Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 22 Aug 2016
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
He told me to ‘settle, girl.’
He asked if ‘something was wrong with me?’
He said I was an ‘easy target.’
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.
He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.
Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.
I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?
Anti-Stepbrother deals with so much more than relationship issues, family matters, loss and grief all play a part within the narrative. I always say it is the negative incidents that impact our identities the most, how we cope with tragedy ultimately defines who we are.
Summer’s mother passed away a few years ago and her father remarried very quickly, altering Summer’s life with a new family including her high school crush, Kevin, as her step-brother. Summer fills the void her mother’s death has left in her life with fantasies of Kevin, building the romance up in her imagination. Following a drunken romp on graduation night, Summer follows Kevin to college, only to be confronted with just how douche-tastic he is.
Initially, Summer’s narrative voice is very immature, although her random conversations and off the wall personality make her endearing from the beginning. The plot follows Summer’s emotional growth as she navigates her new environment; becoming independent and making new friends, as well as a few enemies, as well as the lovely Caden.
I did feel as if I didn’t really get to know Caden all that well through Anti-Stepbrother, the story tells us of his change due to an incident within his family, however, there isn’t much showing of the Caden before and after the incident in order to have the full comparison. I did feel as if Caden had abandoned his own life to follow the path set out for his family, I wasn’t really sure how happy he was with the changes apart from his involvement with Summer.
Anti-Stepbrother shows the large gap in maturity between leaving high school and starting college, all the growing up and becoming responsible for yourself it involves. Unresolved emotional issues can build up until there is no stopping the explosion and subsequent fall-out. Grief needs to be acknowledged and not covered over by placing your happiness in the hands of other people.
If there is one thing Anti-Stepbrother shows is that you have to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with anyone else.