Review: There's Something About Nik by Sara Hantz (arc)

There's Something About Nik Sara Hantz
There's Something About Nik Sara Hantz

Title: There's Something About Nik 
Author: Sara Hantz 
Series: Stand-alone 
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, YA 
Publication date: February 13, 2017 
Rating: ★★ 

Nik Gustafsson has a secret: He’s not really Nik Gustafsson. He’s not a spy. He’s not crazy. He’s just the son and heir to one of the most important families in Europe—one where duty always comes first. And his posh, too-public life is suffocating him. So when he gets the chance to attend boarding school in America, pretending to be an average exchange student is too big of a temptation to pass up. Then he literally runs into Amber on campus. And she hates him at first sight. It’s kind of exhilarating to be hated for who he is, not for his family name or his wealth. Maybe if he turns up the charm and turns down the aloof mask he habitually wears, he can win her over. Even though a bad past experience has made her swear off dating this year. But the more he gets to know her, the more uncomfortable he is keeping things from her. Because Nik Gustafsson has a secret. And it’s a big one.

<< Arc received through Netgalley >>

I was looking forward to reading this book. There’s something about Nik seemed like an adorable romance. A prince posing as a regular student, undercover in a American boarding school. It may not sound just as good as the premise of Princess Diaries, but I’ll admit that I was hoping this to be precisely that sort of read. Fluffy and utterly entertaining. It definitely could have been. And to some it may be exactly that, but it didn’t really work for me.

Mostly because I didn’t think there was any chemistry between prince charming and his mundane princess. In fact, I didn’t find Nik charming at all. For someone who was supposedly very confident and even accused of being arrogant, I found him disturbingly awkward. And not in a ‘cute and adorable’ way. He did not know how to act around people. And worst of all: he couldn't take a joke. There's nothing that puts me off more than a guy who can't handle a little teasing. It was attributed to his royal lifestyle, but I didn’t buy it. Even a prince is not in character all of the time. He’s still a human being. Plus, he watched television. At least that should have given him an idea or two about common people. He was also really whiny for someone that entitled. He kept saying he wanted to be treated like a normal person, but still freaked out at Amber for interrupting his sentence and not instantly liking him. Can’t have it both ways, bro. 

Everyone just acted really ridiculous most of the time. I’m all for breaking social conventions and making characters stand out, but here it had the opposite effect. It just made everything feel forced and unnatural. The characters were very flat and one-dimensional and the story itself lacked depth and creativity. Unfortunately there was nothing remarkable or worth remembering about any of it.

It also bothered me that the author turned Europeans into some kind of alien breed. As if we are some ignorant people who need to be taught things like ‘sarcasm’ from Americans. I spoke fluent sarcasm before I could even locate the USA on a map, thankyouverymuch. Seriously, though. These were small and mostly insignificant examples, but after a while they started to bother me. I get that Nik was a prince who didn’t have a decent connection to ‘the real world’, but you cannot convince me that in this modern age it is possible for someone to be so sheltered that he doesn’t know about ripped jeans and girls with short hair and acts as if there is no such thing in Europe. I was so convinced the author had never set foot upon European soil that it shocked me when I found out she was actually born and raised in the United Kingdom. My bet. But it makes matters almost worse. Because I can forgive stereotypes (like all Scandinavians being blond, blue-eyed angels) from a foreigner, but not so easily from one of our own.

The book is very short and fast-paced. The writing is okay. Not great, but not bad either. I don’t feel like reading this book has been an entire waste of time, it was bad in an entertaining kind of way (does that even make sense?), but I wouldn’t recommend it either. There are better romances out there and far more likeable princes to swoon over.

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