Published by Simon and Schuster on January 26th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Reading Challenges: 2016 Debut Challenge Source: Edelweiss
In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past.
Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.
Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.
While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.
As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.
In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This book gave me confusing emotions on two very different level. On one hand, I loooooved it. I love the whole story behind it, the lesson learnt, the trope and all. But on the other hand, the main character annoys me, and I really do not like how slow the character development was. It took me a whole day to figure out the ratings. And I have finally decided to give it 3 stars.
I wonder where the invisible line is. The line that determines which parts of our past are still close enough to go back and fix, and which parts we have to live with forever.
To begin with, this book was mostly about how Harper made the worst decision of her life by destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan. And thinking back, I definitely assumed that the reason behind that destruction would be justified. I mean, everybody expects that, right? Or is it just me? We all want Harper to have a good reason for breaking up with Declan. View Spoiler »But of course she didn’t. She cheated on him. And she definitely does not have a good reason for cheating on him, other than missing him which leads to getting drunk which leads to said cheating. « Hide Spoiler I don’t know if that was a good thing or not – to expect something from a book – because you know what they say about expectations leading to disappointments. BUT ANYWAY, moving on.
Like I said, I definitely did not like Harper. I tried so hard to like her, but in the end, I just wanted nothing to do with her. She just reminded me of a drunk. YES, a drunk. I can totally imagine her growing up, being a horrible drunk mom. She was selfish, angsty and just plain irritating. I felt like practically 80 percent of this book was filled with her being drunk. And that did not make me happy. I really REALLY could not think up of a reason as to why I like her. She made the same mistakes over and over and over again, and her character development progressed pretty slowly. There would be a time when you thought she’d get better, but then she made THAT SAME mistake again. And it went downhill from there ALL. OVER. AGAIN. By the time her character decided to turn into a new leaf, I was just so done with her.
Though, this book was saved by the other characters. Declan, Cory, MacKenzie and Gwen. A part of me kinda wish that it could’ve been a story about only the four of them, but oh well. These four characters were, in my opinion, the main highlights of the book. I kept looking forward to their scenes. Declan was obviously the perfectly imperfect male character. He was basically THE book boyfriend. The kind of guy you would want to marry. And like I said, he’s imperfect. He had his own set of problems, but he still cared for Harper. And then there was Cory. He was supposed to be the side character, but he made such an awesome side character. He was the person who was always there for Harper, when nobody else was there. It’s kinda hard to talk about MacKenzie and Gwen without giving away spoilers, but they are the COOOOOLEST people ever. MacKenzie is this hyper, bubbly girl, and Gwen is more of the silent, wallflower type.
I love love love the ending, though. The ending makes me want to bawl my eyes out, because it was just so PURRRRFECT and emotional and makes me wanna throw love arrows at everyone around me. Do I recommend this book to people? I would say, PROBABLY but I warned you about the main character, so thread carefully!