Review: RoomHate by Penelope Ward

By Penelope Ward

Paperback, 280 pages
Published February 3rd 2016 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Average Rating: 4.24

Sharing a summer house with a hot-as-hell roommate should be a dream come true, right?

Not when it’s Justin…the only person I’d ever loved…who now hates me.

When my grandmother died and left me half of the house on Aquidneck Island, there was a catch: the other half would go to the boy she helped raise.

The same boy who turned into the teenager whose heart I broke years ago.

The same teenager who’s now a man with a hard body and a hardass personality to match.

I hadn’t seen him in years, and now we’re living together because neither one of us is willing to give up the house.

The worst part? He didn’t come alone.

I’d soon realize there’s a thin line between love and hate. I could see through that smug smile. Beneath it all…the boy is still there. So is our connection.

The problem is…now that I can’t have Justin, I’ve never wanted him more.

four star

How do I sum up my feelings about this book in one sentence? …

“A sexy, angsty read with intense heart-breaking and a happy ever after.”

It sounds like every single New Adult Romance novel.

And it is.

I’m really don’t going to go on and on about how this book is like every other novel I’ve read or how unlike every novel I’ve read.

With such a mellow tone to this review already, I better pump it up. I can tell you this with the utmost certainty: THIS BOOK GOT ME INTO A GOOD MOOD.

I was having a shitty day, and I found this gem and just..BAM. I finished it in two hours that day. I didn’t really feel like being romantic, hell, I didn’t want to read Romance novels at all, but I finished it and was EXTREMELY satisfied. I’ve always liked Haters-to-Lovers romances, however, I’ve read so much of them that they’re dull and cliché to me. RoomHate, which I would have thought would have been horrible turned out to be well-written with a smooth, progressive storyline.

The characters really stood out to me while reading RoomHate, and I found myself finding these subtle messages hidden in the novel. We have Amelia, an elementary school teacher who’s grandmother left a summer house for her. Well, half a summer house. The other half was given to Justin, Amelia’s childhood best friend, who happens to hate her due to Amelia leaving him as a teenager to go live with her dad. Her moving away destroyed their friendship, making Justin hate her for years until Amelia’s grandmother passing away brings them back together again.

Let me tell you. The animosity between these two was fiery hot! Amelia took his anger like a champ and gave it back to him tenfold. When they first saw each other again, it wasn’t a very happy reunion. And there’s a girlfriend. A lovely, likable, awesome girlfriend who you can’t hate and who Amelia befriends. I did happen to be slightly annoyed with the possibility of cheating in this novel. THERE IS NO CHEATING INVOLVED. (thank god.) During the first half of the novel, I was so wary and annoyed by the possibility of Justin cheating because if Justin and Amelia were ever going to be together, it better be the right way. Not only that, Amelia is friends with her. There’s a point in the novel where the girlfriend is gone and it’s just them two and it could’ve happened and I was so tense reading this part because Amelia couldn’t do that to her!! Justin handled his situation so well and honestly it made it more angsty than anything so extra points there. (Also, Justin’s character really shone out and made me love him even more.) Thankfully the issue is later resolved and the novel remained a “No cheating zone”.

Throughout the novel, Amelia has two potential lovers, excluding Justin. These two men are the driving force of Justin’s battle with what he really feels. I loved the scenes where he needed to punch a bag because he was so sexually frustrated and hurt. This totally adds to his hotness factor. Did I mention he’s also this AMAZING singer which made me swoon throughout the whole dang novel? *sigh* Yea. It was a good book with healthy amounts of angst.

Amelia definitely went through some character development and Ward completely turned her world upside-down and inside-out. There’s this HUGE plot twist that I never saw coming that just made me want to punch some walls, scream and cry. Hint: Babies. That’s all you’re going to get because YOU GUYS NEED TO READ THIS. Anyway, flash forward about a year later. Justin and Amelia’s worlds are different and Justin does some heart-melting things that just make you root for Amelia and Justin’s HEA but it took so freaking long to get there that I just wanted to grab Amelia by the shoulders and scream at her for being so stupid and just tell Justin she loves him. Then Justin makes up for Amelia’s stupidity in a very hot, sexy, swooning way that you can’t help but squeal in delight but hate Ward for waiting so long to release the bottled up angst that I accumulated. Even after Justin’s heated gesture, reciprocated by Amelia, THERE WAS STILL ANGST. Lots and lots of angst mixed with adorable scenes with that hint I told you about. Gah. This book takes you on a ride of emotions, and let me tell you, there’s not one significant plot twist but another two!

This next plot twist changes the course of Justin and Amelia’s relationship and really puts their feelings to the test. And guess what?? THEY PASSED. Hell, it was a long ride but I loved these characters’ journey to finding each other again after a rough past but also their journeys to figuring out themselves and what they want. I ultimately learned that “Life’s a bitch but you just gotta rise above.” -Words of Michelle.

All in all, RoomHate gives you all those happy feelings mixed in with heavy angst and utter heart-break and that sentence should make you want to get this book already. I seriously recommend this to Romance lovers. And if I still haven’t convinced you then should I remind you that Justin is a very attractive musician who sang his way into my heart and gained the title of “Book Boyfriend”?  Also. Babies. You’re welcome. 😉

Keep calm and read on,



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