Book Feels: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman, high priestess of FEELS! Honestly, I don’t know how she does it! She has such a skill for peeling back the layers and getting to the heart of the matter, and for opening up her characters to the reader in a way not many authors can achieve. I’m always left with such a deep sense of understanding after reading a Gayle Forman novel, even when the subject matter is completely foreign to me. I mean, I’ve never been on life support, or traipsed around Paris (or the world) trying to figure out what love truly is, and I haven’t dealt with the suicide of someone I hold close only to be left trying to pick up the pieces…but I can say that because of Gayle Forman’s books letting me in to the soul of her characters, I am infinitely changed.

I Was Here
I Was Here is Gayle Forman’s fifth novel and a fresh departure from her last two sets of duologies, If I Stay and Where She Went, as well as Just One Day and Just One Year. I adored all of these books for their storytelling and honest emotions. There’s nothing I love more than reading a book that makes me feel as though I have been granted a special, inclusive look into the characters life. I Was Here does all of this and more! This book is a non-stop roller coaster of feels and my heart just ached for Cody the entire time as I watched her struggle through her emotions of trying to piece together the devastating clues.

We meet Cody when she is just coming off the suicide of her best friend. She’s lost, alone and struggling to make sense of what happened. Thanks to a cryptic note and a desire to understand what brought her friend to such a dark place, Cody embarks on an emotional journey as a way to piece together the clues and figure out what happened. With each new clue, she learns that there was SO much more to her friend than she ever knew. Experiencing Cody’s discoveries through her eyes is so emotional and overwhelming as a reader. I appreciated how well Forman unravelled the mystery surrounding Meg’s death and how she portrayed Cody’s grief and confusion. It all came off as authentic and I was just as invested in finding out the truth as the characters of this book were.

Forman knows how to give us relationships that are fulfilling and add so much to her stories. Cody’s somewhat strained and confusing relationship with Ben only adds to the layers of this story and by the end you’re cheering for them both to get their happy ending. Ben is the perfect foil to Cody’s character and brings to light a whole other side to her personality. They both have their reasons for trying to put the pieces of their lives back together, and watching them try to accomplish this as a pair is something so moving and beautiful.

I Was Here is an emotional and moving story of one young woman’s journey through grief, understanding and ultimately, her journey of self-discovery. If you’re a fan of Forman’s previous novels then there is no doubt in my mind that you’ll love this one as well. It hits all the same notes but in a very different, and very satisfying way.

Love It

TMYK

18879761I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Publication: January 27th 2015 by Viking Juvenile
Pages: 288 | Format: ARC | Source: Gifted
Pre-order this book

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.

Top Ten…Character-Driven YA Contemporaries

Not gonna lie, I had to Google the term “character-driven novels” before I started in on this post! I mean, I had an idea of what character-driven means, but I just wanted to make sure I was on-track with my choices. I found that character-driven novels tend to focus on the internal development of a character or characters such as changing of attitudes or some sort of personal discovery. Turns out my choices this week are PERFECT and that I should never have doubted myself. See…that experience right there would make a perfect character-driven novel…orrrrr short story…maybe? Maybe not?

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

The books and authors listed below basically read as a master class of YA contemporary novels. They are why I fell in love with YA and, wouldn’t ya know, they all fall into the category of character-driven novels! Pretty great how that worked out huh?

cover source: goodreads

cover source: goodreads

Eleanor & Park and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
My Life Next Door and What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

The two authors I’ve featured below released their debut novels in 2014 and, thankfully for us, they have novels releasing in 2o15! I’ve been fortunate enough to read both of their 2015 releases (THANK YOU ANDI!!) and I can say with 100% confidence that they are even better than the debut novels that came before them. I honestly didn’t think that was possible!

cover source: goodreads

cover source: goodreads

Something Real and I’ll Meet You There (releases February 2015) by Heather Demetrios
cover source: goodreads

cover source: goodreads

Open Road Summer and The Start of Me and You (releases March 2105) by Emery Lord

Have you read any of the books listed above? Would you agree that they are character-driven novels? Let me know what you think in the comments section below!

Series Review: Anna, Lola and Isla by Stephanie Perkins

Happy Isla Release Day!

