Rating 4.5 Stars
What can I say other than I LOVED it? Hate Crush had so many great tropes, and as you’d expect from Zavarelli, each trope was incredibly well done; including:
1) The forbidden teacher/student romance: Sebastian is a teacher at Loyola Academy in his late twenties. He’s known by his students for being both insanely attractive and a major a-hole. Stella, on the cusp of being an adult, transfers to Loyola Academy for her final year at the insistence of her parents. Sebastian and Stella’s meeting in his classroom on her first day is explosive as he make her the target of his a-hole behaviour. Shortly after the story begins, Stella turns 18 and that is when their lives truly take a new turn.
2) The age gap: I’ve read some really awkward age gap stories but this was *not* one of them. Despite the roughly 10 year age difference, their maturity levels were very similar to the point where, if it weren’t for the teacher/student power dynamic, I wouldn’t have noticed it at all.
3) Enemies to lovers: Not the typical enemies to lovers story you’d expect but their initial antagonism towards each other only added to the relationship when they finally got together.
Overall, this story had me hooked from the beginning and eagerly wanting to find out what new dilemma was going to be thrown in Stella’s way. Without giving anything away, I will say my favourite part of the story was how it ended. To me the ending was perfect because it was realistic, showed that actions have consequences and emphasised the importance of staying true to yourself. Hate Crush was such a great read and still had every bit the gritty, dark nature you’d expect to find in Zavarelli’s writing style. I cannot wait to see what Zavarelli comes up with next!
Disclaimer: Thank you to A Zavarelli and Candi Kane PR for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.