Hello friends and welcome back to another episode of Arin attempts to review things. I don’t really have anything else to say as some sort of introduction, so I am just going to jump right in.
Summary from Goodreads:
Lucy Green thought she had her senior year in the bag. Cute boyfriend? Check. College plan? Check.
But when her boyfriend dumps her the week before school starts and she literally stumbles into Dov, the new Israeli transfer student, on her first day of school, Lucy’s carefully mapped-out future crumbles.
Determined to have a good senior year, and too busy trying to hold her family together while her mom is across the country working, Lucy ignores the attraction she feels to Dov. But soon, Lucy and Dov’s connection is undeniable. Lucy begins to realize that sometimes, you have to open yourself up to chance. Even if the wrong person at the wrong time is a boy whose bravery you admire and who helps you find your way back to yourself.
I recieved an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I feel like I should start out by saying that I hated this book until I was about 72 percent through it. If it was not an arc, I would have DNFed it about halfway through. As if was, however, I felt somewhat obligated to just finish it. I am glad I did finish it because the last little bit redeemed some of the things I was hating about the book.
With that note out of the way, let’s move on to my typical (she says as if she’s written a lot of these, not like two) way of listing the things I liked and didn’t like.
Here’s what I liked:
Amy, Lucy’s grandmother, and Lucy’s brothers
Amy was honestly my favorite character. She was a big mood, for lack of a better description. When she called Lucy out and told her that she couldn’t blame all of her decisions on other people, I started to like the book a bit more. Amy was also just genuinely supportive and caring while also being very nosy and meddling in a way that reminds me of my own grandmother. I also really loved Lucy’s brothers!! I often find that kids in YA books either act way too immature or way too mature for their ages, but Lucy’s brothers were actually pretty on point and very realistic for their ages.
The discussion of college not always being the right option, especially right after graduation
Society in general, but especially high school, has this super unfun habit of teaching kids that they should go to college even if its not really what they want. This book does a very, very good job of having characters have discussions about how they do not want to go to college, or that maybe they do but they do not want to go right after they graduate. In fact, a teacher is the one who originally brings up the idea!
The discussion of grief, selfishness, and sacrifice
This book talks a lot about grief, how grief effects people and how it can change people’s lives. I feel like it did a very good job of exploring at grief from all angles and showing how there are multiple stages of grief. There was also a lot of good discussion on how grief can make people selfish and about how sacrifice can be selfish and not heroic. I do not want to give any details due to spoilers, but I can say that I definitely enjoyed these threads of discussion throughout the novel.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
Oh boy, I do not know where to start. I am not really sure how or why this relationship developed. Okay, maybe that is not accurate, I obviously read the plot of how they got together but I just don’t understand why. I have no comprehension of why Lucy wanted to get to know Dov and then get together with him, especially since she went into the novel saying she didn’t want to date anyone else while she was in high school. The other big thing about this relationship that I don’t like is what was supposed to have been the cute get together scene. I cannot say much about it due to spoilers, but I will say that the entire scene made me very uncomfortable and was what caused me to debate DNFing the book.
I should probably go into more detail here. I didn’t dislike the plot, there was nothing wrong with it, I’m actually a huge fan of stories about people’s senior years. My issue is that I can’t figure out the catalyst. I don’t know why Lucy was so determined to get to know Dov, just that she was so insistent so she did. It bothered me the whole book that I couldn’t figure out what originally started the whole plot. Another thing I didn’t like was the pacing. It was very, very slow paced until the end. The entire plot seemed to inch by with nothing really happening (there was about 15 percent of this book where I really thought the entire plot was about exchanging poetry) and then all of the sudden at the end everything seemed kind of rushed. I just wish things seemed more even and not all over the place pacing wise.
This book was not bad by any means, and based off of other reviews, most people liked it. I just really think this book was not for me. While I did spend a lot of my reading experience hating the book, it did turn itself around enough for me to give it a three star rating instead of the two star rating I was planning throughout the majority of the book.
This book comes out next Tuesday, and if you think it is something you would enjoy, you can preorder it here.