I know for many of you this has been a LONG time coming and I can only imagine how excited everyone is. I read Anna and then Lola in February of this year, and they were some of the first Young Adult books I read. I immediately fell in love and decided to explore this world of YA literature a little bit more and before I knew it I was on Twitter following ALL the book bloggers! Needless to say, these books hold a very special place in my heart because they helped bring me to all of you, and I will be forever grateful for that.

Anna Lola Isla

Since I’m new to book blogging and haven’t posted a formal review of Anna and the French Kiss or Lola and the Boy Next Door yet, I thought it would be fun to write-up a series review of all three books. So, today I’ll be sharing my (not so) mini-reviews for Anna, Lola AND Isla all in one convenient post! How’s that for simplicity!?

Anna and the French Kiss

9754815

source: goodreads

Published August 4th 2011
Pages: 372 | Format: Paperback | Source: Purchased
Purchase this book

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?
Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

***

Oh Anna and Etienne (or St. Clair if you prefer), the couple that started it all. This book is everything you want in a swoony, fun read. First of all, it’s set in Paris, so it doesn’t get much better than that! The entire book is an open love letter to the city from Stephanie Perkins, as she paints it in all of its loveliness and allure. As I read each page I felt like I was back walking paths along the Seine River or sitting at a café in the Latin Quarter. I wish I had read this book BEFORE I went to Paris last August because there were so many places that I recognized from my travels as I was reading. So fun!

Another part of this book that I really enjoyed was all of the secondary characters. They are so vividly written and provide so much more depth to not only the story but to the main characters as a whole. These friends allow us to see different aspects to Anna and Etienne’s personalities and I appreciated the variety and nuance it brought to the books. Perkin’s gave us some fantastic friends for Anna and Etienne, and I was just as invested in their stories as I was the main characters. Obviously now I know there was a reason for that since these people make appearances in the other books. It’s SO fun to see the thread from one story carried on in the next.

Finally, I can’t write this review without mentioning the stars (and namesake) of the book…Anna and Etienne. Their love story is anything but easy and it takes a lot of pain and confusion for them to get to each other. I have to be honest and say that I was initially was not a fan of the fact that Etienne was dating someone else while falling in love with Anna, but it somehow worked in the end.  They meet each other during a time in their life when they need someone to be an emotional balance, and they end up serving such an important purpose to one another. Ultimately, you just can’t help but believe they were destined to be together. Their moments are filled with such tenderness and mutual affection that by the end of the story I was sooo anxious to see what would happen. One of my favorite parts of this whole book was the email exchange they have over Christmas break; so fun and sweet!

I absolutely adored this book in all of its Parisian glory, filled with swoony moments and hysterical laughs. If you’re looking for a book that will give you warm fuzzies and a silly grin then Anna and the French Kiss is for you!

Favorite Quote
“Girl scouts didn’t teach me what to do with emotionally unstable drunk boys.”

rating 5

Lola and the Boy Next Door

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

Published July 9th 2013
Pages: 338 | Format: Paperback | Source: Purchased
Purchase this book

Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

***

Oh Lola…Lola, Lola, Lola. I adored this girl and her crazy sense of fashion and creativity, but also her kindness and how genuine she is. Lola is the definition of don’t judge a book by its cover. For all of the wild fashions she designs and her costumed exterior, Lola is a girl who just wants to be loved. She’s been through some tough stuff early in her life, but is lucky enough to have such an amazing relationship with her parents and a true BEST friend, that she ends up being pretty grounded and well-adjusted. That’s not to say this girl isn’t flawed, but she recognizes those flaws and decides to work through them. I totally admired Lola for being vulnerable and brave, all at the same time. Because of this, I felt so connected to her as a character.

Then we have Cricket! My dear, sweet Cricket Bell. Lola’s childhood neighbor, friend and perhaps more? I won’t tell. He comes back into town after some time away and completely turns Lola’s life upside down. In this case, I actually liked the fact that he threw a wrench into Lola’s relationship with her older (and slimier) boyfriend Max. Cricket is the total opposite of Max, sweet, thoughtful and so genuine in his feelings for Lola. Watching them rediscover a long-lost friendship was so touching and wonderful. And the sexual tension…wooo hoooo…was there plenty of it!

I also appreciated that this story, although in the same world as Anna and the French Kiss (and with some pretty fun cameos), had a totally different feel from the first book. It was a story of two people finding their way BACK to each other rather than discovering each other. I really loved the shared history of Lola and Cricket, and also discovering it through both of their eyes. You’ll see that they both have a different interpretation of what happened, but that they both want so desperately to get back to the way things used to be.

