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Brinley Dawson was perfectly happy without boys or parties, just throwing herself into her schoolwork and hanging out with her best friend Mason. Perfectly happy, at least, until a blast from the past decided to show up at the one party she actually went to. Ryder Briggs ruined Brinley’s whole high school experience. She’d thought they had a connection, and then he threw her under the bus to protect his reputation. He’s the last person she wanted to see at the party. In fact, she’d have been happy never seeing him again. So why can’t she get him out of her head?

Just a Little Crush has a similar plot to many other new adult books – a mysterious person from the heroine’s past shows up, and though they try to deny their attraction, they inevitably end up together. The thing that makes Just a Little Crush stand out from the masses is that it’s actually well-written and believable. Brinley doesn’t drop everything to be with Ryder. She doesn’t forget about her friends in the process. She hangs out with other people, keeps up with her schoolwork, and doesn’t get in over her head. She doesn’t forget her morals. She doesn’t lose who she is when she’s with Ryder.

Both Brinley and Ryder are extremely well-written characters – and so are their friends. Everybody comes across as a distinct character, not just a stereotype or cliche. Their mistakes and misunderstandings are even understandable. And though none of the twists in the book are really surprising, it’s fun to go through them with the characters. Just a Little Crush really is a very well-written book. I’m so impressed with the uncorrected proof that I can’t imagine what the final version will be like!

I hope that Renita Pizzitola is writing a sequel, because I will definitely read it.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy.

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