January 23, 2013

Title:  Unmaking Hunter Kennedy
Author:  Anne Eliot
Publisher: Butterfly Books, LLC.
Published: October 17th, 2012
Pages: 422

Publisher’s Synopsis: After a car accident – an event he considers a prank gone bad – pop star, Hunter Kennedy, is forced to hide out with his aunt in small-town Colorado. He’s supposed to rest, heal his scars and attend high school in disguise until the press dies down. But he only wants to get back to work.

Worse, the girl who’s been assigned to make him over into a geek is a major geek herself. Vere Roth is a chattering pixie, a blushing tornado and a complete social disaster. He’s never met a girl who’s never-been-kissed, believes in romance and thinks Hunter’s a ‘nice’ guy.

Funny thing is…Hunter is nice around Vere because she’s his first real friend. He also can’t seem to stop sharing his secrets or keep her out of his heart. Knowing he’d never deserve a girl as sweet as Vere, he resigns himself to the friend zone, and helps his new bestie with her own makeover. She tortures him daily for ridiculous guy advice on how to snag her life-long crush. A guy Hunter thinks is totally wrong for Vere, and sadly, one who has taken note of Vere’s transformation. When Vere asks her best friend for some kissing advice, Hunter can’t resist… And that’s when things get out of control…

Amy and Ana put Unmaking Hunter Kennedy on our second shelf!

**NOTE:** An eBook of this title was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. However, that did now influence this review in any way.

The Story

Ana:  A sweet romance that gave me more than I expected.  Hunter’s back story…his life as a rock star, public commodity and son are explored throughout this book and added to the plot.  There was a depth to the story and to the characters that we don’t often see in YA.

Amy: Complex and complicated rock star meets geeky girl next door.. LOVE! This book is a very sweet and captivating story that explores not only friendship and love but some of the darker issues in life as well..

Thoughts on Vere and Hunter

Ana:  I adored Hunter.  He didn’t take himself too seriously when it came to the whole “unmaking” but, at the same time, he wanted so much to be understood and loved for who he really is.  At first, I must say that I thought Vere was a bit over the top.  Her reaction to boys and the “incident” felt a bit forced.  But, as I got to know her, she grew on me and I found myself cheering for her spunk and smiling at her efforts to overcome her issues.

Amy: Hunter and Vere, to me, were two of the most genuine characters I’ve ever read about. I just loved Hunter. He’s troubled, desperate to be loved for who he truly is, romantic and talented, all rolled into one handsome package! After going through some very trying times, Hunter sets out to recover by blending himself into society, in disguise.. something he was not happy about until he met Vere. She’s a bit of a mess, adorable and completely unaware of her charm. Her character complimented Hunter’s character perfectly.

The Romance

Ana:  I would have loved to see it take shape sooner in the book so that I could basked in the glow of all things love related.  However, I understood the need for it to move slowly and adored the fact that this book wasn’t based on insta-love.  Hunter and Vere’s inner monologues about the relationship were fun to read.

Amy: Watching Hunter and Vere’s friendship progress and their relationship turn into so much more was really great. It was natural and believable and kind of refreshing to see the characters not instantly fall in love. And their first kiss?! Hot stuff!

Not Just Your Typical Teenage Drama

Ana:  It’s almost impossible to write about this and not give things away but I must stay that this story offers more than just the romance.  These characters have baggage that they’re dealing with and stories to tell outside of the relationship.  Their efforts to be something different, grow into themselves and reach their potential is just as important as the expected drama.  Hunter and Vere’s connection was strong and felt real in many ways and provided more depth to this story than your typical YA book.

Amy: Both Hunter and Vere were struggling in life before meeting each other. The story digs deeper into some of the real issues teenagers can face today. The author gives us glimpses into the effects of depression and what happens when fame causes a person to lose sight of who they really are. It was great reading a story that touched on some more serious issues as well as all the lighter topics too.

Secondary Characters – Jenna and Charlie

Ana: I loved Jenna and thought she was a great best friend. We all want a friend who has our back and will defend us no matter what crazy things have happened to us in our past and Jenna was just that. She wasn’t shy to speak her mind and was honest in her interactions with others. Charlie, on the other hand, wasn’t my favorite of characters. I didn’t connect with him and was never sure I understood his motives.  I thought that might change at the end but ultimately, he was my least favorite character in this book.

Amy: One of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much was because of the great character development. Even though Charlie, Vere’s brother, wasn’t exactly my favorite character, his presence and personality in the story was fitting for me. His actions in the end were shady and almost cruel, but I understand that the author was trying to show his protectiveness over his sister. Jenna, Vere’s best friend, was a strong, devoted friend that was pretty funny too! I really believe that the characters made this story.

The Ending

Ana:  hmmmmm…that’s a tough one.  The lover of love in me enjoyed the end…the romantic in me was left satisfied.  But, ultimately, it was fairly predictable.  Is that bad?  I guess not.  After all, sometimes getting what you expect is comforting.  But, I think I would have loved to see a twist in there somewhere as well…just to change things up.

Amy: I wished the ending had been a bit different to be honest.. It’s really the only not so positive thing I have to say about the book. Hunter’s over the top display of affection for Vere in front all those people was too much I think. While his intentions were good and his words were sweet, I would of liked to see something a little more intimate between the two of them, especially considering how socially awkward and shy Vere is throughout the story.

Recommend It?

Ana:  Overall is was a good, quick read with great main characters and more depth than I expected and, for those reasons, I’d say yes.

Amy: Unmaking Hunter Kennedy is an enjoyable read with sweet, unfolding romance and a cast of well developed characters.. So yes!

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