The Rules of Persuasion

The Rules of PersuasionThe Rules of Persuasion by Amity Hope

1 star

ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review.

The Story-The Rules of Persuasion was 95% predictable, but 100% full of angsty cuteness. Honestly, if you have read any YA contemporary where a boy or girl get’s someone to be their fake boyfriend or girlfriend then you have read this book. The only the thing that is different is the circumstances surrounding the initiation of fake relationship. This review may contain what is considered spoilers, but honestly I think everything I write in here should be entirely expected….so I’m not going to mark it all spoiler. Let’s review this trope recipe:

-someone needs a favor/blackmails
-they actually run in different circles/don’t like each other
-they write down all the rules
-the rules doesn’t stop them for getting a dose of the feels
-shit is going to hit the fan right

Well, you get the idea….

The Characters
Meg-Somehow this girl was supposed to be a girl that wasn’t like other girls. But let’s face it, she was just your average girl, minus her family issues, not some crazy special snowflake. The downside is, that she is sort of a forgettable character. I just finished hours of reading about her and this is what I know:
-she likes to wear high heeled boots that click clack, preferably in black.
-she has two friends, but she only really hangs out with them in school…except to get ready for a date..
-she’s not really into anything in particular…….like really, what are her interests? Sure she watches black and white movies…on rainy days…she likes the beach because of her sister…she graffiti’s because of her sister…in fact she wears black because of her sister… She wants to be a counselor, why? Because she got good counseling…after what happened to her sister. Don’t get me wrong, that’s great and all. But who is this chick? I don’t know, I hardly remember her.

Luke-What can I really say? This is a contemporary YA novel. Let’s hit every cliché thing that accurately describes Luke:
-he’s rich, but wants nothing to do with his family
-he’s good looking
-he’s good at sports too
-he’s also smart – party because he has to study hard for his family
-he has an ex gf who’s a heinous bitch.
-You know what else? He’s got dimples & smirks a lot. That’s right. He was smirking within 2% of the book. I almost decided to keep count of all the times his smirkiness was mentioned….but it got old really fast. Let’s be completely real, if someone smirked at you that much you would be sort of weirded out right?

The Connection-Despite the book being cute, it wasn’t entirely relatable. I understand the need for these kids to act out in their own way but there were a few things that just plain bothered me. The biggest part was how the rich kid was somehow supposed to feel bad for being rich. Like I’m sorry that you had to move from a house where you had a walk in closet at one point. Also, not everyone has parents that allow them to commandeer their old motorcycles… there is something that really irks me when a character bashes another one about being rich, like somehow that makes them a bad person. You know what that makes them? Rich. It shouldn’t be used as a way to make the poorer character seem like a better person.

I’m sorry for all the lists in this review. It was sort of unavoidable to do while pointing out everything. Now if you’ve never read a fake bf/gf book before, it could all be fresh for you and you might like it. Unfortunately, this book didn’t have enough spin to it to make me actually like it that much.

The Big F

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The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin

ARC from Swoon Reads and Netgalley for a fair review.

Publish Date: August 29, 2017

5 stars

“Being lost, being without the plan I’d armed myself with my entire life, got me out of my comfort zone in ways that challenged me and forced me to grow as a person.” 

Maggie Ann Martin debut? I dub thee for fans of Kasie West and Morgan Matson.

The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin was a breath of fresh air in the YA contemporary category. Instead of a story about a 16 year old falling for that one guy that sweeps her off her feet in the most unexpected ways we are given the story of post high school but not quite adult. Where YA contemporary has steadily given us that high school romance and NA/Chicklit gives us those mid-twenties/fresh out of college taking on the world through middle age stories, Martin has delivered us a refreshing story that manages to land right in the middle. While The Big F dances around the typical tropes it doesn’t exactly take the same path.

Dani is fresh out of high school and as the daughter of a college guru she is on her way to the college of her dreamsor not. She’s failed her AP English class and her acceptance into the communications program has been taken away leaving her without a college plan. That is until she meets Luke, the boy next door who held her heart till he moved away when she was 11, wearing a t-shirt advertising the local community college. She finds herself enrolled into a community college as a last ditch effort to hopefully get back on track. If only she could figure out how to handle her new budding relationship, passing her classes and getting back into the good graces of her parents.

