Bad At Love by Gabriela Martins
Published: August 30th 2022 by Underlined
Rating: ★★★★ (4)
Genre: Young Adult // Romance, Contemporary, LGBT
Quick Thoughts: A novel with warmth, hilarity, slow burn connections and the unexpectedness of love.
About The Book:
Ever since Daniel moved to L.A. from Brazil to join the band Mischief & Mayhem, he’s become the tabloids’ bad boy.
Paparazzi follow him and girls swoon over him . . . except for Sasha, who hates bad boys. When a chance encounter brings them together, Sasha sees an opportunity to get close to Daniel and write a story that will make a name for herself at the celebrity gossip magazine where she interns. But Daniel is surprisingly sweet and extremely cute—could she be falling for him?
The truth is: Daniel is hiding something. When Sasha discovers his secret, will she follow her heart or deliver the hottest story of the summer?
Bad At Love has been on my radar for the longest time. I don’t normally gravitate to books with music/fame in them, but something about it made me really want to read it—and I’m ever-so-grateful that the publisher sent me a copy to read as one of my last Summer reads!
Daniel never wanted to be a bad boy, but that’s the way the press have framed him, and it’s pretty unchangeable. Being in a famous band—Mischief & Mayhem—comes with a hefty price, including his nickname Rotten. His bandmates aren’t even that close to him, after all they were all friends years before they got clumped together with him on a talent show to be a hit-band. In a way, he feels distant from the whole “fame” thing, especially his bad-boy image.
Sasha hates bad boys. But interning for a celebrity gossip magazine means that she gets the scoop on quite a lot of them. And when she literally runs into Daniel by chance, it’s suddenly a huge oppertunity for her to get close to him, write a killer éxpose, and make a name for herself at work. But something about faking being interested in him through sweet, yet awkward dates, sits uncomfortably in her stomach. Truthfully, she can feel herself possibly falling for him—and when she finds out Daniel’s secret, she has everything she needs to make her story go global, but when her heart wants the opposite, how does she decide once and for all?
Overall, Bad At Love was a short, yet sweet novel that felt like a hug on a summer’s day. In a way, it was too short, and I really wanted to know more about Sasha and Daniel after the last pages. I felt a strong connection to both of their POV’s and loved that there was rep for POC, plus pansexual and demisexual for both main characters (and LGBT rep for supporting characters, too) that was written with complete authenticity. Because the book was more on the shorter side, I felt some of it being rushed toward the end (aka, I didn’t want it to end) but it didn’t take away from how much it left an impact on my heart. It was truly a novel with warmth, hilarity, slow burn connections and the unexpectedness of love. A four-star beauty.
GABRIELA MARTINS is a Brazilian kidlit author and linguist. Her stories feature Brazilian characters finding themselves and love. She was a high school teacher and has also worked as a TED Ed-Club facilitator, where she helped teens develop their own talks in TED format. She edited and self-published a pro-bono LGBTQ+ anthology (KEEP FAITH) with all funds going to queer people in need. When she’s not writing, she can be found cuddling with her two cats, or singing loudly and off-key. LIKE A LOVE SONG was her YA romance debut, and BAD AT LOVE (Underlined/PRH) is her sophomore novel, coming out in summer 2022. She's also one of the contributors for the Algonquin Latinx Horror anthology OUR SHADOWS HAVE CLAWS.