Calling California (Hunter Hill University #1) by J. P. Grider
Date of Publishing : May 19th, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
My Rating: ★
Cali Parker is poor. She has a lot on her plate – her father is dying, she’s working to help pay the rent, and she’s two-years behind in college.
Griffin Brooks is rich. He has not a care in the world – he’s acing his engineering courses, his hobby is restoring his fifty-thousand dollar classic car, and he has a different girl on his arm every week.
When Cali sees Griffin on her first day of class, she’s immediately smitten and thinks she’s found the perfect guy. When Griffin sees Cali at the bank, he immediately forgets the blonde he was with that morning. Then they meet, and their worlds collide.
Cali doesn’t belong in Griffin’s world, and he doesn’t understand hers. But just when Griffin convinces Cali that their two different worlds can blend, a secret is revealed that tears them apart.
Is their love strong enough to bring them back together, or will their worlds drift further apart?
Reading this book literally gave me an ache in the head. Let me tell you why.
Let’s start with Cali / Calista / California:
As you may have read in the blurb, Cali is poor. She has a dying father to take care of, a proud mother who refuses help, her own college studies and new drama in the form of a love interest.
In my opinion, this girl has major issues. I couldn’t connect with Cali at all. In my books, that’s a deal breaker. She’s poor. She envies people with money. She feels out of place and inferior with people who are better off financially than her. I get that. I do. And I would never judge that. However, in this fiction book, it was a bit too much to read. She’s cranky, she’s whiney and her major problem? She takes offense way too easily—which makes her an easy target for my criticism. There’s no way a nineteen year old could be so snappy and ready to bite your head off. It’s like she’s waiting for someone to say something, which she can construe as offensive and then go ahead and throw a tantrum.
Then comes her love interest Griffin:
The word that comes to mind when I think of Griffin is this: sissy. We’ve all read books about where the boy is gentle and not an emotional macho. That’s fine. And some of those boys are really good. But Griffin is just one of those boys who gets bullied by his lady love. Cali just walks over him because he’s rich—which is really not his fault—and he lets her. All in the name of love. It’s kind of sad, actually. All throughout the book, I did hope for him to grow some balls but nada. He was like that all over. He let Cali get angry with him, ignore him for no fault of his own and then he welcomed her with open arms. BOO. He does keep some stuff from her—big stuff—and I donut like it, but when he plans to tell her, she hears it from another source and she’s made at him again. Typical.
Moving on to Mama Parker (Eleanor Parker – Cali’s Mom):
I don’t think there’s any mama in a story I despise as much as Mama P. She’s part of the reason Cali is this bitter person who despises anything with money. Your parents and the values they instill in you form a big part of who you are and although the author tried to portray Eleanor as someone who always wished for the good of her daughter, the truth is what it is—she’s proud and envious and she’s passed it on to her daughter, too. There’s one part of the book where Cali runs away from home and no one knows where she is. Griffin confronts her mother about it and Eleanor says that “Cali is a big girl and she’ll find her way home.” Seriously?
I wanted to like this story considering that I loved both, the premise and the cover. I wanted to say only good things about this book. But that would be really unfair both on my side and to the author.
About the Author
J.P. Grider is a Young Adult and New Adult author. She is the author of six novels. Her young adult series The Honor Trilogy consists of A Touch of Honor, A Man of Honor, and A Heart of Honor, while her first two novels – Unplugged (A Portrait of a Rock Star) and Maybe This Life – are standalone adult contemporary novels. Her most recent release is the new adult romance Calling California, which is the first in her Hunter Hill University series. The next book in the series – Mending Mick – will be released in October, 2014. All the books in the Hunter Hill University series will be standalone books and can be read in any order.
*I was provided a free ecopy of this book in exchange of an honest review*