Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Acquired: Received free for an honest review
Age Group: Young Adult
Grade: 91% or A-
Buy It: Amazon
Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorce dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancee and her kids. The fiancee's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her stepbrother...at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.
I've read every Keplinger book as soon as she put them out and this one was no different. Her books always hold great interest for me because like most girls my age, I can strongly relate to them. Well, this book was a little different in that aspect, because the situation is more specific, but it was still a fantastic read.
Whitley was a really hard character to like. She was frustrating and I just wanted to slap her sometimes for being so selfish and self centered. But I think the hardest part about trying to like Whitley was that we all have more Whitley in us than we care to admit, at least I know I do. It's hard to like someone that often displays the bad parts of themselves that you can see in yourself. But Whitley did have some great points, which is what won me over in the end.
The book was pretty predictable, which was disappointing, but the events that occurred really made me care about the characters and Whitley's story. Still, it was kind of just another classic story of a teenaged rebellion and wanting her parents to be there for her. The romance also bothered me a decent amount, and I'm not sure why, at the end, the ramifications of their choices weren't shown.
Still, with these complaints I couldn't help but be wrapped up in all aspects of the book. Keplinger pushes the envelope when it comes to writing YA, which I really appreciate. She's tackling topics that are difficult and definitely not written enough about. The book also felt incredibly real. Whitley might have annoyed me, but she felt very much like an actual person, as well as the other characters.
Overall I think that this book was a nice summer read that had a very sharp edge of seriousness that didn't take over the entire book. It was definitely a Keplinger novel with its risque content.