Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sweet Humor and Tangy Depth | Review of I'll Be Yours

About the Book

She’s the coach’s brilliant daughter, clueless about love. He’s the dethroned football star, ready to teach Romance 101. When dark secrets and sparks collide, there’s no playbook for what happens next. 

The day Andrew Levin arrives at Washington High, Harper O’Malley knows he’ll make the perfect starter boyfriend. The school’s newest band geek is totally in Harper’s league, yet completely out of this late-bloomer’s reach. Between fitting in with a new family, scoring the first chair in band, and rescuing dogs for the local animal shelter, Harper’s never had the opportunity to hone her dating skills. But even though Harper’s love life is far from perfect, she’s got the perfect plan.

Harper knows she’s insane to agree to tutor Ridley Estes, a notorious heartbreaker and the star of her high school’s football team—but in exchange, he’s offered to school her in the game of love. Just when she sees promise with her crush, a football scandal rocks her family, her town, and Ridley’s entire future. Harper suddenly has everything to lose—her family, friends, and even her heart. When the dust of the scandal settles, nothing will be the same. Including the girl who asked the most popular jock to teach her about love.

Award-winning author Jenny B. Jones returns to YA with a sweet, funny novel about first love and the power of letting go.

My Rating


My Review

Jenny B. Jones is a star in the game of balancing humor and depth in young adult fiction! She transitions smoothly between a variety of emotions: elation, anger, surprise, uncertainty, fear, and hope.

Harper makes for a great heroine. She's a smart, "nerdy," compassionate, fun-loving girl with some understandable trust issues. And while 16 seems a little young to be panicking over the lack of a boyfriend (spoken just like a 20-something, I know!), it's easy to relate to her and root for her.

And Ridley, well...he's a *very* swoon-worthy YA guy! It was wonderful to get more insight into his kind, confident, somewhat cocky character as the story progresses.

All the elements are there for an enjoyable contemporary YA story: a bookish girl, a hunky football player, and boyfriend drama. But this book steps up the game with some complex characterization among the secondary characters (Harper's parents, Ridley's family, and the people Harper meets/works with through the animal shelter). I love that the relationships are messy but the interactions and growth are ultimately inspiring.

I would compare I'll Be Yours to Nestle's Wonder Ball. There's a thin chocolate-yummy shell that makes for some obviously sweet reading pleasure. But it doesn't take long to get through the shell and discover hidden, tangy surprises within - harder to chew on but sweet in their own way.

The ending feels a little quick on the jump between conflict and resolution in some aspects, but the results are indisputably satisfying. An enjoyable offering!

*With thanks to Relz Author Support Services and the author for providing me with an e-copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*


Miranda A. Uyeh/TBAP said...

I'm already interested in this book. Reminds me of the movie, 'The Duff.' ;}

Rissi said...

Love(lovelove) this novel! It's so fantastic. The depth and humor blending felt so very natural, and I adored that this WAS more than merely Jenny's signature humor (not that I'd have minded had it been :D).

Great review, Amber.

PS: Miranda, this definitely has a The DUFF vibe going for it, only it's oh-so-much better because Jenny B. Jones. :)

Amber Stokes said...


Yay! It's a great read for YA fans. :) And I agree with you and Rissi - this story is definitely reminiscent of The Duff, but this has an added depth and sweetness to it that I think you'll love!


Amber Stokes said...


It really is a wonderful read! Jenny B. Jones has blended the highs and lows so well in this story. :) So glad you enjoyed it, too!

Thanks so much for checking out my review, Book Bestie!


Kara said...

Wasn't it so cute and fab?! I continue to be in amazement over Jenny's stories and how she can mesh the hard with the funny. I LOVED this one! So glad you did too! :)

Amber Stokes said...


It was, indeed! :D That takes a lot of skill, to balance humor and hardship so well. Jenny is a rock star! Happy to hear you enjoyed this story, as well. :)

Thank you for visiting this post, friend!


Miranda Atchley said...

I'm going to have to check out this book sometime!

Also, I wanted to let you know that I tagged you for The Birthstone Book Tag!

Have a great day! :)

Amber Stokes said...


It's a great YA read! :) Hope you'll enjoy it, too!

And I'm so sorry for the delayed reply to your comment! That tag looks like so much fun, and I feel lame that I haven't gotten around to doing it. :( But I really appreciate you thinking of me, friend!