Ari Wren has a great life: Two best friends and a family she loves.
Cade Waters is by far the most popular guy at Sierra High School. Why then has he suddenly noticed Ari, a freshman nobody? Her friends are surprised by his attention and more than a little jealous. As Ari finds herself falling for Cade, his requests become more intimate and personal. Ari feels confused and unsure about what to do.
Follow Ari as she navigates budding romance, tough decisions, betrayal, and a trip to an island in this young adult story of growing up the hard way.
Ari was blah at first. By the end of the book she blossoms and I almost missed her. I rallied behind her as she proved herself to be stronger then she thought. Shyla, her best friend, was a delightful addition. I also liked the relationship with her ‘German exchange sister’ as it developed throughout the book. Thea is thankfully a mostly two dimensional character that helped Ari find who she is in her own way. Clayton is such a gentleman and a catalyst for her but I’m happy to say Ari is eventually able to make her decisions for herself. Cade is exactly what you thought he’d be…or is he?
I’ll admit, when I started this book I thought “here we go again, another high school story about the ‘shy normal girl’ and the super popular guy.” I mentally rolled my eyes but dug in, sometimes they are still fun. Boy was I way off. The author does a good job lulling you into a state of calm and then throws a curve ball. Then a few more for good show and I was sucked in. This book is NOT at all what you think it is. All I’ll say is it was a delusional teenager in love with the idea of the person or what I like to call ‘The Prince Charming Trap.’ I’m afraid to say more but give this book a chance, it might just surprise you in a good way, too!
The writing was enjoyable and straight forward—I read it very quickly. After the initial plot pointed me in one direction I significantly lowered my expectations.The plot could have gone really two ways and this one was very lighthearted and hopeful. Then it hit on themes that young girls are dealing with today and gives them a voice through a fourteen-year-old girl who doesn’t think she’s anyone special. It isn’t perfect but it has the right tone and lots of right messages that I could stand behind. I’d highly recommend picking this up for a teenage girl you know. My only compliant was everything seemed to come together quickly and in a nice neat bow. Not really realistic but it was a positive message!
4.5 Stars (rounded up)
Sometimes you want the edgy tragedy, sometimes you want the high school romance, and sometimes you want the Hallmark story with an actual point. This is the teenage equivalent of a Hallmark read with life lessons to be learned.
This is a voluntary review.