The Story-Like I said before, I loved that this didn’t follow all the typical YA contemporary tropes, but they are there, just not obnoxiously…

Firstly, lets touch on the base that she has a healthy relationship with parents that are, wait a minute, still together. There was no tragic death of one of her parents or a divorce sparking some kind of character building. Her parents were together, her family spent time together, and her brother was normal. Now, this book didn’t pretend that the world was perfect as her friends have had their own parental issues. It just wasn’t one of the defining issues for Dani. In fact, everything Dani goes through is self-inflicted and she figures it out on her own.

The boy next door trope is probably the biggest cliché in this book. Thankfully, the story doesn’t completely drive this one home, and uses it merely as a spring board for the plot. You know what the best part of this one was? It was almost more of a reach for a familiar connection rather than the one next door that is suddenly confessed to.

Lastly, the friend that sets you right trope. Dani had two friends like this. She had a friend to set her right emotionally, and a friend to check her when she was drowning academically, what a lucky girl. Even though they were there for her though, it wasn’t like her friends had to knock her silly and talk sense into her; they were just there for that extra push.

Was this the next story to make your heart break into a million pieces and then soar to the moon? No, but it’s the type of book you can enjoy over a weekend, silently cheering her on and grinning and her foolheartedness

The Characters

Dani-Okay, I really liked her. I think my favorite part of her was that though she had her romantic tendencies she felt so tangible. She was realistic, straight forward, and had her weaknesses that didn’t put her in the damsel in distress category. Despite making some key choices that she has to fix, she is still fairly level headed. She doesn’t need people telling her what to do, just the usual pat on the back and reassuring words.

Luke-What can I say really? He is pretty much the perfect boy next door. What makes him so perfect? He is the boy we dream about when we’re 11 but realize that everyone has their flaws even if they sit on such a high pedestal.

Porter-Everyone needs that one friend that shakes things up. Porter is that friend that introduces you to new things without making you go buck wild crazy that your family is completely concerned. I feel like all the Porters of the world are underappreciated, and I thank Martin for helping the “gangly boy” stand out.

Zoe-This girl has got to be the best wing woman ever. Martin did such a good job of incorporating a supportive friend without her own issues becoming the plot of the story. Zoe isn’t some magical creature that doesn’t have any drama per se, but the book wasn’t about her and she did a stellar job as a supporting character by not stealing any drama thunder.

The Connection– Personally, I have always felt completely detached whenever I read about the following things in YA contemporaries who were obsessed with going to a university. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against this age old tradition of kids graduating high school and heading off to college. I loved that this book showed a little bit more of the alternative – the wonderful world of community college.

I consider my town a college town. Spokane has both Gonzaga and Whitworth, a remote campus for WSU downtown, EWU just a stone throw away in Cheney and two community colleges. I had the luxury of going to both community colleges over the course of five years, and while I missed the whole dorm/sorority bit, I don’t feel like I missed out on all that much as far as my education goes. I think one of my favorite parts of the book was really that Martin didn’t dog against community college, even though Dani’s mother was a consultant for college acceptance. It was refreshing to be reminded that while they don’t typically offer 4 year degrees, they are an amicable stepping stone for transferring to university for either catching up on requirements for a program or simply determining that maybe you don’t know exactly what you want to do.

Purchase The Big F on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

-Scrill

Kissing Max Holden

Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman

4 Stars

 

Publish date: August 1, 2017

ARC from Netgalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for a fair review

 

THE FEELINGS GUYS!

 

Kissing Max Holden was not your average boy-next-door trope. It is much more real, dramatic and heartbreaking. Jillian kisses Max, unfortunately, he’s already got a girlfriend. Then what happens? Well, a LOT. There’s kissing, crying, lying, betrayal, OH MAN, life freaking happens, and my heart hurts so hard from this book.

 

The RomanceReally, boy next door is usually fool proof for me. I will always read (and probably adore) boy next door stories. This one really takes it to the next level. I wouldn’t say it’s the HBO version because it stays pretty PG13, however, it’s definitely not the charming story you find on the Hallmark channel either. 

 

The CharactersI love that Max sort of was like this bad boy, but wasn’t really. There were real reasons to why he was acting out and a friendship between Jillian and him that was grounds for their romance to take off. All the characters were incredibly endearing and added to the story.

