Wednesday, August 21, 2013

[Book Review] Courting Greta

Courting Greta
Author: Ramsey Hootman
Date Published: June 8, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: ARC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★★★★★

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Book Information:
Samuel Cooke knows most women wouldn't give him a second glance even if he were the last man on earth. He's the cripple with the crutches, the nerdy computer genius every female past puberty feels compelled to mother. So when he leaves his lucrative career to teach programming to high schoolers, romance definitely isn't on his radar.  
Perhaps that's why Greta Cassamajor catches him off guard. The sarcastic gym coach with zero sense of humor is no beauty - not even on the inside. But an inexplicably kind act toward Samuel makes him realize she is interesting. 
Samuel is certain she won't accept his invitation to dinner - so when she does, he's out of his depth. All he knows is that he'll do whatever it takes to keep her as long as he can. 
Pretending he's got his class under control? Easy. Being vulnerable enough to admit why he ditched his programming career for teaching? Um, no. That would require honesty. And if there's one thing Samuel can't live without, it's the lies he tells himself.  
In this poignant, witty debut, Ramsey Hootman upends traditional romance tropes to weave a charming tale of perseverance, trust, and slightly conditional love.
A book that courageously breaks fiction stereotypes, and successfully grabs the reader's heart with warmth, humor and love!

Let's be honest, most fictional characters and main leads in books are all described as gorgeous, good-looking and physically attractive. Sure, they might have issues, but they are usually minor, and these issues only make the characters endearing to the readers.

In the case of this book however, it's outright depicted that the main characters - Samuel and Greta - are both very flawed characters. They're both not gorgeous and not physically attractive. They both have physical problems, Sam being a cripple and Greta being a bulky gym teacher for a woman. Both of them even have tons of issues!

Story-wise, I'll just have to say that this book isn't your stereotypical romance novel. It's not a fairy-tale. It doesn't feature a prince. It doesn't have a damsel-in-distress or even a princess. What I do know, however, is that this book brings such a satisfying happy ending! Personally, I'd consider this one such a feel-good book. It brought me positive vibes when I finished reading it.

From the onset of the novel, it seemed very daunting for two individuals to actually connect and develop feelings for each other. Aside from their respectively flawed personalities, they are also very different from one another. Sam is a brainiac while Greta is more of a muscle, being the coach of the women's varsity basketball team.

The beauty of this book though, is that even if the main characters were very flawed, they came out of their comfort zones and took on something that they both thought they never had a chance with: love.

Oh, and let me just say that I love Samuel Cooke! He's an introvert, he's a cripple and undeniably, he's different, but he's not someone who can be trampled on without fighting back. I love how he gives back just as good as he gets. He doesn't let his unruly students get to him, and he even becomes a teacher that his students could look up to.

And then of course, there's Greta. She's mean and tough. She doesn't take shit from anyone, and that's what I like best about her. She has his uber tough exterior, but right underneath all the tough persona, she has a gooey soft center. She's fiercely protective and loving.

When they started going out, I was a little doubtful if they were going to actually last, but at every turn of a page, I just find myself pleasantly surprised. They make things work; flaws, issues, mess and all. And even if they were both awkward, they saw something worth appreciating from each other.

What I love best about this book is how they proved everyone wrong. When they started going out, they had to deal with a lot of crap, both from the other teachers and their students, but nonetheless, they stayed with each other. They were both fighters, and I really appreciated this.

All in all, this book is such a wonderful read! It breaks stereotypes in written fiction and proves that even less-than-perfect characters could bring joy and positive vibes to the reader! I highly recommend this book!


  1. This sounds like it could be a really interesting one to read. I like that it doesn't rely on stereotypes or the tried and true fairy-tale sort of story. Thanks for sharing!

    Laureen @ Ms. Bibliophile.

    1. You're welcome! I was really glad I got given a copy of the book. It's definitely a refreshing read. =)


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