Review: Our Year in Love & Parties by Karen Hattrup

“I said we had to make the most of tonight because that’s all we had, but that’s not really true. We have a year’s worth of parties to remember.”

– Karen Hattrup

Release Date: October 8, 2019
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and HarperTeen for an eARC of this novel!

Tucker knows that some relationships take work. With his best friend, Bobby, and his mom, everything is simple, steady. His dad, on the other hand, seems to only show up when he wants to bring Tucker down. Then there’s Erika Green, who comes back into his life, stirring up old feelings. A small part of him knows he shouldn’t get too attached during senior year. But a bigger part doesn’t want her to disappear again.

Erika from before the video loved to shock people. Now, she just wants to hole up in her quiet college life and leave the past where it belongs—in a dumpster fire. But then she reconnects with Tucker Campanelli. Erika can’t explain what it is about him. There’s just this undeniable connection between them, and she really doesn’t want to lose that feeling. Not yet.

Instead of the typical flow of time that most stories follow, Our Year in Love and Parties jumps in time from party to party. This is the second book I’ve recently read that was written like this (see review of Maybe This Time) and while I though this one was better executed, there was still too much time in between parties and I was just not a fan of it. I felt like I never got to really know any of the main characters because how do you get to know them if you only read about them in the pivotal life moments? There was a lot happening in between parties that I felt like I missed out on. I had a hard time connecting to the main characters.

Tucker and Erika each had their flaws and events in their life that they felt like defined them that they were wrestling with. Erika had amazing character growth throughout the story and was the only reason I kept reading this book. I wanted to know her story and how she overcame the video that she felt ruined her reputation and how she felt about herself. I wish I had seen the growth that happened in between parties though, since there were times when such huge progress had been made in her life. I didn’t like Tucker at all. He was rude and always seemed to say just the thing to really hurt Erika. I get she made mistakes but why throw them back in her face just to be mean? I actually thought he regressed throughout the novel and it wasn’t until the end that he truly found himself again.

If you like novels that are told in third person that have a light feel but deal with some heavy topics then this might be the novel for you. The parties were always fun to read about and I adored the secondary characters. The friends of Tucker and Erika really made the story for me and were so supportive, the kind of friends you want in you own life. While this wasn’t the book for me it was still a good read.

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