Though you might not have seen many reviews on my blog, I’m a huge fan of Elle Kennedy’s college romances and The Deal is one of my favorites. So, I’m quite happy that this book lived up to those expectations and this might be by second favorite of hers. The writing style is easy and breezy as ever, I didn’t want to put it down at all and stayed up quite late in the night to finish. We get the amazing banter that has almost become Elle’s signature style, only it’s slightly more heated this time. There are lots of laugh out loud moments while also covering a range of important issues and I loved how the author was able to balance out the two.
Summer is the star of the show here. She is fun, high energy, a personality that is impossible to ignore and someone who lights up a room and attracts attention wherever she goes without even meaning to. She can be petty and jealous sometimes, but she recognizes these qualities in herself and tries to do better. She is very passionate about fashion and completely unapologetic about it. She is very open about her sexuality and always stands up for herself and other girls and has zero tolerance for slut shaming which was a quality I really admired. She can be unsure about herself sometimes and believes she isn’t very smart due to her learning disability, but she never lets it stop her from trying her best. Despite being judged and dismissed for her looks, money or fashion choices, she still has a very big heart and makes friends easily with everyone she meets and it’s just so hard not to fall for her natural charm.
Fitzy is her complete opposite – he maybe a hockey superstar of Briar but he hates the attention and just wants to stay in his room and design his video game. I liked this characterization, of him being not just a jock but also a nerd and that it’s possible to be both. However, I didn’t like him much for more than half of the book. Being from an abusive household has made him incapable of expressing his feelings and he doesn’t want to attract the attention that seems to follow Summer, but the way he is rude and disrespectful towards her just to deny his own attraction, did not endear me to him at all. It was only after he got his act together and started communicating that I really started liking him. One thing I liked after they got together was that he was completely supportive of her and never dismissed her feelings, especially about the sleazy professor.
Kennedy writes awesome side characters and this book is no different. I don’t think Hunter made much of a good impression on me when he was introduced in the Off Campus series, but I liked him a lot here. All the time Fitz was being an idiot, I actually wanted Summer to get together with Hunter and his genuine feelings for her really came through. I was as upset as he was when the inevitable happened and I really hope we get another book with his story. The other character who stole the show alongwith Summer was her best friend Brenna, the coach’s daughter. You may not like instalove but I promise you will love this insta-friendship and I was greedy for more of their scenes together. Brenna is a complete firecracker, sassy as hell, a great friend to have and someone who takes her hockey rivalries very very seriously. Summer’s third roommate and another player Hollis is a clueless hockey bro who keeps vying for Brenna’s attention but he is also very sweet and I actually felt sorry that she wouldn’t give him the time of the day.
We also get some awesome cameos from our favorite characters and I was squealing with delight when Garrett, Hannah, Dean, Allie and Tucker showed up. It just made me want to read their books again.
While being a fun college romance, I loved how the author incorporated commentary on so many different issues in the book. I especially liked the representation of Summer’s ADHD and learning disability. It’s a great way to understand that not everyone learns the same way or at the same speed but that doesn’t make them any less smart, just that they may need some extra help or unique methods of learning.
There is also a lot of discussion about sexual harassment and rape culture on college campuses and the book really reflects upon how women are always made to question their own actions when someone harasses them, and the first finger is never pointed at the actual perpetrator. Even Summer dismisses her gut feeling and discomfort she feels around a certain professor because she is made to believe that it’s her own fault and she shouldn’t damage someone’s reputation with such allegations. I’m glad that we get a resolution in the book even though that’s not the usual reality, but I hope our world gets better and the perpetrators are held accountable instead of blaming and shaming the victims.
All I want to say is that I shouldn’t have waited this long to read The Chase and I’m so happy after completing it now. This book is entertaining and fun while also having a lot of depth and it was such an awesome experience. Kennedy writes amazing characters and now I have more of them to love. I’m even more excited to read Brenna’s story and I’m hoping it’ll feature a certain handsome arrogant rival.