Thursday, April 2, 2020

Our Year in Love and Parties by Karen Hattrup-- Fun Concept, Lackluster Characters

Our Year in Love and Parties

One school year... many parties.

Tucker & Erika find themselves running in to each other at many parties throughout the year.  Tucker is a few years younger than Erika, but always had a crush on her.  Erika has been through a lot and has trouble trusting the opposite sex, but Tucker seems like he could be someone safe for her....

Through misunderstandings, parent problems, friend problems, and distance, Tucker and Erika have a long way to go before they can figure out what their relationship will ultimately be.

From the jump I want to say the concept of this book is very cool.  I love that we as readers get to go along with a High School Senior & a College Sophomore to parties throughout one school year.

I think a Pros and Cons list is applicable for this book:

  • There were some really cool party ideas in here.  I loved the over-the-top Christmas house party.  It had it all.... and then some.  There was a Harry Potter Great Hall room!!  Then in the Spring, they went to a party in townhomes where each home was a different decade!  I loved that!!  I went to a club once where each level played music from a different decade, and it's by far one of the best times I've ever had at a club!
  • Tucker started out so interesting.  I liked that he was sensitive and unsure.  As the book begins, he's having a "friends with benefits" relationship with a girl and it was interesting seeing how that sputtered out and how he dealt with it.
  • I think the family problems are going to be super-relatable for a lot of teens.  I thought Tucker's relationship with his father explained SO much of why he was the way he was.  Erika's family dynamic was also a bit complicated and it showed another side of what she was all about.
  • Bobby.  Tucker's best friend, Bobby, is just cool.  I loved that we got to see his growth and journey throughout the year.  And I loved how Tucker cared about Bobby and maintaining their friendship.
  • Well..... I didn't love Tucker or Erika all that much.  I was totally TEAM TUCKER in the beginning, but he developed in a way that made me feel very blah about him in the end.
  • I think the author wanted to write a guy that had feelings and shared them even if he was scared to do so.  I totally admire that-- but I think this author went too far.  Tucker ended up feeling so weak to me.  He was all about the word vomit-- blurting out things that were SUPER embarrassing about himself-- and it made me feel the type of secondhand embarrassment that I dread.
  • Erika.... I didn't feel like I got to know her very well.  I get that she was hard-edges on the outside, but I didn't feel like I got to know who she really was beyond slightly damaged and untrusting.
  • I think I would've like this book a whole lot better if the meetings between Tucker and Erika kept happening by chance.  By midway through the book, they start texting and the rest of the book is all stuff they plan to do together-- which kind of brought the level of "will they/won't they-- fate" tensions down.
I think the bottom line is that if I loved these characters, I would've loved this book because it was fun and unique-- and full of stuff that I usually 100% go for (teenage drama, parties, prom-ish, college, issues galore).

OVERALL: Good effort, but I didn't love the 2 main characters.  I would totally recommend it though because it really does have so many elements I love in a book (parties, teen drama, issues, friendships)-- but I would definitely not put it with my all-time faves because of the characters.

Date Published: 10/8/2019
How I got this book: It was a gift from my amazing Secret Santa
Publisher: HarperTeen

My Rating: 3/5

Character: Erika Green
Book: Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown

  • Erika can 100% relate to what Ashleigh is going through with the revenge sext sent all over school.


  1. It hurts! You hate all the books I love, but I still love you. I think I was ok with Tucker, because it was shown, that he was a product of his environment, and I did think he grew over that year. I have a special place in my heart for soft boys. I personally knocked it down a half star for the ending. I wanted more, but otherwise, I did enjoy this book a lot

    1. 😭😭We usually love all the same books!! I have a special place for soft boy too-- usually!! Maybe I'm just in a hard mood right now :( I wanted more from the ending too. It seemed kind of like they would be too far apart for anything to really work.

    2. The ending was promising, if not, I would have docked it a whole star.