Book Review: Living in the Shallows (UK Crush #1)

Posted January 26, 2017 in 4 Star Ratings, Blog Tours, Book Reviews / Leave a comment!

Book Review: Living in the Shallows (UK Crush #1)

Book Review: Living in the Shallows (UK Crush #1)Living in the Shallows by Tani Hanes
Series: UK Crush #1
Published On: October 28, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Location: Japan
Maturity Level: Adult - sexual content, language
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I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Aileen Foster is half Japanese, rocky smart, brilliant at the piano, and really, really poor. She also likes to keep herself to herself; “an arm’s length sort of girl, with a very long arm”, assomeone describes her inLiving in the Shallows. Through her professor, she gets an amazing job for the summer in Japan asan interpreter for popular boyband UK Crush, who are making a movie.

When she meets the boys, she’s shocked by their openness, kindness, and frank physicality. She’s never met anyone like these guys before, who live so raucously, emotionally, and they awaken feelings she’s never had, particularly Theo, the acknowledged flirt and womanizer of the band. She travels with them as they film the movie, falling more and more under the spellof these amazing boys, who themselves are charmed by the presence in their midst ofan intelligent, articulate female who isn’t a crazy fan; who hadn’t really even known who they were before this job:
Gethin, the ginger Welshman, who keeps his feelings to himself, but won’t hesitate to throw a punch if he thinks someone he cares about is being hurt;
Matthew, the gentle Scot, who isso beautiful that it almost hurts to look at him sometimes;
Ronan, the fun loving Irishman who loves to laugh;
Theo, the emotional English boy who loves with his whole heart, but seems to bounce from one beautiful woman to the next.

Eventually, Tink, as she’s known to the boys, realizes that she has to make some decisions about life and living that she never thought she’d have to make. Classical piano has been her whole life, and she is woefully unprepared to deal with the river of emotions released by being with these boys, Theo specifically. How can she give her heart to someone, anyone, when she never ever, thought she’d have to, let alone want to?


I feel like this is one of those books that I probably wouldn’t usually like, but for whatever reason at the time that I was reading it I actually enjoyed it. I’m not usually a big fan of contemporary or romance stories but this one was kind of fun to read. It was about a girl who ends up finding a job as a translator to a super famous boy band and she becomes friends with them. It’s like a fantasy come true for some people! The band actually reminded me a lot of One Direction (probably because they were the super famous boy band most recently) and how a lot of their younger fans went crazy for them. It was fun to read something like this as an adult.

My favourite part of this book was that it takes place in Japan. I’m a sucker for any book set in Japan because it’s my most current obsession. The author actually showed us a little bit of culture even though a lot of this book took place in hotels and tour buses. I loved reading about the different kinds of food they were eating and the clubs and towns they went to. It only made me want to go visit even more.

I also really loved that we got to see a little bit of each of the boys in the band. There was a clear love interest from the beginning but we still got to know the other boys which I was thankful for. Sometimes in books the others get forgotten but I really loved the dynamics of this whole group. They acted more like siblings than friends. Groups like that are something I really love reading about. Also they acted like boys. They talked about girls and sex and were far from innocent. It was SO much more realistic that way and I was thankful to the author for that.


There were a few things I didn’t like about this book but my biggest one was our love interest (I won’t tell you who). For some reason I just couldn’t like him. He was mean and a little controlling, sometimes even creepy at times. I just was not a big fan.

I also had a hard time liking Tink, our main character. She cried at EVERYTHING and it started to drive me crazy at times. I got that she was insecure but holy geez, that could have been taken down a notch. She was also always saying how private she was and was really conservative but then all of a sudden she’s sitting on guys laps and sleeping in their beds with them. It was like each day she had a different personality. Plus she was pretty bad for stringing the guys along. I thought it was obvious from the start who she was going to pick but that didn’t stop her from trying them all out which made me a little sad. Still, it was pretty easy to ignore this sometimes and the book was still entertaining. 

There was also quite a few cheesy moments but sometimes I like that. It won’t be an all time favourite any time soon but it was still fun to read.


I’d recommend this to those who don’t mind a little bit of a cheesy romance. It was cute and fun to read and that’s all that really mattered to me. It was also great because we got to see a good chunk of Japan so it’s great for those looking for some interesting settings.


A fun yet cheesy read that will  make you fall in love with the group dynamics.

About Tani Hanes

My name is Tani Hanes, and I am a 51 year old substitute teacher. I'm from central California and am a recent transplant to New York City. The most important things to know about me are that I'm punctual, I love grammar and sushi, and I'm very intolerant of intolerance. The least important things to know about me are that I like to knit and I couldn't spell "acoustic" for 40 years. I've wanted to write since I was ten, and I finally did it. If you want to write, don't wait aslong as I did, it's pointless, and very frustrating!

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One response to “Book Review: Living in the Shallows (UK Crush #1)

  1. tanihanes

    Hello, thanks for having me today! I’ll be checking back during the day to see if there are any questions, so please ask. In addition, I’ve created Pinterest boards for this book, and the following two, which have already been released, so if Pinterest is your thing, please have a look–they were so fun to put together :o)

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