Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Green Valentine by Lily Wilkinson :: reasonably good with a side of pesky problems

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: August 1st 2015
Source: From the publisher in exchange for a review
Purchase: Allen & Unwin | Amazon
Read it in: Two hours
Word Rating: Problematically adorable
When Astrid and Hiro meet they give each other superhero names. She's Lobster Girl and he's Shopping Trolley Boy. Not an auspicious beginning. But it gets better. Then it gets worse. Much worse. Classic romantic comedy: girl-meets-boy, love blossoms, and is derailed. Incredibly engaging, upbeat, funny and smart.

Astrid Katy Smythe is beautiful, smart and popular. She's a straight-A student and a committed environmental activist. She's basically perfect.

Hiro is the opposite of perfect. He's slouchy, rude and resentful. Despite his brains, he doesn't see the point of school.

But when Astrid meets Hiro at the shopping centre where he's wrangling shopping trolleys, he doesn't recognise her because she's in disguise - as a lobster. And she doesn't set him straight.

Astrid wants to change the world, Hiro wants to survive it. But ultimately both believe that the world needs to be saved from itself. Can they find enough in common to right all the wrongs between them?

A romantic comedy about life and love and trying to make the planet a better place, with a little heartbreak, and a whole lot of hilarity.

::Thank you Allen & Unwin New Zealand for giving me a review copy!::

This is not my favourite Lili Wilkinson book, sadly. GREEN VALENTINE didn't pack the punch that Lili Wilkinson's other books had which is unfortunate considering what a GREAT author she is. I really love Lili's writing which is always sharp and dry but still light enough that it makes it really easy reading but sadly in here it just wasn't enough to smooth out the other problems I had with it.

It's definitely Aussie YA through and through which is a part I thoroughly enjoyed!  Aussie YA always seems to have this freshness and skip to it that America and everywhere else just can't manage and so I really enjoyed reading it in here.

Normally I adore Lili's casts of characters but here they all felt a bit lifeless and flat in GREEN VALENTINE. I think Astrid was one of those characters who you either immediately connect to and love to bits...or just feel meh and annoyed by her so you shouldn't judge her for yourself until you read the book! Astrid got on my nerves THE WHOLE BOOK. I didn't like her attitude towards people that weren't 10000000% eco-friendly as she would make out they were the most despicable disgusting things on the planet, which is all very well if ASTRID was 10000000% eco-friendly but she wasn't, so what right did she have to judge other people so harshly? Add to the fact that was incredibly irrattating at times and acted like and idiot whenever Hiro was around and that she was also a pretty rubbish friend and well...I didn't have the upmost love for Astrid.

If Astrid got on my nerves, Hiro DESTROYED THEM. *gnashes teeth* He was such a dickhead at times and made Astrid upset on purpose multiple times and EVERY TIME something went the way he didn't want it, he'd throw a massive tantrum and sulk for ages. He judged people WAAAAY to quickly and *hated* so many people but then he'd lash out at Astrid if he thought she was being the tiniest bit judgy and it was so FRUSTRATING!!

I thought the ending was much to rushed, partly I think because there was so much drama and angst between Astrid and Hiro that the ending kind of leapt out of nowhere, tied everything up in a big pink happily ever after bow that wasn't very believable and then that was the end of the book. COLOUR ME DISAPPOINTED.

It's not all bad though! I did enjoy this book and for all of GREEN VALENTINE'S pesky little problems I didn't regret reading it at all.

And if you liked this you'll LOVE Lili's other books...and if you DIDN'T like this book I'm pretty sure you'll love her other books anyway! *sly wink*

Have you read any books by Lili Wilkinson?!
Think you'll read GREEN VALENTINE? 
Annnnd tell me before you go! What annoys you more: an annoying main character or an annoying love interest??!!


  1. I've read two or three of Lili's other books (Love Shy, a Pocketful of Eyes and I think one other) and I adored them, so naturally I requested this from the digital library (because we all knew that my e-book famine wasn't going to last) I really care about the environment (though I'm far from perfect) and I really like non US books, so I do really want to read this. By the way, is this as romance or friendship book? I can't really tell from the reviews I've seen...

    1. Wasn't Love Shy AMAZING??!! Ohmygosh I love that book SO much. Definitely my favourite :') And A Pocketful of Lies was really good as well!

      Nah it's a romance book. :'| More's the pity.

  2. Oh, an annoying main character or annoying love interest... hmm, that's a tough one. I think I'd have to go with main character--especially if it's in first person. THAT is irritating. BUT CAN'T I JUST SAY BOTH?? You know, I haven't read anything by Lili Wilkinson, but I am quite curious about this one. Although I've read both positive and negative reviews lately.

    1. I have to agree with you! Annoying love interests you can *kind of* ignore while annoying main characters you can't ignore because they're in your face the whole time.

      READ LOVE SHY OR A POCKETFUL OF EYES!! *shoves books at you*

  3. *sighs* I don't know what to do Ella! I love the sound of the book and the premise, but I just don't know if my patience will be able to handle an annoying love interest and an annoying protagonist simultaneously. Thanks for sharing though and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

    1. I honestly can't see you loving Green Valentine, Zoe, but maybe try A Pocketful of Eyes if you're interested in trying out this author?

      Thank you, Zoe!! <33

  4. I think an annoying love interest is worse, but I really have liked all the other Lilli Wilkinson books I've read. I think I'll try it if I get my hands on it anyway, because I do like a rom com and the author, but it's disappointing that it didn't work for you. Lobster Girl and Shopping Tolley boy are awful names... but the MC sounds a bit like me in some ways. *shrugs* -Shar@weavingwaveswords

    1. They are quite awful names aren't they?! The comic that Hiro made was adorable but yeah...names needed an improvement! If you liked Lili's other work you'll probably enjoy this! I'd be interested to see what you think. :))

  5. Wonderful review. I actually haven't heard of this author before, but maybe I should check out some of her books, but not start with this one. Which would you recommend?!? I hate when you have those characters who just infuriate you, it makes it so hard to read the book and enjoy it. I think I would struggle with this book so I think I'd probably skip it.


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