Holland has a big crush on a busker who’s totally smitten her with his guitar. She’s decided to call the light-brown haired, beautiful stranger, Jack. And for months now, she’s been consciously walking ten blocks out of her way, on the days Jack plays at the station, only to be smitten by him, over and over again.
Holland Bakker is an aspiring writer who works not as a writer, but as an archivist, a job customary tailored as a favor to her uncle, Robert Okai. That job, plus the fact that her successful music director uncle also pays half her apartment rent, makes Holland feel she owes Robert a lot.
Well, as it happens, Robert has just lost his douchey solo violinist, who’s supposed to fill in this impending big play. So Holland quickly grabs her chance to offer an idea of pitching Jack as a substitute to Robert. This way, she feels she is somewhat paying a favor she owes to Robert, and Calvin McLoughlin aka Jack will have a more proper stage for a prodigy like him to play, and as for her, she’ll finally do something matters in her life. A win-win-win situation. Or so it seems.
Roberts listens to Calvin play, he loves what he’s hearing, he proposes to Calvin. Only to learn that Calvin can’t take the part because he’s been living in States illegally for four years.
As the inventor of the brilliant proposition, Holland feels compelled to solve the tricky situation. One highway to green card is marriage, but it’d be a fraudulent one in this case. Which is an insane notion that everybody doesn’t entertain including she. At least, at first. But after too quick a double take, she believes it’s her responsibility to make the win-win possible. Hence, she marries Calvin, while hoping she can conceal her feelings flawlessly through, and getting out of this convoluted knot with everybody’s satisfied.
After all, what problems can arise from a fake marriage of two completely strangers?
When I read this book, I was like, holy shit, Holland is me.
She doesn’t know what she wants in life and she is clearly not doing what she’s supposed to be doing. All manner of things in her life tangled up, and yet, she seems too comfortable to get out of her dreary days.
She doesn’t understand herself at the very least. Therefore she handles things including her too big a crush on a stranger absent-mindedly. Which is like, the worst way to do it ever. But it’s not like I’ve never had a crush. I was also young once. And I completely understand that a crush always feels more romantic on a stranger, because then you have no flaw to pout about, and instead, you only have beautiful eyes, muscular posture, and charming vibe to dream about. I bet that’s what Holland feels. And when a crack to do something about it opens, it’s almost impossible to think clearly. She doesn’t have facts to consider in, other than that one big shiny fallacy that she thinks she’s sort of in love with him. I was once there, and let me tell you, I myself picked every damn wrong turn possible. I was desperate, he was handsome. I was lonely, he was magnetic.
But the thing was, I was also newbie, and he was a player. So back to Holland, the mom in me shrieked and was screaming that she should have weighed her choices better. But then, the lover in me countered, telling the mom off, where’s the fun in always doing the right thing, gran?
In the end, reading Holland and her crush was an amusing way to imagine myself picking a crazy alternative direction which I wouldn’t have picked myself in life.
The plot twists were a touch disturbing though. I felt like the falling pieces coming together too easily and wrapping up too quickly for Holland. I honestly considered Holland and Calvin’s marriage too trouble-free for a fake marriage. Even my marriage has a lot more problems, and I married my beloved boyfriend legally. And to me, it looked like Holland got her shit together only in a span of months. Speaking from experience, even years don’t answer my life-long questions.
But Christina and Lauren have always had, and will always have good romances to offer. Ruthlessly romantic, and fast-pacing love stories are in store, so go get them, Nerdies!