 

I can’t really say much more about the book without giving away spoilers. But let me just say, that there is a lot of hurt happening in this book. A lot of the time, I felt just as bad as Jillian knowing that she helped a guy cheat on his girlfriend. No one wants to be that other girl. My heart broke with hers throughout the book. 

 

The only reason why I docked it a star was just because there was a lull I had to drag myself out of around 60-80% through the book. But it honestly wrapped up nicely. Excuse me while I go find all my family and friends and tell them I love them.

 

-Scrill

I Believe in a Thing Called Love

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

4 stars


“I had always assumed that when relationships went bad, that was the end. But the entire premise of K dramas was that they always ended happily. And that if you looked closely, there was a formula for making a guy fall in love with you.” 

I believe in a thing called love is about Desi, a go-get-it kind of girl who is good at everything she tries except boys. In fact, she is so bad when interacting with boys that she likes that her best friends call her flirting, flailure. In an attempt to snag the guy that she likes, she decides she needs a step by step plan that she can follow. Her inspiration, Korean dramas. The ultimate romantic drama from her very own culture.

Guys, when I first saw there was a book about a girl who uses k dramas as a plan to land the guy she has a crush on, my reaction was something like this:

I was going to give this book 3 stars, but you know what? This book nails the whole K drama thing. There is seriously a huge culture to just the clichés of K dramas and I think it did pretty well. Although, I am not sure if anyone who has never seen a k drama would quite understand the hype, much like Desi is in the beginning of the book. I LOVE k dramas. They are fantastic, and incredibly addictive (as seen in this book). As we first get to read firsthand how Desi is around boys, I was then all for the idea of doing a k drama plan.

As the story progresses I started to realize, holy shxt, this is actually pretty dang crazy, and beyond manipulative. The things that Desi puts on her list was absurd. Never really coming out quite how she planned but still landing her a check mark next to each cliché that can be found in a K drama. Luca is definitely not the ideal lead for a k drama as he doesn’t seem to pick up on all the ques that Desi keeps dropping. I mean duh he never chased after her in a moment where she walks away and grabs her wrist. But you know what? She manages to create all sorts of scenarios to help her get the result she was aiming for.

The stunts that she pulls are both dangerous and incredibly manipulative. How can she go from completely sensible to so crazy! Poor Desi is so caught up in her plan that she can’t step away from the situation and look at what she is actually doing, even if her intentions were sweet. Sometimes, I thought, I know there are some girls out there like this. Then I thought, oh gosh, I feel bad for every single person alive & thank God I don’t have to go to any extremes to get the guy to look at me. The entire time I was reading I felt more like this:

Despite thinking that she was crazy the entire time, I adored the book. Her father is endearing and I loved their dynamic. There were many a time that I read the conversations with her dad and thought, awww I wish I had a Korean dad. But then I remembered I had a Filipino mom and she does the same type of stuff in her own way too.

-Scrill

Dramatically Ever After

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Dramatically Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

Publish date: May 6, 2017
Received an ARC from Netgalley for a fair review.

5 stars


“I became a character, bur the character was actually me. I’d been so busy pigeonholding myself into characters everyone else believed I was this week that I almost let go of full, three-dimensional Em who had dreams and potential. The Em who could be pretty amazing, in her own way.” 

The kids from PCHS are back, and this time we are following Em, one of Phoebe from Bookishly Ever After‘s friends. Super confident and flirty Em has her chance at a scholarship that could help fund and convince her parents to let her pursue her theatrical dreams. Unfortunately, she is pitted up against the one boy in the school who she feels puts on more of a show than she does center stage.

This book was ridiculously cute. It had just the right amount of teenage uncertainty, teenage hormones, teenage maturity, and teenage heartbreak. In the first book, Phoebe drew from the characters in her books to give her confidence. In this book, Em uses her skills as an actress to befuddle the competition, and I just love how we all know that its going to definitely blow up in her face. Fake it till you make it is one of my mottoes, and in this case she literally does. 

Em is such a ridiculous girl. Now, despite her feeling that she is pretty much a love guru, it turns out when it comes to her own situations she is as blind as a bat. It was agonizing (in a good way) to read her struggle through her relationship with her hot German boyfriend who no longer lives on the continent while juggling her flirting with the competition and keeping face against the other 100-so competitors. I loved that despite her lack of esteem in her skills, she still puts up a brave face and fights through her situations. She may make some pretty dumb decisions, and oh my gosh, the way she responds about Wil is just so….ughhh how is she so dumb?! But you know what? I know girls misunderstand the way she did all the time, and it was so frustrating (again, in a good way) to read her through it.

