Tomboy to the core, Toni Valentine understands guys. She’ll take horror movies, monster hunts and burping contests over manicures. So Toni is horrified when she’s sent to the Winston Academy for Girls, where she has to wear a skirt and learn to be a lady while the guys move on without her.
Then Toni meets Emma Elizabeth, a girl at school with boy troubles, and she volunteers one of her friends as a pretend date. Word spreads of Toni’s connections with boys, and she discovers that her new wealthy female classmates will pay big money for fake dates. Looking for a way to connect her old best friends with her new life at school, Toni and Emma start up Toni Valentine’s Rent-A-Gent Service.
But the business meets a scandal when Toni falls for one of her friends–the same guy who happens to be the most sought-after date. With everything she’s built on the line, Toni has to decide if she wants to save the business and her old life, or let go of being one of the guys for a chance at love.
Description taken from Goodreads. I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
I liked ONE OF THE GUYS a lot more than I expected I would have, but there were also a lot of the things I wanted from it that was lacking. Because of this, I was conflicted on what to think. Toni was a lot more than I expected her to be.
The book I think of when I think of ONE OF THE GUYS is Kasie West’s ON THE FENCE, and unlike popular opinion, I actually didn’t love ON THE FENCE was much as her other books. In ON THE FENCE, I felt like the main character was irritating and the romance was unrealistic and bleh. Extremely bleh. Not ONE OF THE GUYS.
Two things about characters.
Firstly, I loved Toni throughout the course of this book. Yes, I did feel like her tomboyishness was both forced and over exaggerated at times. There were moments where it felt like Aldin was trying to prove Toni was more behind her tomboyishness, but in reality she’s not, but she actually is. Very confusing and unnecessary. Still, I really enjoyed her character. She’s very forward and unafraid to do something with no intention of explaining herself, and there were moments where I felt like everyone should have a best friend like Toni.
Secondly, I loved Loch, the love interest of this story. It was just him as a whole, and what his role is in ONE OF THE GUYS. I did feel like the romance was rushed, but I didn’t think it was instalove and I really enjoyed watching the two of them fall in love.
Now, while I did love Loch and I did love Toni and I really enjoyed their ship because of how sweet and best-friend-friendship it is, I didn’t love Cowboy and Ollie.
No, that wasn’t even it.
I loved Cowboy and Ollie so much that I was annoyed at how little they appeared compared to some of the other characters. While they seem like major characters, they’re constantly falling into the pit of supporting characters. I really wanted to see more character development all around, but I was disappointed that I didn’t see more of certain characters in particular.
Then there was plot. The journey that Toni goes through in this story is something I really admired, no reservations whatsoever. She truly goes from someone who doesn’t really know herself or where she belongs without her guys and then comes to peace with who she is and where she is. She learns from her mistakes and comes out as a better person in the end.
The execution of this story overall was just something I wasn’t the hugest fan of, but I felt like because of the character journeys and the characters themselves, ONE OF THE GUYS prevailed for me. It is a book I would recommend, but only to people who didn’t like ON THE FENCE or liked MY LIFE WITH THE WALTER BOYS and wanted something vaguely on the same lines. 3.5 stars.
pg count for the kindle edition: 320