BOOK REVIEW: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Title: The Deal
Author: Elle Kennedy
Series: Off Campus (Book #1)
Release Date: February 24th, 2015
Publisher: Bloom Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: ★★★★★

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is add-a-heading.png

New York Times bestseller Elle Kennedy brings you the first in the sexy Off-Campus series that everyone is talking about.

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is add-a-heading-1.png

To be completely honest, I bought this book on a whim after seeing it on sale at Chapters. Having skimmed the back of the book, I believed that I was getting myself into a Wattpad style novel, similar to Anna Todd’s After. But holy crap, this was like After on steroids! (And no, I don’t mean the sex scenes haha). Elle Kennedy has an easy, fresh writing style, which is perfect for those finishing an intense fantasy novel and needing a lighter follow-up read. It’s full of sarcasm and cocky, college athletes, so where can you go wrong?

I personally really enjoyed the characters in this novel, but I could see a lot of readers finding them annoying or lacking character development. Hannah, our main character, is a musical performance major who dreams of pursuing a music related career. The author showed us so many sides of Hannah’s character throughout the novel, including some intimate, fragile states. Hannah was raped in the past, causing her feel uncertain around alcohol and sex. Throughout the novel, Kennedy sends us through Hannah’s story of overcoming her fear of these subjects, even after years in therapy. Now, that’s where Garrett comes in. I loved Garrett from the beginning. As the captain of the hockey team, he knows how to go after what he wants. At first it was solely a professional career in hockey. Then it was a good mark on his Ethics midterm. Then it was . . . well, it was Hannah. From the moment he met her, he knew he wanted her for more than just helping him to boost his ethics mark. And his motivations can be admired as he didn’t back down from any of the times she told him “No.” Both Garrett and Hannah’s characters developed an incredible amount throughout the novel, as relationships developed and others were broken.

I’m not going to lie, there are definitely some annoying characters throughout the novel. Characters like Cass and MJ I found were necessary for the storyline, but came across as “non-developed”. Cass was bratty and MJ lacked the ability to make her own choices, which I believe would have made her a much stronger character! However, I loved both Garrett and Hannah’s friend groups and they definitely played pivotal roles in helping our main characters make some difficult choices throughout the novel!

Also, did I mention that this book features a hot group of HOCKEY players. Sure, there’s also players from the football team are mentioned in the novel, but Garrett’s main group of friends is the hockey team. This is a key detail that means a lot to me as a Canadian, since it is not often that we see hockey as the main sport in young adult novels. After finishing The Deal, I found out that Elle Kennedy herself is Canadian too, making this detail make so much more sense!

Overall I found this novel to be a light, addicting contemporary that was very difficult to put down. There were quite a few nights where I definitely should’ve been reviewing some pathways for physiology, but found myself so invested in this novel. It’s a page turner, that’s for sure. But, if you enjoy sports and contemporary novels (Oh, and hot guys!), definitely give this novel a go!

Buy The Deal at the following retailers:
Indigo | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Amazon

January 2022 Wrap-Up!

Hi everyone! The first month of the year has come to an end, and it’s time to wrap-up everything that I read. It was an amazing month of reading for me, filled with multiple five star reads and a lot of wonderful storylines. Given that I did not start my Winter semester until January 24th, I had a large amount of the month to solely read and work. This break allowed me to rediscover my passion for reading, and I am praying that it doesn’t fade away anytime soon!

What did I read this month?

Like I said before, January was the month I really started to get into reading again. After picking up my first book in over 4 years at the end of December 2021, I have since fallen in love with 8 amazing stories. I missed so many books over these past four years, and am finally playing catch-up.

SO MANY GREAT BOOKS! My five star reads included: The Darkest Star, The Deal, House of Earth and Blood, and The Burning Shadow. All such amazing reads, with awesome authors! .

What books did I review this month?

January was also my return to blogging. After reading so many wonderful stories, I couldn’t just sit with my thoughts in silence! These books made me cry and laugh, fall in love and fall into hatred. There’s so much detail to a story, and there are endless thoughts to be talked about afterwards! So here I am! Below are the four reviews I managed to get up during January:

  1. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
  2. The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  3. House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
  4. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Where am I at in my Goodreads reading challenge?

I never actually announce on here how many books I planned to read this year. I set my reading goal to 25 books for the year, but I’m already WAY ahead of schedule, so that will most likely change. But I am 8/25 books into my challenge, which means that I am roughly 1/3 (32%) of the way through my challenge!

What books did I purchase this month?

My return to reading also resulted in a little dent to my bank account. When I say I bought a lot of books this month, that’s a little bit of an understatement. Indigo’s website became my best friend this past month with all of the sales they were having! And it felt great to finally wander through a bookstore again! Just browsing the shelves aimlessly brings me so much joy, and became a wonderful way to destress. Below are my purchases of the month:

I also ended up ordering a few more books, but they aren’t arriving until February, so I will mention those in next month’s review. Stay tuned for that!

What are my goals for February?

I have so many goals for February, both reading-wise and in my personal life. As I just started my Winter term last week, my classes will begin to pick up throughout February, leading up to midterms at the beginning of March. Thankfully, my spring break occurs at the end of February, right after Sarah J. Maas’s House of Sky and Breath releases. I already preordered it and I am so excited to binge read it during my break.

My big goal is to try to teach myself how to balance reading, school and life. I’m still doing online school until my spring break, and that results in large amounts of free time lying in bed at home. No matter how much I want to read sometimes, I do need to prioritize my studies (*cries*). Fortunately I am only registered in 4/5 classes this term, so hopefully it will be easier on my brain.

There are definitely a few books I want to get to this month, including the following:

  1. House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas
  2. The Brightest Night by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  3. Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover
  4. All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

Of course, this is subject to change depending my mood, but these books are all at the top of my TBR currently!

So that was how my January went! It truly was a great month for me, and I am ecstatic to see how February goes. Let me know in the comments how your January was, and all the books you plan to read in February!

Happy Reading!