Kris. Dreamy Kris. Of course he has to be so freaking dreamy and all around perfect. Good looking, talented, kind, good Samaritan, and incredibly smart. Of course Em thinks he is a fake! At first, I was a little annoyed that he was so perfect too. And though I know as a reader that he is probably supposed to actually be all those things, I couldn’t help but side with ridiculous Em and her accusations, thinking, NO ONE IS THAT ANGELIC! I was happy to see that he did actually have faults and his own learning curve when it came to his own actions.

I loved how Isabel Bandeira worked in phrases/terms that incorporate the dramatic aspect.

“I needed Wil’s perfect leading man sotic support, the big silent shadow behind me always willing to hold me up.”

“We were both actors in this high school drama and our roles were already scripted for us.”

“Despite my natural cynicism, hope crept into me and I felt like breaking int a musical number like something out of thirties film.”

If you want a cute YA romance with just a dash of heartbreak and a spoonful of gushiness, then this is the book for you.

-Scrill

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han


2 Stars


“At college, when people ask us how we met, how will we answer them? The short story is, we grew up together. But that’s more Josh’s and my story. High school sweethearts? That’s Peter and Gen’s story. So what’s our then?
I suppose I’ll sat it all started with a love letter.”
 

So this was my first official buddy read, and it was with the rocking Emi. And thank God it was her, because turns out we had a lot of similar comments. Hooray for BR’s and hmming and haawwwing about things as they progress. This was just a first for me doing it via the interweb, there is definitely something about reading right next to my love Amanda though and seeing her face light up at the same time as mine.

Okay, to the book. This ended exactly how I expected it to, even if I wasn’t exactly happy about it. I may have an unpopular opinion about this book, which surprised me since I enjoyed the first two…however, now that I’ve read this one I think I would notice all the stuff that made me cringe through this one in the first two.

I am not sure how I didn’t notice it in the first two books, but I really just think LJ is super immature. I am not sure if it’s because Peter is her first fake/real boyfriend. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been 18 and young&inlove in a long time. But I really just wanted to strangle the girl and tell her to stop being dumb. This isn’t going to be a great review because I just don’t care enough. 
Here are the particulars about what really ruined this book.

-LJ’s ridiculously possessive of Peter & sort of treats him awfully getting him to do stuff he doesn’t want to do. But then again, Peter acts like a little whipped puppy.
“Is there anything more intoxicating than making a boy bend to our will?”

-LJ & Peter pretty much don’t ever have any serious conversations. In fact, at one point they quipped back and forth about boys taking 2 steps at a time vs girls taking just 1 step at a time.

-There was so much nothing happening in the book that all 325 pages can be summed up in probably a sentence: LJ struggles to figure out what to do for college and how to handle her relationship with Peter post graduation. You can honestly read the synopsis of the book, and be like okay great, that’s what happens. That way you don’t have to read in the filler play-by-play of LJ’s days including stuff like sitting around sorting shoes with Margo…THIS scene drove me nuts, because I wondered, hmmmm maybe something about this is important to the story…it wasn’t though, just a half page of text.

-I had a very hard time relating to LJ. I know it happens, truly I do, but can we just point at LJ and say you’re whole family is spoiled and you take it for granted? She bought a 2lb bag of chocolate for $30! She puts a deposit on a university like it’s no big deal, all the while her sister is studying in Scotland! I’m pretty sure LJ hasn’t ever had to wonder, if I ask my dad for money for X, will he say no? NO! Because he also apparently funds her to go stay at a beach house for a week with a bunch of other teenagers. I CAN HARDLY AFFORD THAT AS AN ADULT, WHAT IS A TEENAGER GOING OFF TO DO THIS SHXT FOR?!

-And then there is Peter. There is one other character I have encountered that I hated as much as Peter. Dean Forester from Gilmore Girls. Here’s this all around well liked guy that is, lets face it sweet, but super boring and doesn’t have a thing in common with LJ. He likes to eat cookies. But is super clingy and is a little bxtch about her going to college. MKAY bye Dean #TeamJess

-Scrill

Beauty and the Book Boyfriend

Beauty and the Book Boyfriend by K.M. Galvin 

 

3 stars

 

Copy from K M Galvin via Netgalley for fair review.


