Title: Anything To Have You
With thanks to Mira Ink/Harlequin Teen for the copy of this novel! As always, my reviews are non-bias and fair.
As a huge fan of Paige’s previous books, I was thrilled to be able to read Anything To Have You. I could tell it was *exactly* what I was looking for right now, a Contemporary novel that is kind of half romance / half friendship, where it’s kind of in the balance between. I had seen some conflicting reviews on Goodreads, but having read both New Girl and Here Lies Bridget, and seeing that they weren’t alike either, I wasn’t setting out to compare Anything to Have You, to them, and consider it in it’s own league instead of comparison.
The book started out in Natalie’s POV, which sets a very high standard to when we move onto Brooke in the later stages. I found that Natalie was the best person to start off the book, because she was a step back from the action and I found her to be a more reliable narrator as a whole. That being said, Brooke wasn’t a bad narrator, but she had a very strong voice and personality, and played the “party girl” who kind of has everything but still wants more, and was always in the center of it all.
I’m always interested in seeing the dynamics of a friendship, because unlike a relationship, friendships have roots and are bound a lot closer than relationships. Natalie and Brooke were very different personalities and they clashed in a lot of ways being opposites, but their friendship is still very strong, though evolves to be on unsteady ground. Aiden, Brooke’s long-time boyfriend, comes between them quite a bit at first, even without Brooke quite realizing it. There seems to be that unresolved energy between him and Natalie, and it’s clear that as the book goes on, he cares for them both, although he remains with Brooke regardless of having alternate feelings for Natalie in the beginning. As the book goes on and the event of the novel takes place, the balance shifts completely.
There was a lot of swearing in the dialogue, mainly on Brooke’s part (though Natalie does too), and I know that some other bloggers had found that excessive, but with the book being in the narrative of two teenagers and a lot of them in the real world using language like that on a regular occasion, it seemed more realistic to me, rather than unnecessary. Just like the drinking, it was something that made the story just feel that little bit more real to me. But of course, that’s my opinion and others may feel objective to that.
Natalie was my favourite narrator and character, probably. She was a quite a bit naive and spent a lot of time inside rather than going out with Brooke to parties and other events. I don’t condone cheating or lying to your friends about doing so, but I did much more prefer Natalie with Aiden instead of him with Brooke. I think that Brooke took Aiden for granted because he was always so sweet to her, and she did on several occasions suggest cheating on him, and she was always in demand for attention 100% of the time.
But that being said, she did live up to the name of being the bad, party-girl who always drank and swore in general. I do think that Natalie treasured Aiden more and even though the cheating and mystery of that night does end in her favor, I could tell it killed her that she had hurt her best friend, even if she didn’t remember it.
The girls friendship is put through some hard times in the book, and I think that their opposite interests and personalities did make them seem unsteady in parts, but you can tell that they were really good friends, even if Brooke was a little selfish and Natalie was a hermit at times. I would’ve really liked to delve more into Natalie’s character, (because the POV’s changed a few times, and we never see her full potential as a character) and I did actually love that ending with Brooke. It was bittersweet to see how the roles reverse and how things changed as the book ended for each character.
A seriously amazing book, Anything to Have You doesn’t disappoint in giving Gossip Girl’s antics a run for it’s money. With strong main characters and a killer storyline, it just knocked Here Lies Bridget off it’s title as my favourite Paige Harbison book. Definitely five star worthy in my opinion. That epilogue was worth five on it’s own.