Buck Up, Buttercup follows Randi, a non-traditional student, as she starts her senior year in college. Thinking she’s moving into a house filled with other studious individuals, she has her world turned upside down when it turns out to be a bit of a party house. While she is ready to move out two seconds after moving in, she ends up staying, meeting her roommates and their friends. One of their friends, a graduate student named Buck, catches her eye from the start, though she’s determined nothing will happen between them.
This book was fun from start to finish and always kept me guessing. From Randi realizing she’s made a horrible mistake in her housing choices to the secrets Buck reveals in the final pages, I never quite knew how the story would reach its endpoint, though it was clear what was in store for the characters. Readers mostly get Randi’s point of view, but there are several scenes from Buck’s perspective that show just how mutual some feelings can be.
As someone who finished graduate school in the last year, I felt it was a throwback to the bubble college creates. From being interrupted by random events in the library to parties at the most inopportune times, Buck Up, Buttercup definitely captured the college experience. Randi felt like someone everyone knew (or was) in college: taking too many credits, not leaving time for self-care or relaxation, and determined to finish on the four-year timeline.
Randi’s “home” life is what made the novel what it was. It really helped me understand her character and motives and why she was so hesitant to let herself have some freedom in her life. I will say, her YouTube channel is something I wish got a bit more in-depth attention. Much of how it was included in the story felt repetitive, and I would’ve liked to see it incorporated in different ways.
Fair warning: As it is a romance, there are some spicy scenes, but they’re tasteful and not too explicit. Like other romances, the timeline of their love story seems a bit fast, but that is part of the fun. As a romantic comedy, it definitely has moments that made me snort in the best way, usually from something either Randi or Buck says.
There are quite a few side characters to remember, but Alkire does a good job of giving them all distinct personalities so they all stand on their own. I never felt like I was confusing one for the other because it was super clear how each roommate or friend spoke and acted. There is one character in particular who feels over the top in a negative way. I won’t spoil who it is, but readers will probably know who I’m talking about when they encounter them. They usually took away from the story when they appeared, but it wasn’t often enough to ruin the book for me.
Buck Up, Buttercup is a great read for anyone looking for a college-based romance or those interested in reading about what happens when a city girl and a cowboy cross paths. At this time, the book is available only on Amazon.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Water’s Edge Publishing, for review.