Wednesday, May 28, 2014

BOOK REVIEW...Calling California (Hunter Hill University #1) by J.P. Grider

Title:  Calling California (Hunter Hill University #1)
Author:  J.P. Grider 
Publication Date: May 22nd 2014 (first published May 20th 2014)
Goodreads URL: HERE
Plot:   Cali Parker is poor. She has a lot on her plate - her father is dying, she's working to help pay the rent, and she's two-years behind in college.

Griffin Brooks is rich. He has not a care in the world - he's acing his engineering courses, his hobby is restoring his fifty-thousand dollar classic car, and he has a different girl on his arm every week.

When Cali sees Griffin on her first day of class, she's immediately smitten and thinks she's found the perfect guy. When Griffin sees Cali at the bank, he immediately forgets the blonde he was with that morning. Then they meet, and their worlds collide.

Cali doesn't belong in Griffin’s world, and he doesn't understand hers. But just when Griffin convinces Cali that their two different worlds can blend, a secret is revealed that tears them apart.

Is their love strong enough to bring them back together, or will their worlds drift further apart?

 My Review 

"Cali? Nice name. What's it short for? California?” ~ Griffin

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**Oooh!! I liked this one a lot!!**

It's basically rich boy meets poor girl, yes, but it's MORE than that. You see, Calista “Cali/California” Parker hasn't had an easy life.


Growing up in a working class, she knows what it's like to struggle and to live paycheck to paycheck.

With rent, utilities, and her ailing father's medical bills to worry about... that's just a glimpse of her worries.


Now ready to pursue her education after two years of putting it off, Cali enrolls herself at Hunter Hill University while working part time at a local bank.

Only, life is about to get interesting for the hardworking 19-year old as she thus meets rich, carefree, ladies man, Griffin Brooks, and both of their worlds are forever turned upside down.

Cali thinks he's out of her league but Griffin feels otherwise. And with responsibilities at home stacking up, how will everything work out?

"Yeah I worry a lot about money. When you don't know where the next meal is coming from of how your mother's gonna afford to pay the rent and electricity and... and all the f*#kin' medical bills by herself, you worry. I make a measly eight-fifty an hour on a thirty hour a week job. Most of that covers my car insurance, my gas, and half the groceries. Not to mention the student loans I'm already paying interest on each month. So excuse me for worrying a lot about money."

Perfectly put, Cali!

So now, Griffin...

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Griffin Brooks has it all: from an endless bank account to anything he could want in the world. Then he meets Cali and he starts questioning the quality of money and all of the things he's taken for granted.

But when fate rears its ugly head and throws in one startling and game changing revelation, will Cali and Griffin's budding romance be strong enough to succumb the odds? Or will social clashes and secrets cause “their worlds to drift further apart?” Read and you will find out!

My thoughts: So, as I said in the beginning of my review, I really liked this story!

J.P. Grider does a fantastic job of interweaving a bunch of themes in the plot and characters ranging from: social class, inferiority, poverty, the power of pride, and the of inevitability of death.

To me, all of these themes balanced really nicely and created a sense of diversity and versatility. Like for instance: Cali and Griffin grew up figuratively at total different totem poles of society and yet from this aspect alone, they're not so different after all.


Cali and Griffin's characters' were so practical, so easy to relate with, and so REAL. Cali is the type of girl who will give you the money off her back if you ever needed it. Whereas, Griffin is not the typical overly arrogant, cocky, or obnoxious type of rich kid that is annoying or has some sort of mommy or daddy hang up/issues.

How refreshing!

J.P. Rider does a great job in showing the give and take of these characters as they learn from one another and see things from each other's different perspectives.

You can really feel the emotions flow from the both of them and see where they're coming from: Griffin, reevaluating the world and seeing that it isn't as black and white as he's always believed things to be. And then Cali: her hesitance to get involved with Griffin due to their completely different upbringings to her stubborn and prideful persona.

In a nutshell, it's as Tabitha, Cali's bestie puts it:

”When two people love each other, their worlds can blend. It's no longer his world and her's their world. You find a place where you fit together. I think you're being just as snooty as the people you're so afraid to socialize with. ..And I'm sorry if I'm offending you, but you're being just as stubborn and proud as your mother.”

Heh, I couldn't agree more!!


I am now curious as to where the author is going to take book two of the series, seeing that Griffin and Cali's story was nicely wrapped up, and am hoping for Nathan's story. Maybe a Nathan x Tabitha story? Hmm. I don't know. All I know is that I want Nathan to have his own novel in this series and I don't care who with! *Pretty please!*

*I received a review copy from Xpresso Book Tours via the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!*

My Rating:
-Overall : 8.5
-Plot : 8.5
-Writing : 8.5
-Characters : 8.5
-Cover : 8
 About the Author 

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J.P. Grider is a Young Adult and New Adult author. She is the author of six novels. Her young adult series The Honor Trilogy consists of A Touch of Honor, A Man of Honor, and A Heart of Honor, while her first two novels - Unplugged (A Portrait of a Rock Star) and Maybe This Life - are standalone adult contemporary novels. Her most recent release is the new adult romance Calling California, which is the first in her Hunter Hill University series. The next book in the series – Mending Mick – will be released in October, 2014. All the books in the Hunter Hill University series will be standalone books and can be read in any order.

You can follow J.P. on Facebook at J.P. Grider, Author, on Instagram and Twitter @JPGrider1, and on her blog at

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