her reactions to things and her inner monologue definitely had me smiling. Beyond just Toni herself, I loved finding out more about all the other characters in the story because none of them were who I first thought they were going to be. Emma in particular took me (and Toni for that matter) completely by surprise. She was just so different than what I thought she was going to be. And of all the boys in Toni’s life, Loch (well, Micah if you want to call him by his actual name), was my favourite. Without saying too much about him, I’ll just say that he wasn’t the kind of boy I expected and that worked out for the best. And his obsession with mythological creatures was just adorable.
Lisa Aldin’s One of the Guys was a fun read about love and friendships. I really enjoyed seeing all the relationships evolved and grow, trying to predict what was going to happen. If you’re looking for a lighthearted contemporary story, than I strongly recommend this one.