Review: Dating Down by Stefanie Lyons

Stefanie Lyons’ young adult novel Dating Down is a story about love gone wrong, told through poems. Rating: 2.5/5

*This is book #3/35 for my 2015 book challenge. This was also book #3/6 for the ‘New, New, and New!’ group challenge. You can take a look at the reading challenge here.

This book as a publication date of April 8, 2015
This review is based on an early copy of this book. Some details could change from now.

dating down by stefanie lyons book cover

When a good girl falls for a bad boy

She thought she loved him. She thought she could change him. She thought if she just believed in him enough, his cheating and his drugs and his lying would stop, and she’d be his and he’d be hers and they’d love each other forever.

But for Samantha Henderson, X-the boy she will not name-is trouble. He’s older, edgier, bohemian . . . and when he starts paying attention to Sam, she can’t resist him. Samantha’s family and friends try to warn her, but still she stays with him, risking her future and everything that really matters.

This was not good. I mean, it wasn’t necessarily bad. I read it very quickly and it was…. I don’t want to call it interesting because it was quite far from actually interesting, but it had enough that I was curious about what was going to happen. We’ll put it that way.

First, I need to address a certain word that is used in the above summary and is then overused throughout basically the entire book. Bohemian. This word does not mean what the author thinks it means. Bohemian and edgy do not really go together. Bad boys are not bohemian and edgy. Bohemians are more like hippies in that, yes, some enjoy drug use but they are laid back, relaxed, and into creativity like art and music. While the character X in this book was into those things (kind of), the author then warped him into being a thief and an addict and an all around awful person. She took just a few of the basic bohemian traits and morphed them into some other character archetype. To top it all off, the word was thrown around so god damn much that I never want to hear the word again. Ever.

Other than that sort of nitpicking, I was just incredibly bored. X never does anything so horrendous that Samantha should write out his name completely. She made all of her own (bad) decisions and then wanted that blame to be pushed onto the boy when, in reality, he was always just himself and never did anything differently than he ever did. He cheated on her, that’s the extent of what he did wrong TO HER. He was a thief and he did a lot of drugs, but Samantha was fully aware of these things and chose to ignore them, chalking it up to how “bohemian” he was. Right. Their family situations had potential to be interesting, but it was shoved quickly aside.

The book just seemed to be a bunch of sentences thrown together. The prose didn’t flow well and nothing really made all that much sense. I was not expecting it to be like this at all, and perhaps that is why I started off disliking it? The political daughter thing was unnecessary. It was never really shown through, and she never faced any consequences of being a senator’s daughter out partying with an older boy, so why even bother incorporating that? I’m really struggling to review this because I just don’t see the point in it at all, and I try not to get that way about books because I know how hard it is for authors. This just did not do it for me at all.

Ratingtwo and a half star book review

If you’re interested in reading my GoodReads updates from this book you can do so here. I must say, they’re quite entertaining. It will tell you exactly what I was thinking on certain pages.

PLEASE NOTE: I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions held within this review are my own thoughts and feelings and do not reflect upon anyone else.

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