Review: Chasing McCree

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Title: Chasing McCree
Author: J.C. Isabella
Format: E-Book

The Plot: High-schooler Briar Thompson’s having the most humiliating night of her life when displaced cowboy Chase McCree literally rides in and helps her out. They soon become best friends, but when Briar decides to spend the summer with Chase on his Montana ranch, will that friendship turn into something more? And who’s responsible for the break-ins and vandalism on the ranch?

The Verdict: Cheesy but adorable, especially for younger/tween readers. Look, it’s a novel about a girl being swept off her feet by a gentleman cowboy from Montana. The relationship is incredibly sweet, there are plenty of hijinks, and there’s a fun subplot concerning vandalism and goings-on at his ranch that’ll keep you guessing. It’s got some corny parts, but it embraces them and rides off into the sunset with them in the cutest possible way.

The Rating: 8/10

Some Spoilers Under the Cut

The Meh:
• There are a couple of places where I wondered how many novels Isabella had written before this, due to some slight clunkiness of wording in a few bits of the novel. However, it was never enough to pull me out of the story, and there weren’t any noticeable grammar/spelling mistakes.
• At the start of the novel, the merits of country life are harped on *a lot*. We get it, Chase really loves the country compared to the city, but it can be just a bit much.
• It can be pretty cheesy. Look, the story begins with the hero literally riding in on his horse and giving the heroine a helping hand. I personally liked that it was so sweet and optimistic, though. It was really cute.

The Good:
• Chase and Briar are adorable, and they’re most definitely teenagers. They’ve both born a lot of responsibility for themselves (and, in Chase’s case, for the ranch), but their relationship progresses in a really adolescent sort of way, fumblingly and with tons of enthusiasm.
• Although Chase and Briar both have dead or seriously neglectful parents, they don’t wallow in angst. They have moments of sadness or anger, but it never overwhelms the story, and they’re both pretty mature about their situations.
• GRANDMA. Briar’s grandma stole every scene she was in, and she was such a great character that I wish I could steal her out of the novel. Seriously, I’d read this book again just for the bits with Grandma in them.
• There’s a happy ending, but not everything is magically fixed. Briar’s parents are always going to be kind of awful, and nothing’s going to fix that.
• The epilogue: Dude. They actually waited seven years to get married instead of having a happy-ever-after wedding at eighteen. That is so awesome! And way more realistic than a lot of other novels where early, rushed marriage is idealized. It actually feels like this is a couple that could stick together through thick and thin, but I loved that they were actually in their mid-twenties for the decision to marry.

The Rec: If you like sweet YA love stories with adorable main characters, I would definitely recommend this one.

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