ARC Review: How To Date A Douchebag: The Failing Hours by Sara Ney

Series: How To Date a Douchebag #2
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Rating: 4.5/5
I voluntarily reviewed an ARC.
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Zeke Daniels isn’t just a douchebag; he’s an a**hole.
A total and complete jerk, Zeke keeps people at a distance. He has no interest in relationships—most a**holes don’t.

Being part of a couple? Nope. Not for him.

He’s never given any thought to what he wants in a girlfriend, because he’s never had any intention of having one. Shit, he barely has a relationship with his family, and they’re related; his own friends don’t even like him.

So why does he keep thinking about Violet DeLuca?
Sweet, quiet Violet—his opposite in every sense of the word.
The light to his dark, even her damn name sounds like rays of sunshine and happiness and shit.

And that pisses him off, too.

If you’re going to ask me why I always look forward to reading Sara Ney’s stories, I’d answer because I’m sure they are always feel good. Not over the top. Uncomplicated storylines. So then you’d wonder, if her stories are easy then what makes them special. Plain and simple, because she transforms humdrum moments into something more. While Studying Hours was full of laughter, Failing Hours was full of feels. Funny encounters and dialogues were still present but what stood out for me were the moments of truth between Zeke and Violet.

Maybe change the title of this book to How to Fall for a Douchebag or better yet The Falling Hours, because damn did I fall in love with Zeke Daniels. How? Through that slow burning sensation I’ve always favored. For one, the pacing was on point eventually magnifying the sweet parts.

Our hero is… all together now–a douchebag. Top wrestler collegiate level, well off, devastatingly handsome, smart but an immature jerk. An asshole I hated from start to 40%. God, he was rude and awful! My momma would have kicked me out of the house if she found out I’m friends with someone like him, more so dated. I honestly wasn’t even sure if he could redeem himself. Lo and behold, Sara Ney slowly revealed his soft side. Surprising and swoony!!! Still shitty sometimes but swoony. Mostly his monstrosity melted through Violet De Luca’s help. Heroine’s characterization was fresh – not an alpha new adult which I find unique, she stammers like nobody’s business, down to earth and inexperienced cute and most importantly kind hearted.

I would like to describe my reading experience in waves. Emotions started at a stable level of 3. And then by the power of I don’t know, my feelings went up to level 8. Went back to being fixed then boom shot up to level 9. It was a series of steadiness then exaggeration, equilibrium then amplification.

Wave 1 – He / she what???
Wave 2 – Why am I tearing up during this scene?
Wave 3 – Fist pumping in the air because…Zeke!!!
Wave 4 – You did not! Stupid son of a b*tch.

I took so much pleasure in Zeke’s looming destruction (insert evil laugh). It was hilarious when he’d try to convince himself that he’s not pussy whipped. When he was so pissed at himself when he’d get so gooey. Even more funny when he’d throw an eye roll at himself. One more time baby. Try it again, because it seems to me you’re falling apart because of this woman.

I’ve said this time and time again. Sara Ney’s narration style constantly awakens my feelings even if the events are fairly ordinary. I don’t know how she does it but she never fails to give graceful bits and pieces in slow motion.

We only study in silence for six minutes before I glace up to find him wordlessly watching me, his piercing gray eyes straying when I reach up, push back a wavy lock of hair that’s sticking to my lip gloss, and oh lord, he’s staring at my mouth…my lips. I swallow. He looks away before I do.

“Violet”. He sighs the question of my name into my mouth as my eyelids slide closed, our lips touching. Briefly hesitating. The barest whisper of contact sizzles in the space between the soft skin of his lower lip and mind. A long, charged quiver that lingers deep within my spine, compelling us both to fuse our mouths together.

I hope I was able to witness Zeke interacting with his parents just so I could understand his issues further. It could have highlighted the conflict on a more profound level. It would also be extra entertaining if their interactions with their college friends, moments with Summer and Kyle were drawn-out.

I can describe MC’s chemistry as “free”. The development was not the “hot stuff” kind but more where the characters complemented each other. Another thing I found unique was how their steamy scenes were glazed with youthfulness and humor. They were uninhibited and at the same time realistic.

This is a story of how love blossoms between two completely different individuals. I love how this trope was perfectly paced. The ending was unassuming! Not too dreamy but more representative of how new adult romance should conclude. Sure I’ve read the same conflict before, but it was the feels, the sweet moments, the waves of emotions and the redeemed douchebag that certainly made me fall hard for this story.

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