Spoiler alert: Falling for a hot, older guy can only mean trouble … especially when he’s your bestie’s brother.
After my parents passed away, music was my only refuge until I came to Edenvale. It was there that I met my BFF, whose family treats me like one of their own. The only downside is Hannah’s overprotective brother who loves to torment me, even to the point of invading my dreams.
If only I were Liam Mitchell’s type.
It’s senior year, and I should be figuring out my future, but with my dad in jail, I’ve had to step up to take care of my family. The only thing that’s clear is how much I like spending time with Ava Alverson. Adorable, smart, and strong, she’s the only one I can let my guard down with. Too bad we’re stuck in the friend zone.
But not for long.
I’m determined to let her know how I feel and also prove to my sister that I’m good enough to date her best friend.
The Edenvale Arts High School series brings you the sweetness and innocence of young love amidst a backdrop of the performing arts. Combining creativity and romance, this clean and wholesome YA series is perfect for fans of High School Musical and Zombies.
(Check out my Reviewer Disclaimer page.)
Title: To the Only Boy I’ve Loved Before
Series (if applicable): The Edenvale Arts High School series
Author: Liwen Y. Ho
Publisher (if applicable): N/A, independent author
Genre(s): Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Recommended Age: High school age and older, if the reader is mature enough to handle clean romance. That seems to be the general age of the characters in this series, anyhow.
I don’t know what to say. Legit, this was one of the best YA romances I’ve ever anticipated and read. I still don’t normally read books under that genre, but I’m going to have to say that’s changing if I continue to read this series. I was really looking forward to it after reading the little blurb at the end of the first book. I even have to admit that I liked this book more than the first. Liwen Ho is so good at writing, that’s for sure!
Speaking of writing, I’m going to start with that. It was absolutely wonderful, the kind that I’m jealous of because the author clearly has talent. She easily drew me in at the first chapter. I don’t know how to explain it, but there’s just this unique and refreshing style this author has that really brings you into the story and leaves you wanting more.
I already liked Ava more than Hannah, honestly. My mentality is similar to Ava’s, which was one reason why I connected with her so easily. She didn’t exactly want to let people in, and I get that so well. I can’t say I completely understand what she’s been through, though. I don’t have any experience with being a foster child and never will because I’m a legal adult, but I have always wanted to foster or adopt one day. Just seeing what Ava went through has further made me want to possibly pursue that once I’m in better circumstances.
I was previously fond of Liam in How to Kiss a Guy in Ten Days. I just love over-protective brothers. But honestly, Ava’s point-of-view throughout the whole book was so well-written that I almost found myself getting a crush on Liam. I guess Ava is right. He is the kind of guy you would be attracted to because he does have this amazing personality and work-hard ethics, yet he was also not perfect. That’s a good thing because some authors have trouble keeping their characters and stories realistic, me included. Liwen Ho was able to write an authentic sibling argument as well as have a love-hate relationship with Liam and Hannah. Overall, if I can get attached to a male character that easily, then I think the author has done something right.
Content: If you’re reading this review (and possibly read my last one on the first book in the series), you gotta know this series has romance by now. Which definitely means some kisses, touching hugging, thinking about that person they like and probably being slightly obsessed, etc. If you literally have a problem with romance, avoid this book because it is definitely not for you. On the other hand, if you are okay with romance, you should read this series if you want some good and wholesome romance. Yes, sure, I cringed at some of the touchy-feely stuff because I could see myself getting embarrassed just as Ava did. But it was so adorable, and I would read this book again.
In the end, I have to admit Liwen Ho has become one of my favourite writers. I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series! I wondered if it was going to be focused on Max or Nolan, but I’m glad to know that Nolan will eventually get his own book in the future. I love how Ava was able to give him good advice, and I already need to see him have his own story. I think I need to check out the other Sparks’ series the author has after getting introduced to some of them in this book. If you like young adult romance that’s clean, but also satisfying and easy to read, then I would pick up the Edenvale Arts Academy series.
Book provided courtesy of the author. These are my honest thoughts and opinions. Check out my Reviewer Disclaimer page.