“Light golden skin is stretched tightly over his muscles, and even though he is wearing a loose work out tank and track pants, I can tell he’s hard all over. I can tell because that’s how I wrote him. I’ve known him for almost ten years now.”


Okay, this book was stinking cute. To be honest, as soon as I read the synopsis I was like eeeek yay. Bellamy Strong is a successful writer and is setting out on a tour for her series for the first time. Her publishers decide that along with book signings they would have her star as the heroine and find a model that looks like the hero of her book for the tour. Shy Bellamy has to deal with her expectations of her come to life hero and how to get out of the shell she has built around herself and grow.


The idea of the story was stellar. The entire time I pictured someone like SJM getting to go on tour with a Rhysand look alike. *The most beautiful man she’s ever seen* Gosh, just the idea is swoon worthy. Can I please have a three month tour with a hottie of my making by my side? I loved that the book boyfriend was nothing like the character that Bellamy had imagined and in fact had his own personality.


Caleb, the guy who is hired to model as the character Max is a hottie & the sexual tension that builds between him and Bellamy is hot. I love that they didn’t hit it off and have to be friends before they can even move onto romance. The initial hotness of course is scoured as soon as he opens his mouth. But it’s not until they are forced to sit in a car together for the lengthy road trip that they get along by some sort of peace treaty.


One of my qualms with the story is that their relationships progressed rather quickly so there was a slight lull in the middle. Luckily, the last 20% skim by really fast, and not in the ‘well that ended abruptly’ sort of way. In a, eek, this is hot, flip flip flip, awwwww, flip flip flip, ending. And though it ended the way I anticipated it ending, it was still rather sweet.


My other qualm with the story was the lack of bickering. I would expect that spending nearly every minute with the same set of 4 people would cause some sort of animosity. Instead, the characters just grew closer and closer. But really, even with the people I most adore, you have to have some personal space. I would have liked it a little bit better if tempers rose and people got a little tired of being with each other. It would have seemed a little more realistic.

 
-Scrill

It Had to be You

It Had to Be You by Lizzy Charles

Received an ARC from Entangled Publishing, LLC  via Netgalley for a fair review.

Publish date: May 15, 2017

3 stars

Sometimes I tell myself, fake it till you make it. What we all know from possible experience or even from any movie from the 90’s that doesn’t work out well when feelings are involved.

It Had to be You has all the ingredients that make that feel-good romantic teen story:

-inexperienced girl

-super popular guy

-inexperienced girl and popular guy have a spectacular meet cute

-inexperienced girl inspires popular guy to be a better guy

-super popular guy sweeps inexperienced girl off her feet

-miscommunication causes a rift between the two

-they fix their problems at the end

With all the cliché elements we are given the same tried story with just enough spin to get you through. While the characters were sweet I found the two main characters to be a little too level headed, too conscious of their actions. Now while Edelweiss was pretty much raised around adults, she had access to tv & Netflix, the girl couldn’t have been that naïve and James seemed to have his ranging hormones just a little too much in check. In all honesty, their relationship was sweet, but probably not that realistic considering their surroundings, ages, and overall situation. They handled themselves a little too maturely for what would be expected from a pair of confused teens.

The cliché ex gf bully seemed a little…well cliché. And while it’s not exactly unrealistic, it just seemed too unoriginal, especially paired with the whole fake bf/gf turns into real feelings trope. I think the struggles that Edelweiss could have been a little more creative. With that being said, teen bullying is entirely plausible, but in my experience can be a lot more vicious than just a few silly pranks. Girls can be very mean, especially when their feelings are involved and they are bat shit crazy.

What I did appreciate was that there was a little diversity in the students going to the private school. It wasn’t just a bunch of white privileged kids. There was a little depth given to the students that could have been played on a little more. Using the heritages or backgrounds that were mentioned could have been woven into the story to give a little more flavor.

So, like I said, cliché and slightly predictable. I feel like I’ve read this story or seen the movie version several times already and could have used a little bit more flare to get my attention. Still it was cute, and made heart clench up at least a tiny bit.