In Lola and the Boy Next Door, Stephanie Perkins gives us a new story of two young people still figuring life out but deciding that they’d rather figure it out together than on their own.

Favorite Quote
“I know you aren’t perfect. But it’s a person’s imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.”

rating 5

Isla and the Happily Ever After

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

Published August 14th 2014
Pages: 339 | Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Purchase this book

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

***

Sigh…what wonderful way to end this series! Isla and the Happily Ever After is like hot apple pie, a cup of hot chocolate or a warm buttery croissant…cozy and satisfying. This novel was such a fun read and filled with so many “awww” moments that I couldn’t help but grin most of the time. Isla and Josh are just so freaking cute together that you almost can’t stand it. But you can…cause it’s Stephanie Perkins…and it’s awesome.

Isla and Josh are not strangers to us, we’ve met them before in Anna and the French Kiss (Josh more so than Isla) so there’s already a little bit of history and back story for these two. It was cool to make the connection and realize that we’re talking about THAT Isla…the one we got a glimpse of in Anna and Etienne’s story. Especially when you go back and re-read Anna after finishing Isla. Which I did do, thanks to the Happily Ever After read along…such a great idea! No question about it…this book is all about falling in love. There’s no drama, no messy relationships and no doubt about the fact that these two are crazy for each other. Of course, there is some drama as you get deeper into the book and you’re left wondering what will happen to this couple, but regardless of how the story ends, it’s such a fun ride to see Isla and Josh’s love story from the beginning.

There is so much epic goodness in the last few scenes of this book that bring such a satisfying conclusion to the entire series! I literally squealed out loud in one scene and almost broke into (happy) tears in another. This book manages to wrap up all three installments into one perfect little package and that made me incredibly happy. The reason I am such a fan of this series is that they make me feel great when I am done reading and Isla and the Happily Ever After was no exception.

Favorite Quote
“I wish the world would swallow us whole, in this moment. And that’s when it hits me that this – this – is falling in love.”

rating 5

 

Yeah…that’s right…FIVE STARS (or should I say hearts) for all three books. I simply adored this series! They were fun, swoony, feel good stories that managed to put a smile on my face. Stephanie Perkins will always have my love and admiration for managing to craft these beautiful love stories set amongst wonderfully vivid backdrops of some of the world’s finest cities. The only complaint I have is that they had to come to an end. I’d give anything to be able to go back and discover these characters all over again.
PS…I’m also quite thrilled because now I will have all three gorgeous books gracing my bookshelf and making this world a better place. I mean look at how lovely this is…

Waiting on Wednesday: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman was one of the very first YA authors I ever read, so she holds a really special place in my heart. Before that, I was one of those people who assumed I wouldn’t connect to YA Lit or get any emotional reward from it. I want to thank Gayle Forman for proving me incredibly wrong. I read all four of her books in less than a month’s time and was an immediate super-fan of hers and Young Adult books in general!

If I Stay, Where She Went, Just One Day and Just One Year all touched me so deeply, and all for totally different reasons. The story of Mia and Adam helped me work towards coming to terms with the loss of my father and the questions I had about him being aware that I was there in the hospital room with him. Willem and Allyson’s story appealed to the crazy wanderlust I always have simmering beneath the surface, and also my belief that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Gayle’s writing is powerful, emotional and grounded so deeply in reality that you can’t help but connect to the story.

When I heard that her fifth book, I Was Here, is coming out this January, I immediately pre-ordered a hardcover. Before I even knew a thing about it! See…total super-fan here! I Was Here promises to be another powerful novel by Gayle and I am really looking forward to seeing how she handles such a dark and emotional topic. If it’s anything like her previous novels it will be absolute perfection.

***

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Expected publication: 1/27/15 by Penguin
Pages: 288 | Pre-order this book

Cody and Meg were inseparable.

Two peas in a pod.

Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything, so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.
 
I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

Fangirl Friday: The Happy Edition

Is it me or did this week just fly by? I for one am thrilled that it’s Friday so I’m just going to go ahead and make that reason #1 why I’m so happy. I was wracking my brain for a Fangirl Friday topic for today and then it dawned on me that I should just write about all the things that are putting a smile on my face lately.

