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Rilù
Writer, book blogger, tea drinker, late night snacker.
Professional cryer who spends way too much time online, eating books for breakfast.

Basically, your bookish best bud.

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Sunday Review: Get You The Moon by Hasnita Singh - The "Hate to Lovers" Trope You Need to Read

 

They said high school was supposed to be the best time of your life. 

Even though I didn't understand it a few weeks ago, I agreed wholeheartedly now.

I haven't read a romance novel in a while, so when this book fell into my lap, I was both sceptical and intrigued... until I've read it.

And now, obviously, I don't want to read anything else ever again! In fact, I'm re-reading it, not only because it got me out of a reading slump, but also because it's actually so amazing, one of the best romances I've read in a good while.

It follows Scarlet and Levi as they both attend their final year of High School; both very ambitious and smart, they don't let anyone or anything stand in their way to success... Except...

Scarlet and Levi, although very different, both deal with some heavy things in their lives, things that required them to grow up pretty fast, like the loss of a parent, the recovery of a depressed sibling, dysfunctional families. It's things like these that usually bring people together, that make us rely on each other and that's pretty much the case for our main characters, although proud and strong, they slowly start trusting each other and their mutual pain.

But the beauty of their relationship is actually the way in which they decide to take the "hate" they feel for each other and save it for another day whenever things get complicated with their families or the pain inside of them is too much of a burden for one person to carry: they split it in half, they share it with such pride and gentleness, it's actually beautiful to witness and very unexpected from two teenagers.

They both had to grow up pretty quickly: Scarlet to fulfil the role of the trusty daughter - probably the only real adult in her house - and caring sister, and Levi has to not only wear the role of a father figure for his siblings - which is already a full-time job - but also has to actually help with house expenses.

Sometimes it's like you forget they're both teenagers who have to also think about their lives and their future. Sometimes, I think they forget that too.

It's in the little things that you can still recognise their inner children though: when Levi gets jealous of his mum having another man in the house, or when Scarlet enjoys a book in the comfort of her own company. Or when they start falling in love with each other, slowly and suddenly, until they cannot bear the emptiness the other person leaves behind.

The more they try to hate each other - and they try very hard, believe me - the more they surprisingly start to rely on each other for the smallest, most mundane things like a ride to school or to the supermarket and it's during this time that they start really knowing each other as people and not as rivals. They don't have to compete outside of school, they can take off their masks and enjoy the moment - and each other.

It was so beautiful to see these two falling in love against their own will because it really is just exactly as Scarlet's brother says:
Love isn't a choice. It just happens.

 Hasnita Singh - the author - really captures what it means to be young and feeling like the weight of the whole world is on your shoulders, but she also is quite good at portraying this young love which blooms exactly like wildflowers, from unkind earth, all rough and dry until it grows into beautiful, colourful flowers, opened up to the sun and endless possibilities.

Not only do we have this clear look into Scarlet and Levi's lives but we get to also have a peek at whatever is around them: the author gives to friendship the main stage here, their chosen family, and it's where our main characters really shine, where we see them through and through as normal teenagers who sometimes like to get high in the park.

This gives the author the chance to explore more as she makes space for representation: we have a variety of characters who never once wear the label that explains their sexuality because there is nothing there to explain. 

I love how everything is so natural, no questions asked, it's just the way it is. Sexuality is really free to be explored and never once judged or ridiculized, on the contrary, it's very respected and if anything, it gives the reader a lesson, which is: labels mean nothing, it's what's underneath that counts.

I especially loved how Levi is there for his brother, who is clearly going through a rough time, figuring out his true identity. Levi just sat there, watching him playing with makeup, no questions answered, no judgment, he just waited until it was his brother who confessed to feeling confused and in need of a bit of time to figure things out. Levi was there because the only label he saw was "brother" and that was enough.

This book was SO. MUCH. FUN. I do love a good romance but it's hard to find an author who just gets it right so clearly, I'm now adding Hasnita Singh to my auto-buy list of writers because she not only delivered a good story, filled to the brim with (both romantic and sexual) tension but she also gave us real families with real issues and real people with shit going on. I loved every second of it, so much so that I've read it in two sittings and just because I tried very harrrrd to save a few chapters for the next days, which obviously didn't happen. Ha!

I found it quite funny how my adventure with this book was quite like Scarlet's (or anyone's) relationship with smoking: you promise to quit after just this last one and then shit happens or you're bad at keeping promises or you just give up and look at you, with smoke flaring from your nose. I felt exactly like that.

I guess I have to - partly - blame the shorter chapters for my inability to read a book slowly, but I do love short chapters so much and these in particular not only give the reader the double peek into both Scarlet and Levi's lives, but they're written so good that you cannot help but turn the page once more until it's 5 a.m. and you're still smoking that damn cigarette! 

Overall, a very good romance which I think it's aimed to a more adult audience just for the heavy topics (loss, abuse, dysfunctional families, bullying) which are very gently touched and with so much care that you won't ever feel them as a burden to carry.

Great representation too, an amazing cast of characters, all diverse and gorgeous and fun! But the romance it's the true show stopper. The bloody romance is to die for!

Only downside (because this is still an honest review and I love to find a needle in a haystack - that's just who I am, okay?) is that it made me want to go back to High School so damn much that I actually cried for two hours straight for how much I miss it. 

I wish I was joking.


*This is a sponsored review but all thoughts are my own.



GET YOU THE MOON 

All Scarlet Bridge wants is to get through her last year of school, overcome her brother's shadowy legacy, and win the prized scholarship for college. She's not about to let anyone stand in her way, not even everyone's favourite Golden Boy, Levi Henare.
 
Levi loves rugby, his family, and teasing Scarlet Bridge. With a tough family situation at home, he has his own reasons for excelling both academically and on the sports field. 
 When Scarlet accidentally dials Levi's phone number, a chain of events that neither expected is set into motion.
 
Thrown together by a twist of fate, will they come to understand and appreciate each other, and themselves or are they destined to remain at daggers drawn forever?

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