-Scrill

Ella’s Ice Cream Summer

Ella’s Ice Cream Summer by Sue Watson

Publish date: May 11, 2017

Received an ARC from Bookouture via Netgalley for a fair review.

2 Stars

“Was there still time to do something more with my life and get that Facebook fantasy? Should I Just play it safe and not risk losing what little I had, or should I throw caution to the wind and embrace what apparently the universe had given me? Perhaps this was my adventure after all?”


Ella’s Ice Cream Summer was a light story about a pseudo-empty-nester turning over a new leaf in her life. Ella lost her job, her kids are off having adventures in Nepal and Thailand for the summer, and her mother has taken on internet dating all other sorts of social media. The death of her aunt leaves Ella with a portion of the family ice cream business which Ella decides to try out for the summer.

The simplicity of the story was also what brought my opinion down. The beginning had enough going on to get me intrigued, but once Ella was working the ice cream stand I was hardly hooked and had to push through the story. The only element that really kept me going was the curiosity of what had caused the family feud. The actually facts behind the feud was definitely not expected but definitely gave reason as to why there was such a problem. The entire time, we are put off thinking it might be something completely trivial that had three women to have a complete fall out.

The curiosity wasn’t enough. The romantic relationship that Ella developed with Ben is not very developed either as their interactions are short. More time was spent theoretically thinking about what Ella was doing with the future of the business/staying in Devon and how she shouldn’t get attached to Ben than actual time spent with him.

The best part of the book was sadly the descriptions of the ice cream treats. And though it’s called Ice Cream Summer, it’s probably more like gelato. But I honestly don’t have enough knowledge between the differences of the two to definitely say either way. I just love ice cream/gelato.

What I had hoped would be a kick start to my summer beach reads ended up only inspiring me to make my own gelato, which it turns out is harder than this book makes it out to be, there are quite a few steps! I did find it cute to find an easy recipe after the epilogue for a batch of vanilla ice cream.

Now that I have read two books on gelato/ice cream this month I have since decided to take on making some of my own. Post on that after I try a little bit.

-Scrill

Love & Gelato

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

4 Stars

” Maybe that was just part of the Italian experience. Come to Italy. Fall in love. Watch everything blow up in your face. You could probably read about it on travel websites.”


Love & Gelato is all kinds of adorableness. Lina is in Italy, her mother just passed away of pancreatic cancer and she has essentially been sent for the summer to meet the father she never met. Coping with her grief while avoiding the awkwardness with her father, Howard, she is given a token of her mother. A journal. The journal she kept while she was studying photography in Florence. What she discovers is the story of what happened those 16 years ago when her mother fell in love and found herself pregnant in Italy. Lina’s summer abroad has suddenly turned into a scavenger hunt to find out the truth about her mother’s past and why she left Howard if they were so much in love.

About halfway through this book I decided that it very much reminded me of the movie Letters to Juliet. There’s even a guy named Lorenzo and a handsome British guy to sweep unsuspecting Lina off her feet. Aside from that and the hunt in Italy, there really aren’t that many similarities to be honest. Still, everything about this book made me want to book the next flight out of the states and head to Florence, see the sights, and try some stracciatella gelato. I almost stopped reading to start a pinterest board for my non existent future trip to Florence featuring all the locations she goes to and lists of gelato flavors to try. I suppose I should brush up on some Italian first. The book wove Italian flare not only with the wonderful descriptions of its architectural and art and it’s food, but also by throwing in the occasional Italian phrase or word. I loved it, there was so much more personality in the book because of it.

The characters themselves were super sweet. It was hard not to feel for Lina as she struggled to cope with the loss of her mother while finding herself in a completely strange place to her with a complete stranger that was supposed to be her dad. Ren was such a good friend trying to make her experience smoother by showing her sights, introducing her friends, and even giving her the occasional shoulder to cry on. Though brief, the other characters through the book gave a lot more flare here and there.

The writing was smooth, however, the beginning of the book sort of dragged a little bit. It took me a good 75 pages before I really got into the book. But after that, I started flipping through it pretty fast. Once she really starts getting into appreciating the fact that she is 1. in Florence and 2. has one more opportunity to learn something about her mom the story rolled down hill picking up speed as it went. It was super sweet and touching while she learned more about her mom and more about Howard as well as discovering more about herself in the process. The heartbreaking information hit at the perfect timing the book to push to the end.

-Scrill