Labor of Love by Rachel Hawthorne

book cover of   Labor of Love   by  Rachel Hawthorne
Read a synopsis here!
Number of pages: 296
Out of all of Rachel Hawthorne’s books, that I’ve read so far, I think I liked this one the least. This teen chick lit takes place in New Orleans where Dawn and her two friends Jenna and Amber are rebuilding houses for the post Hurricane Katrina effort. Once the girls land in New Orleans they try to experience the most of the city and go to get a psychic reading. At the reading the psychic predicts that the girls will meet boys and fall in love but will also go through some heartbreak. The reading is actually pretty cryptic and throughout their stay in New Orleans, the girls try to determine if certain events occurred like the psychic predicted.
After the psychic reading the girls are exploring more of New Orleans and actually run into the boys that they were predicted to meet by the psychic. Dawn’s friend Jenna immediately hits it off with one of the boys and her friends have no choice but to pair up with the other two because Jenna and her new boy interest have wandered on their own. Dawn begins to talk with Brady, but she warns him that she doesn’t want a relationship because she just got out of a bad breakup where her boyfriend cheated on her at prom. Brady, however, wants a relationship and they agree to only be together for the time that Dawn is in New Orleans, even though he and his friends go to a college in Houston, which is where Dawn and her friends live.
The story continues on with the ups and downs of their relationship, exploring more of New Orleans, and building houses for those affected by the Hurricane.
I really liked the idea of the story with the girls volunteering to help build houses (like Habitat for Humanity). You don’t see too much of that in teen books where people voluntarily help out the community. It was nice to see, also how they balanced their love lives and time in New Orleans with things like a curfew and limited budget. The story felt really realistic. 
However, I thought the love story aspect of the book was a little dry. I couldn’t connect with Dawn, Brady, or either of their friends. The story felt too fake to me. There was too many times when I thought that Dawn was being desperate even though she kept insisting that she didn’t want a relationship. She seemed a little hypocritical to me. And Brady didn’t seem to notice this, which made it seem like all he wanted to do was get in her pants…er, not make her a good girl?
I liked the story, but it just wasn’t one of my favorites by Rachel Hawthorne. If the story didn’t include the girls going to New Orleans to help volunteer, I don’t think I would have finished the book. But the sub plot, setting, and overall, circumstances helped hide the fact that it was a pretty terrible love story.
See you soon!
Paige

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