Series: Off-Campus #1
Genre: NA romance
My rating: 4/5 stars
Having a crush on one of the most popular guys in college sucks. Hannah Wells knows all about. She’s been trying and trying but mysterious Jason won’t even give her a second glance. Until Garrett Graham THE guy gives her a second and third and fourth glance…. What is she willing to do to get the guy she wants? Making a deal with Garrett for starters. But deals never go as planned…..
The Deal was such a wonderful surprise. Honestly, I’ve been in a NA/Contemporary roll this month and unfortunately it hasn’t been the most….how can I put it satisfying experience. Yeah that means that most books I read were complete sh*t. Anyway, The Deal was not on of those disappointments.
I will start with the characters. I ADORED Hannah. She was funny, down to earth and she has the most sass I’ve ever seen in a character. I mean, a little more and she would be Percy Jackson (no one tops Percy in the sass-meter let’s be real). She was a character I would love to be friends with, and I don’t say that often. Also her bickering with Garrett gave me life and took it right back. It was the best thing, she always turned him down in such a clever and honest way, god I think I’m a little bit in love with her.
Garrett – did you mean king of character development? I’m not going to lie here, at first I was not a big Garrett fan. He was your typical jock, who doesn’t settle down, all the girls are trailing after him, doesn’t care about feelings blah blah blah. But as his relationship with Hannah progressed he became so… soft? Needless to say I love him too. I still love Hannah more though.
The side characters were kinds meh for me. It’s not that I didn’t care about them (ok I didn’t) but the author didn’t make me care for them. They just existed to complement the couple. The guys were doing nothing but drinking, going to practise and having sex. The only girl who was Hannah’s friend was alright I guess? She was pretty supportive and that’s about all I remember about her.
The romance was everything. I’m just going to leave here that this book features bad boy done good trope, friends to lovers trope and fake dating trope. That’s it I don’t think I have to say anything else. ALL THOSE TROPES WERE DONE SO WONDERFULLY I AM MOVED.
Anyway, there’s one more aspect I want to discuss with you. I don’t want to say I am biased when it comes to NA but oh well, I guess I am. I am biased cause I believe that every NA just focuses on the romance, there are some laugh out loud moments and that’s it. The Deal proved me wrong in this thinking. It was definitely not all fluff and butterflies. Elle discussed some pretty heavy topics, such as rape, domestic and child abuse. Hannah is a rape survivor and Garrett used to be living with an abusive father. The thing I liked is that she did not leave it at that. Those experiences were not put there for shock value. They were main plot points and were discussed in a way that empowered and showed that there is a way out, a way to healing. From the very beginning we get this little monologue Hannah has when she thinks about her rape, and she emphasizes that she does not, by any means blame herself. It was not her fault. I really appreciated that the author put it out there bright and clear. Needless to say this needs to have TRIGGER WARNINGS FOR RAPE, DOMESTIC AND CHILD ABUSE.
However, no matter how much I loved The Deal, I cannot rate it with more than 4 stars. The reasons are two: first, what is it with every guy in every damn NA novel being this super hot, fit, handsome guy who is also smart and has a heart of gold? I’m not talking about only Garrett but about all 3 of his friends. Petition to make this stop, I’m serious.
The second, main reason, is the lack of diversity. When I say lack I mean it. There was not. even. one. PoC. No LGBTQA+ people either.
I highly recommend The Deal, if you’re looking for a deep but also funny NA romance in which the main characters will not irritate you to death.
Have you read The Deal? Share your thoughts down below! 🙂