Review: The Boy I Hate by Taylor Sullivan

Summary/Cover Image from Amazon: 
3,000 miles, TWO secrets, ONE man who can change everything.

Samantha Smiles and Renee Montgomery have been best friends for over a decade. They’ve shared laughs, secrets, and a mutual hatred for one person: Tristan Montgomery, Renee's older brother. He was the guy every girl wanted, and every guy wanted to be, and it wasn't uncommon they'd befriend his little sister just to get closer to him. 

Which was exactly how Samantha became Renee’s saving grace. She was the only girl Renee could trust not to fall in love with her older brother. 

Until the one night Samantha spent with him alone, leaving her questioning everything she’d ever known about the blond headed heart-throb. 

Years later, Renee asks Samantha to be her maid of honor. After being one-upped by her boyfriend's career, and with no other option, Samantha is forced to drive cross-country with the focus of their teenage ire. 

He was her first kiss.

Her only secret. 

Can Samantha survive the trip cross-country with the reckless Tristan Montgomery? The guy who did what he wanted, whenever he wanted, without worry for tomorrow? Or will she discover a different side of him. One that’s sweet, funny, and maybe a little bit vulnerable. And fall completely and helplessly in love for the first time in her adult life with the one man who could cause her to lose her best friend forever?

After reading the incredibly intense Pretty Wicked by Kelly Charron, I need something light and sweet, which in my world means a good romance book. Looking through my TBR pile I decided Taylor Sullivan's The Boy I Hate would have be my next read. 

Thankfully, The Boy I Hate ending up being the perfect choice! Equal parts light hearted and serious, The Boy I Hate is a book I easily devoured in one sitting. I laughed, I swooned, and I even shed a few tears. The last of which almost never happens! 

Samantha Smiles is looking forward to her best friend's wedding. Not only will Samantha get to see her best friend Renee for the first time in ages, but she also will be able to road trip cross country with her long-time boyfriend Steven. However, two days before they're supposed to leave, Steven announces curtly at dinner he will not be joining Samantha on the road trip; instead, he will be staying back in LA to start his prestigious internship. Samantha is heartbroken. One part of her understands that Steven's career is important to him, but the other part of her is incredibly sick of always coming in second to it. Left with no travel companion, Samantha has basically accepted the fact she'll be traveling alone. Renee, however, won't let that happen. She offers, no forces, Samantha to road trip with her brother Tristan. The problem? Samantha hates Tristan...he's the last person she wants to see let alone road trip 3,000 miles with...but she has no other option. Thrown in an old car together, Samantha and Steven set off across the country, and the more miles they log the more secrets and revelations come out...

There was so many aspects of The Boy I Hate that I absolutely loved; however, one of the biggest was the road trip aspect. As I've said time and time again in my reviews, I love a good road trip book, and The Boy I Hate definitely delivered in respect to that aspect. It was so much fun to see the different adventures and disasters Samantha and Tristan landed themselves in over the course of the trip. While I admit some of the disasters were typical of a road trip book, it didn't mean I found them any less funny or adorable. I especially enjoyed the addition of the many different people they met, especially when said characters could see what Samantha and Tristan refused to: the connection and chemistry between them.

What made the road trip especially fun, however, was the two leading characters. Samantha is a character I think any twenty-something will find relatable and likable. On the surface, Samantha seemingly has everything: a solid relationship, a mostly successful gallery opening, and an amazing and supportive best friend. However, deep down Samantha is at a crossroads...her relationship isn't working the way it used to, she hasn't sold any of her art, and she feels further than ever from her best friend. Basically, Samantha has lost her spark and even her passion in some respects. However, over the course of the book, Samantha goes from being someone quiet and afraid to speak up to someone who's willing to go after what makes her happy, even if it means uprooting her whole life. To be honest, I didn't really like Tristan at first. He was kind of infuriating; however, over the course of the book, he opened up and became someone I couldn't help but love. Parts of him were fearless and brave while other parts were shy and timid. I loved seeing both sides to his character...I felt that they made him also relatable and likable. What I loved most about Tristan, however, was his desire to make the women in his life happy, no matter the cost to his own mental health. He was such an amazing brother, son, and friend, that throughout I was constantly rooting for Samantha to give him a chance!

The romance between Tristan and Samantha in one word? STEAMY!! I loved the banter & the chemistry, they way they constantly provoked and pushed each others buttons. What I loved most of all, though, was the back history that came with the book. It added a second-chance romance aspect to this, and really who doesn't love that?

So in summery: read this book if you love a good second chance romance with a road trip thrown in. Now I'm off to buy the rest of Taylor's books!

Grade: A- 

The Boy I Hate is now out! 

Source: eARC provided by publicist - thanks Giselle at Xpresso Book Tours! 

Buy Links: 

Amazon | BN  

Author Links: 


  1. Awesome review. This is the first time I'm seeing this book and after reading the blurb and your review, I'm definitely curious. It has a road trip, friendship, and steamy romance. What more could I ask for. Thanks for bringing it to my attention and glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Road trip books can be a lot of fun. The fact that the couple have great chemistry is really important. This sounds like one worth picking up. Great review!


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