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Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before (wink-wink) but I’m a total Disney fangirl! I love everything about it…the rides, the atmosphere, the restaurants. I’m totally sucked in by the Disney magic. So, I’m super psyched that my husband and I just booked a trip for next month to visit “the world” with my sister and her kids. Last time I went with my niece and nephews they were itty-bitty but now they’re all grown up (ages 9, 12 and 14) and so pumped to go on ALL the rides with Auntie and Uncle! My husband and I are hard-core when it comes to touring Disney, so we’re already working on itineraries for each day and planning out our best strategy. Hope my sis and her kids are ready for this! As you can see from the photo below…we take our Disney pretty seriously. Enough so that we memorize where all the on-ride cameras are. Yeah…we don’t mess around!

IMG_5130

source: sneaky iPhone pic of Disney ride camera

Untitled
You guys…I live in the boonies! Like, the middle of nowhere! So it’s very rare that I’m able to go to book signings or author meet and greets since they normally fall on week nights. It takes me about 3 hours to make the drive down to Boston from where I live, so getting down after work for a 6pm or 7pm event is literally impossible. But, in an apparent twist of fate, I will be in the very town on the very same night that Sarah J. Maas will be there for her Heir of Fire book tour! It’s like it was meant to be! This will be my very first time meeting the author of a book that I am such a huge fan of, and I’m so psyched it’s my very favorite author! The icing on the cake is that A.C. Gaughen (author of the amazing Scarlet and Lady Thief) will be there as a special guest and I’ll get to meet her as well! It’s basically going to be the greatest night ever!

tumblr_n97xze66pP1szhnhvo1_r1_1280

Source: Bloomsbury | Click for dates & locations

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So much love to Gail over at Ticket to Anywhere for generously loaning me her ARC of Isla and the Happily Ever After, and to Andi and Sarah for taking good care of it and passing it along to me! Isla is one of my most highly anticipated titles of the year, and I feel so fortunate to have such wonderful blogging buddies who are willing to share the love! I cannot wait to get this beauty in my hot little hands today and I know what I’m reading this weekend. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for the Happily Ever After readalong starting next Thursday. Just click on the gorgeous image below for more info.

source: Meg @ Cuddlebuggery

source: Meg @ Cuddlebuggery

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I’m a little over two months into my blogging career and I cannot tell you how excited I am over how far I’ve come already! I’m close to hitting 400 followers on Twitter, over 125 friends on Goodreads and two people shy of 100 followers on Instagram!! It’s just THE.BEST feeling to know I have so many supporters out there. I’ve met some fantastic people and made some pretty amazing friends through this experience, and I just want you ALL to know how much I love you guys! I cannot wait to see where this experience continues to take me!

Thank You

So, there you have it! Four incredible things that are making me HAPPY this Friday! What are you happy or thankful for today? Please feel free to share in comments…I’d love to hear all about it! 

 

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday: Isla & the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Can you believe we only have THREE WEEKS (and one day) until the release date of Isla and the Happily Ever After?! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book forever but in reality it’s only been about five months since I finished Anna and Lola, so I know my wait has been quite a bit shorter than a lot of you out there. But…it’s almost over! I’m so excited and looking forward to catching up with some of the characters we met in Perkins’ previous two books, especially Josh. I always felt like his story deserved to be told and have a feeling that as we get to know him better, Josh will join the book boyfriend ranks of Etienne and Cricket.

As if a third Stephanie Perkins book was’t amazing enough, Penguin Teen has an absolutely amazing offer for anyone who pre-orders their copy of Isla from a list of participating stores.  On top of all the amazing swag, 25 lucky pre-orders from each store will also get THE TOTE!!!

click for source

click for source

OH…and if you haven’t already, you should definitely sign up for the Happily Ever After Readalong! Starting on July 31st, Andi, Jamie, Judith, Meg and Lindsey will be hosting a readalong of Anna and Lola leading up to the release of Isla. It promises to be a fantastic three weeks filled with blog posts and giveaways as well as the actual readalong of all three books. I’ve already signed up and you can too by clicking on any of the hosts names above or that pretty little badge created by Meg up there on the right!

How about you? Have you been eagerly anticipating this book? Ony 22 days to go!! In the meantime, head on over to my Pinterest board for some Anna, Lola, Isla goodness!

