Release Date: 08/26/14
Skylar Fletcher is a proud Harris Academy Bulldog! She has everything she’s ever wanted: a perfect boyfriend, great friends, and her dream college waiting for her in the fall. But nothing lasts forever. Skylar's world shatters when her mom decides it is time to move and drags Skylar, kicking and screaming, into Bobcat territory.
At Delmont High School, home of the Bobcats, Skylar has no friends and is often bullied. To make matters worse, her home life sucks thanks to all-star quarterback Caleb Morgan, nephew of her mom's live-in boyfriend.
At first Skylar and Caleb want nothing to do with one another. But they soon discover they're not that different after all--and each is harboring a secret attraction to the other. But can a Bulldog and a Bobcat ever really be more than friends? And are Skylar and Caleb willing to risk everything to find out? Rival Love is a debut young adult contemporary romance from Natalie Decker.
“Um, I thought I made myself clear yesterday. School tour. Today. In the morning,” Caleb says in a cold tone.
I thought Mom told me this kid was smart. He seems a few French fries short of a Happy Meal. “And?”
“And nothing. Get your ass up. We need to do this now.”
I snort. “As if I care what you want me to do. Go away.”
“Let me be clear, you spoiled little brat. I’m not playing games with you today. I’ve got practice and other shit I gotta do. And I’m not about to be late and run laps so that you can throw a damn tantrum.” He yanks open a box marked clothes and tosses a pair of my skimpy shorts and a t-shirt at me. I’m so not wearing the clothes I clean the house in outside. “You’ve got three minutes. I don’t care if you haven’t changed, or all you’ve got on is a pair of shorts and freaking bra, I’ll drag you out of this house kicking and screaming.”
The heck he will. I fold my arms over my chest and glare at him. “Whatevs.”
He shuts the door and I stay on my bed. He can kiss my butt. If Caleb Morgan thinks he can talk to me like that and I’ll just do whatever he says, he’s got another thing coming. Idiot.
My door opens again, and Caleb looks over at the clothes, then at me. “Fine.” He marches over to me. Fingers bite into my arms and he yanks me to my feet. I kick his shins, and aim at other body parts, but he continues to drag me out of the room. My door slaps shut. Caleb all but carries me down the flight of steps and out the front door.
I’m in full protest the whole time. “I don’t have shoes, jerk!”
“I told you. But I knew you’d be like this so I put your tennis shoes in the car.”
A car with screaming girls passes by the house, honking their car horn. My socks dig into the lawn immediately. Caleb waves at the passing car. Once they’re at least three houses down the road, he turns his attention back to me.
“You’re trying to get me killed out here!” I scream.
He gives me a stupid smirk. “Get over yourself, Bulldog. Like it or not, we have a tour to get over with and unlike you, I have friends here. I wave to them. I talk to them. And I sometimes date them. Let’s go.”
“Have it your way.” He wraps his arms around my waist and hauls me over his left shoulder.
Balling up my hands, I beat them furiously against his backside. “Put me down! You stupid, arrogant jackass, I mean it!”
Caleb doesn’t let up. He somehow opens his car door and places me down in the passenger seat. “Shoes are on the floor, brat. If you want to keep your limbs I suggest you keep them in the car.” I huff and he slams the door shut.
The door to the driver’s side pops open and from the corners of my eyes, I watch him slide against the gray interior. I pick up my shoes and give him a disgusted look. “These are my cleats.” I dangle them in front of his face.
He shrugs like this is nothing that concerns him. If I didn’t hate him so much right now, my OCD side would compliment him on the impeccably clean inside of his VW Passat. “I refuse to do this! I’m not stepping foot in that school and if you attempt to manhandle me again, I’ll bite you.”
Rival Love is not your typical teenage romance. Yes, it’s cute. It absolutely made me swoon. It made me giddy and laugh and at some moments, it made me want to roll my eyes. But it delves deeper into issues we would usually roll our eyes at. It discusses some issues in a fun way that would make the readers think twice if they should find it amusing or if they should be opposed to it. It’s trying to impart lessons without obviously trying to sound like a preacher.
Rival Love is the story of Skylar Olivia Fletcher and Caleb Morgan who were blindsided when their guardians unexpectedly fell in love with each other and decided to move in together.
Sky came from the home of the Bulldogs, the Harris Academy. When her mother decided to sell their house and move in with her boyfriend, Brian, she doesn’t have a choice but to go with her.
My captain position on the swim team … gone. My chance to take the softball team to state’s and getting to stroke that huge silver trophy, yeah, not happening now. Thanks Fate, Cupid, and whoever else is responsible for ruining my senior year and my life, while we’re at it.
Caleb, on the other hand, is Brian’s nephew who plays as a quarterback in Delmont High, the home of the Bobcats.
It was called Rival Love because despite hating each other, Sky and Caleb who came from opposing teams, fell in love with each other. And in a school where they both came from, it is unacceptable.
To others, they might stereotype Sky as the uptight bitch. But deep inside she’s a very passionate teenage girl who sees sports as her only way out to score a scholarship to Duke University. She has a straight A grade and apart from that, she also volunteers her time for the less fortunate kids. As much as she’s trying to deny it, she’s longing for her Dad’s attention. She’s jealous of her stepsister. She’s angry of her dad for abandoning them and choosing his other family.
Caleb is known as the player who don’t take girls seriously. He loves football but is pressured about his performance since this will determine how his future will play out. He always kept mum about his family and he plans not to share it any time soon. But he’s longing for them. He misses his family and he would always think of how his life may have been different from what he has now.
As they were busy trying to express their hate for each other, as they were busy thinking of ways to prank each another, they expose themselves toward one another abling them to see the deepest recesses of their souls. Until their hate turned into affection, and then into love. It was not an insta-love but it was something that gradually developed. This is the best kind of relationship. They became each other’s support. Their personalities totally matched. I liked how direct to the point Sky was. How she tells it the way she sees it. I liked how affectionate Caleb can be especially towards Sky. He trusts her and is always there whenever she feels like she needs comfort.
The author also stresses the importance of healthy communication among families. A parent may think of it as a simple problem but a child may think otherwise. Sky’s parents should have tried to give her assurance especially her dad because no matter how expensive or big the stipends you send monthly, if you haven’t done your real duty as a father, it won’t be important. A father’s duty exceeds beyond allowances. Simple gestures like attending a PTCA meeting or watching your children in an away game as they win the championship is much more appreciated because it makes them important enough that you ditched your appointment just to watch them play. Aside from that, parents should include children in decision making especially if it involves them. It means that you see them as mature people and that you trusts them enough to include them.
It also shows that pranking and bullying should be taken seriously in schools. Pranking may be fun, but it is dangerous. Bullying causes more emotional pain. It degrades character. It certainly decreases self-esteem and it can possibly lead to depression that may cause people to commit suicide.
The ENDING seriously messed up my sleep. I tossed and turned for an hour because of it. I basically chewed my on my goddamned nails sincerely hoping that it was just a mistake. It made a huge impact on me because, damn, I can’t help but think about what will happen next.
I’m kind of hating the author right now because ending the story with an effin letter is, in a thousand ways, wrong. That’s one way of making an enemy out of a bookworm who despises cliffhangers.
I’m literally growling in frustration right now because I want to know how Sky will be justified of all the accusations and how her relationship with Caleb will work out in the end.
I absolutely love this book. Everything just clicked with me and I would have given it a five if only the author gave me a second book for the continuation of the story.
Natalie Decker is the Author of Rival Love. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn’t her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She’s a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she’s not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she’s off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!
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