(If Only . . . #1)
by Mandy Hubbard
Published: May 6, 2014
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Mackenzie and Landon were the perfect couple . . . until he dumped her and broke her heart. Fast-forward a year and they're back where they first met—Serenity Ranch and Spa, where they are once again working together for the summer. Talk about awkward.
Then, Landon takes a nasty fall and gets amnesia. Suddenly, he’s stuck in the past—literally. His most recent memory is of last summer, when he and Mack were still together, so now he’s calling her pet names and hanging all over her. It's the perfect chance for revenge. The plan is simple: keep Landon at arm’s length, manipulate him so he’s the one falling love, and then BAM, dump him. There’s just one problem: Mack can’t fall for Landon all over again.
The If Only romance line is all about wanting what you can't have, and Mandy Hubbard's hilarious break-up/love story is sure to captivate anyone who has ever wished for a second shot at love.
Again, I was surprised. But first, this book is in no way connected to others in the If Only... series. That much is obvious if you read the summary of each book. And that cover is deceiving! It made me expect something not quite but a little middle grade-ish that’s why I read Wish You Were Italian first because I thought Fool Me Twice would be too young for me (it’s a romance book after all). Truth is the characters are actually high school graduates already. And as it turned out, this was a good read.
If I described Wish You Were Italian as cute, Fool Me Twice is the evolved version of cute. I don’t know if there’s such a thing but I’m thinking it’s like that. You know... the kind that gets to your heart and something someone can relate or connect to emotionally. I don’t think there’s anything cheesy or annoying or sappy here. I bet even some would say it’s a little heartbreaking.
The story is about Mack who got into a relationship the previous summer but was dumped the moment school started. And it wasn’t an official break-up either. It was I-got-to-school-all-made-up-for-my-boyfriend-to-see-him-kissing-his-ex-girlfriend kind of break-up. So now Mack is the ex-girlfriend. She was deeply hurt because she honestly didn’t think it was just some kind of a summer fling and she loves him. Apparently, she was Landon’s rebound. Now it’s summer once again, and they’re back to working at Serenity Ranch and Spa where it all started and suddenly, Landon is talking to her after nearly a year of nothing from him. So when an accident happened and Landon somehow forgot an entire year of his life, Mack thought it’s the best time for revenge. To let him know what it feels like to leave someone unexpectedly hanging. The plan: to make him fall madly in love with her and crush his heart afterwards.
That sounds really cliché but the most important feature comes from the details. I found the whole amnesia thing unbelievable at first. I mean, come on! How would you be able to hide the fact that he has amnesia? There are a lot of things that could make him realize that! But I was able to easily disregard the matter and anyway, you’d know why in the end although I think you’d suspect it early into the book.
What I really liked is the way they got to know each other eventhough everything is an act for Mack. Or at least that’s what she keeps convincing herself. In a way, it’s like they both got a clean slate. And I’m glad because I got to know each character more deeply and I kind of fell in love with Landon too even if he is the biggest jerk ever. It’s easy to see why Mack would fall for him. And I enjoyed all the pranks they’ve been doing even if it's kind of pointless. It was fun, though. I loved that somehow, this revenge plot turned out to be a more meaningful one. They both got something beautiful from it and that no matter how it will all end, when summer is over and Landon remembers everything and they go to college and not see each other again, they were able to see the real them. I think it’s a really grown-up way of dealing with things no matter how contrary it seemed when it started which is the greatest thing to come out of this book. It's worth checking out ;)