***

isla

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Expected publication: August 14th 2014 by Dutton
Pages: 339
Pre-order this book

Publisher Summary

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

Book Review: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published: 4/15/14 by Dial Books for Young Readers
Pages: 416 | Format: Hard cover| Source: Purchased
Purchase this book

From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions. Gwen Castle’s Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He’s a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island’s summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she’ll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen’s dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

The Review
It’s such a great feeling when you pick up a new book and it immediately clicks, and that’s the feeling I had within the first few pages of What I Thought Was True. I knew right away that this  was going to be another Huntley Fitzpatrick masterpiece. I am so in love with this woman’s writing; whether it’s the way she describes the smell of low tide on a hazy summer night or the angst of a young woman who never felt as though she was worth very much to anyone. Fitzpatrick has a talent of getting you to the heart of the matter by allowing you to become intimately familiar with the story and the characters. I absolutely adore how she takes the time to immerse you in their stories but at the same time moving the plot forward with impeccable pacing.

I’m also a huge fan of how beautiful her descriptions of even the smallest of details can be. There were so many passages in this novel that I had to stop and re-read again because they were just so perfect.

“I shift my gaze to the limitless blue of the sky, acutely aware of every sound–the sighing ocean, the hum of the bees in the beach plum bushes, the distant heartbeat throb of a speedboat.”

I’m a New England girl through and through, and this novel reminded me of everything I love about the summers here; salty skin, sunsets from the pier and warm nights by the sea. The beach-side community was the perfect setting for the novel and it became a character all on its own. You can tell that Fitzpatrick is New England born and bred as well, she gets all of the details perfectly right. Even down to the crushed seashell driveways and Hoodsie cups.

What really touched me about this novel though was how often Gwen’s situation reminded me of the feelings I had as young woman, learning to love myself despite the mistakes I made. Her family life is complicated and she has to deal with so many influences at home that force her to be wise beyond her years. Living under the same roof as your mom, a little brother with special needs, your cousin AND your grandfather is bound to create some drama. Luckily she loves and is loved by her family so completely that it makes the strain a little easier and they all know they can rely on one another. Even though it was filled with its’ fair share of drama, I really enjoyed the dynamics between Gwen and her family, and how it just added to the dynamic layers of her character.

One relationship that she isn’t so sure of is the one with Cassidy (Cass) Somers, the rich boy from the mainland who takes a job as a yard boy with the rest of “the help” on the island she lives on. Gwen doesn’t know why he decided to take the job and she certainly doesn’t know how to interact with him considering their history. Throughout the book, both Gwen and Cass work on finding a way to define a new friendship without letting the mistakes of their past get in the way. She definitely wants to keep the relationship strictly platonic, but Cass’ good looks and charm end up making that a pretty difficult task. Slowly but surely he finds a way to insert himself into nearly every aspect of Gwen’s life and she’s forced to find a way to accept that. At the same time, Cass is forced to deal with the repercussions of “that night” and find a way to get Gwen to trust him again. It’s such an honest portrayal of former friends navigating their way back to each other, with both of them not having any clue of how to get there or what will happen once they do.

Speaking of Cass, he earns his spot in my book boyfriend hall of farm for his sincerity, kindness and persistence. He’s so honest with Gwen and you can tell that despite everything he truly cares for Gwen and only wants the best for her. His messy blonde hair, tan skin, strong arms and habit of being shirtless also paint a pretty swoon-worthy picture. I think it’s pretty safe to say that I am obsessed!

click for source

click for source

One of the things I really appreciated about this book was how honestly the topic of sex was handled. It’s not always sunshine and roses, mistakes are made and you start wishing things had been done differently. I’ll get real for a sec and admit that I’ve been there and to see myself in Gwen’s situation was so refreshing. It was great to read a YA book in which the main character faces the dilemma head on and fights her way through to the other side. More so for herself than anything else and no matter how scary it may be. The trick is not to let those mistakes own you and find a way to move beyond the past with out it dragging you down. I adored Gwen for her humility and ultimately her strength, and found myself wishing that this book had been around when I was younger.

Huntley Fitzpatrick masterfully weaves three love stories into one with this novel; the complicated love between a boy and girl, the story of a girl learning to love herself and Huntley’s love letter to summer in New England. The common thread throughout this book was the journey we all take in life to discover what it is we truly love. What you thought you wanted isn’t always what you get..it may turn out to be something even better.

rating 5