Author: Jen Calonita
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 83% or B-
Buy It: Amazon
Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she's ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn't go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn't thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates' Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls' lives forever.My Thoughts::
I was a bit reluctant to accept this book for review because it's been a while since I've read a book from this author and I wasn't sure how I felt about her books, and the concept of the book seemed a bit too girly for my taste.
Thankfully the description was a bit misleading. For some reason I thought that debutante southern belles type stuff would be going on. Thankfully there was none of this. I mean, sure the plot WAS a bit typical. How many times have we read a "someone who is my opposite is now suddenly in my immediate area/home" book? But Calonita was able to make it her own and add a new freshness to the concept.
I liked both characters when usually in cases like this I only like one. Up to a point they were pretty darn stereotypical, but just like the plot, they were shined up and made me look at them in a new way. They were much more dynamic than I expected. I would try to predict what they would do or say, and while sometimes I was right, there were also times that I was wrong. They weren't extremely predictable because they had original characteristics.
At times the book was slow, but there was always an undercurrent of duress from the characters. You were always wondering when this would hit the fan, or when so and so would confront that other person. It might seem that this book is just about the drama and conflict, but it's not. You really get a sense of relying on your friends, people lying to get what they want, and people who use their friends. I like that I learned something at the end without it being obvious at all. I saw what harm was done and knew it was bad. I didn't have to be told.
Overall I think this book has more in store for you than you might expect.