(I won this in a Goodreads giveaway! The title really drew me in)!
“He was afraid, not because he thought she wasn’t the one. He was terrified because he knew she was.”
Every Book is Boy by Mirella Muffarotto (413 pages) is set in Italy and begins with Marika coming to terms with her growing feelings for Matteo, her best friend. A romantic relationship is just around the corner until a soccer team tries to scout him. Now, Marika’s world has been turned upside down and a series of
unneeded drama events break her heart. Will Marika and Matteo ever get together?
Let me be honest. The first five chapters were torture, but this story slowly, slowly (it’s a snail’s pace) starts getting interesting. Of course, there’s constant drama. SO MUCH DRAMA!
I find the drama so frustrating because of misunderstandings. I almost never enjoy drawn-out misunderstandings in stories because they take forever to resolve and the other characters react stupidly as a result.
I enjoyed the Italian setting, Carlotta and Dario, and the book title. I’m not really into soccer/football/fútbol, so I skimmed over the games and terminology, but I enjoyed reading the business side of things, seeing how players dealt with their agents, training camps, and meeting potential teammates. It was nice and a lot of detail has been put into it.
Now, one of the things I didn’t enjoy about Every Book is a Boy is the long passages of details. People are always stressing for writers to add more detail, but I kept skimming through a lot of it.
So, about the romance … Listen, I’m no stranger to YA romances but Marika’s thoughts about Matteo are drenched in syrup. For example:
“I know … you’re right, but all I want to do is score. It’s the only thing I can think of out there.
‘He was to die for, even though his only desire was to score (pg 18).’”
I don’t mind “oh my gosh, my heart almost stopped because he touched my hand” love if I have a connection with the characters. Because I found Matteo so annoying and unlikable, I was left only rooting for ½ of the couple. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any aww-worthy or some oh-my-wink-wink moments. The cute moments are just filtered through mountains of text of Marika pining for Matteo, Matteo being upset for words he can’t convey, Federico trying to woo Marika, and historical and architectural information about Italian cities.
By the way, there’s a minor subplot about the dangers of teen sexting and webcamming. There’s some harsh language (F bombs, bull****, sluts, “easy girls,” etc) and a brief mention of a love scene, but it’s not constant if that’s a worry.
Marika is bland. She has a slight touch of “not like other girls” because she’s such a tomboy. She cries a lot too, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it’s prevalent.
Carlotta is very self-absorbed but nice. She’s got a big mouth but a big heart to go along with it.
Dario is a decent guy.
Matteo, the most wishy-washy character alive, couldn’t decide between water and H2O. Hopefully, you get where I’m coming from. He ain’t have no communication skills!
Lucreiza and Marcello and Valerio are 1-dimensional villains who only think with their genitals. In the beginning, I feel like there is subtle programming to dislike Lucrezia because she wears ridiculously short skirts and flirts with boys and goes “further with boys.” Of course, she does turn out to be a horrid mess of a person, but I didn’t even get a chance to discover her nastiness. I was already predisposed to dislike her.
Federico is my favorite character, but it’s for a sad reason. I only like him because he doesn’t have any of Matteo’s bad qualities. Since we don’t see any bad aspects of him, he’s the seemingly perfect guy. He COMMUNICATES his feelings and doesn’t treat Marika’s heart like a RAGDOLL and APOLOGIZES when he messes up quickly.
Eve was cool but then just awful at times. I don’t mind brash characters, but she played a nasty joke that I didn’t care for. Still, she had a lot of personality more than I can say for Marika.
One of the most frustrating stories I have read in a while with the most wishy-washy male lead ever. This story could’ve been cut by like 200 pages. Maybe I feel so tough on this story because the length exhausted me? I don’t know. On the positive note, I love the title.
If you like slow burn romance (?), soccer, and friends to lovers, then this story is for you. Keep in mind if you don’t enjoy chick-flicks or cheesiness, then you might be annoyed the entire time.