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Monday, 7 March 2016

ARC Review: The Way He Looks At Me by Juliana Mae


Book: The Way He Looks At Me, Juliana Mae
Series: N/A
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date December 11th, 2014

Annie and her family left everything behind and moved over 3,000 miles away to California for her mother to become a musician. When Annie is reunited with an old family friend who is also an up-and-coming musician, she's far from complaining. Especially when he takes her to her first movie premiere where she meets two of her favorite bands.
Hayden from Vas Happenin' shows an immediate interest in Annie, and wastes no time in getting Annie's number. A coincidental run-in at Starbucks leaves Annie with a kiss from Colt from Sons of Jannone.
How will Annie be able to choose between the two? Or will someone else stand in her way?

*I was given a copy of this book by Juliana Mae, a sweetheart whom I really enjoyed talking with.*

The Way He Looks At Me is completely a first-world problem type of book. It shows a life every American teenager dreams of. It starts when Annie, our protagonist, moves to California with her parents and two little brothers. She broke up with her boyfriend Jesse before moving and doesn’t hesitate to flirt with every boy she meets the second she gets to California.

Annie is a huge fan of the bands Vas Happenin’ and Sons of Jannone and after getting a chance to meet them in person, she begins dating Hayden and Colt, two singers in each respective band, while also goofing around with her neighbour and family friend Dathan.

Annie adores all the attention she’s getting and I believe that even if she weren’t already dating two boys, she would’ve agreed to a date if anyone else had asked her out. She seems to lack any sort of moral values, as she doesn’t see any problems with stringing all these boys behind her without even thinking of their feelings, as well as getting really cosy with Dathan (and it’s obvious to the readers that he likes her too). While she’s portrayed as very caring and pure of heart, she obviously has no idea what she wants, and is quite cruel to those around her.

Her parents also don’t seems to care what Annie is doing, and are content in letting her date two boys and allowing her to stay out as late as she wants, not caring who it is she’s out with. Her dad is barely mentioned and her mom seems to be more like a best friend than authority figure; only wanting all the gossip Annie provides when she gets home. It’s quite cringe-y, to say the least.

The author seems to be trying to provide a voice of a teenager and is trying to relate to what American teenagers think nowadays, but she comes out more as a childish, na├»ve fourteen year old when she says she’s eighteen.

The writing is also really repetitive and quite embarrassing. Here is an actual line from the book: “‘I don’t know. I think that will be fine.’ She shrugged.” It just doesn’t seem like she put a lot of effort into writing the dialogue.

Also, the two boys Annie’s dating? They both know that she’s dating both of them and is okay with it. That is not normal! They should have more self-respect than this and find someone who won’t choose between them!

This is an incredibly straight-forward book. There is barely any plot there, only seeing Annie go on dates with both boys. The romance is rather sweet and I enjoyed how much everyone cared for each other. I did at least hope that we’d get closure at the end and see who Annie ended up with and get a happy ending. Do we get that? Of course not! It ends practically mid-sentence, with no ending in sight! Very anti-climactic.

Overall, not a very impressive book. I think the cliff-hanger at the end was supposed to entice readers to pick up the sequel that’s coming out soon, but I really didn’t care much for it.


  1. I am currently reading this book and feel the same way. It is no plot and all dates, but not even any romance.


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