Friday, July 8, 2016

Four Doors Down by Emma Doherty

Title: Four Doors Down
Author: Emma Doherty
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Becca McKenzie is just trying to make it through her senior year of high school. She has good friends and a gorgeous boyfriend but Ryan Jackson, the bane of her existence, keeps popping up everywhere. 
She doesn't care that they were best friends for years. She doesn't care that their moms are close and therefore she hears more about him that she'd ever care to know. She doesn't care that their mutual friend, Jake, keeps pushing them all to hang out together, and she especially doesn't care that the rest of the school bows down and worships him. 
Becca decided years ago that he wasn't worth her time and nothing, NOTHING, is going to change her mind.

There are two tropes that I just can't resist- Best friends to lovers and enemies to lovers.  So imagine the utter happiness I felt when I saw the synopsis for Four Doors Down- two childhood best friends who are sworn enemies in high school.  I was jumping in my chair saying "Sign me up, Sign me up" and ready to pull this author over to my corner and say "So.... tell me a little about this Ryan guy?"  I'm beyond happy to tell you that Emma Doherty did just that.

In Four Doors Down we meet Becca McKenzie, who as a Senior has already outlived and out learned the idiotic ways of popular clicks in High School.  Becca is over it all, especially her ex best friend Ryan Jackson, football star and pretty much the leader of the school.  Ryan makes life hell for Becca by constantly teasing, annoying, and being in her presence.  But does he hate her or love her?

Doherty did an amazing job with creating the banter between these two.  They nit-pick, push, pull and tug at each other's last wit until the very end.  They are exhausting, angsty and every single thing I love about young love.  Although Becca was almost a little stupid at times and even slightly bitchy, I still remained attached to her character even if I was willing to wring her neck once in a while for being so blinded by her past, especially with Ryan practically oozing his frustrated feelings at her.  Doherty took her time with the build up of their feelings, frustrations and angst.  So much so that once I started reading, I couldn't stop thinking about this book.  I didn't want to put it down and I certainly didn't want their story to end.  Although all stories come to and end, Doherty was able to deliver a slow angsty burn of emotions with Four Doors Down until the very end.  I can't wait to see what happens in Four Years Later.  Bring it!

“Come on, tell me, Becs.” There it is again, that old nickname. I turn my head to look at him. He’s studying me intently.

“Don’t call me that.”
“Because it’s not my name.”
“Yes it is,” he says with a smile.
“No. My name is Rebecca. Or Becca. Not Becs. It’s too…” I pause. “It’s too familiar,” I tell him with a sigh.
“Hey, Ryan,” two girls greet him, smiling flirtatiously as they walk past us. My eyes follow them, glad for the distrac-tion, but when I turn back to Ryan, he hasn’t even glanced in their direction. His eyes are still focused on mine.
I raise my eyebrows at him. “You don’t want to follow them and see if there’s a spare classroom you can take advantage of?”
He smirks at me and glances away briefly before looking back into my eyes. “I’d rather talk to you,” he says quietly.

I turn to the side and see Ryan approaching with Jake and try not to pull a face. He’s glancing at Katie and his friends suspiciously. “What are you guys talking about?” he asks as soon as he reaches us.
I wait for Katie to reply, but she just stares back at him smiling.
“Just about how much we can’t stand each other,” I inform Ryan.
He glances over at me. This is the first time we’ve spoken since our fight at the beach. I mean, let’s face it: we definitely didn’t speak in Sal’s, we just shot each other dirty looks, and I’m still annoyed at him for the way he spoke about Charlie.
I don’t understand him. Was he always this interfering?
“Oh come on, Becca, he’s not that bad,” Jake says, slapping Ryan on the back and coming to his defense.
“Well not compared to Adolf Hitler, he isn’t,” I instantly reply to chuckles from his friends.
“You guys are back to being friends again,” Jake continues.
“Please,” I scoff. “I’d rather go for a sleepover at Jessica Murphy’s.”
Ryan snickers and crosses his arms. “Yeah? Maybe you could play dodgeball again?”
My mouth falls open as I hear the laughter from his friends. I can’t believe he’s just brought that up again. I’m already humiliated enough over that whole incident.
“Fuck you, Ryan!”
“He wishes,” someone says from behind me. I swing my head around but I have no idea who said it and they’re all looking away, trying not to laugh. I immediately get nervous and have flashbacks to teen movies where the popular kids play a prank on the dork to make everyone else laugh.
Something is definitely going on here.

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