At the beginning of the year, I reached out to a bunch of my bookish friends and asked them to give a book a month to read. I’ve been so bad at finding books to read lately and I figured, well, I can’t go wrong with recommendations from my book friends. You can see each monthly recommendation here.
For the month of February, I was recommended this book by Christy at BookCrushin’. Thank you for the recommendation. Let’s get to that review.
Young Adult, Contemporary
PART OF A SERIES?:
There are novels connected to this book, I believe, but it is a standalone
January 7th 2020
YOU CAN PRE-ORDER THE BOOK AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE/LIBRARY OR THE FOLLOWING LINKS:
Adam Moynihan’s life used to be awesome. Straight As, close friends and a home life so perfect that it could have been a TV show straight out of the 50s. Then his oldest brother died. Now his fun-loving mom cries constantly, he and his remaining brother can’t talk without fighting, and the father he always admired proved himself a coward by moving out when they needed him most.
Jolene Timber’s life is nothing like the movies she loves—not the happy ones anyway. As an aspiring director, she should know, because she’s been reimagining her life as a film ever since she was a kid. With her divorced parents at each other’s throats and using her as a pawn, no amount of mental reediting will give her the love she’s starving for.
Forced to spend every other weekend in the same apartment building, the boy who thinks forgiveness makes him weak and the girl who thinks love is for fools begin an unlikely friendship. The weekends he dreaded and she endured soon become the best part of their lives. But when one’s life begins to mend while the other’s spirals out of control, they realize that falling in love while surrounded by its demise means nothing is ever guaranteed.
I went into this book with absolutely no idea what it was about because I went in with only the recommendation from Christy. I ended up absolutely addicted from page one to the end because it was well written, incredibly emotional and super, super relatable.
I am the child of…well, not divorced parents but that’s a whole other story. My parents have been separated since I was 13 years and their relationship was up and down before and after that separation and I feel like so much of my life has been defined by their relationship. Because of that, I honestly felt every point of this novel – the good things, the bad things, the confusion, the anger, the inability to deal with any of it because you’re basically a child yourself and its hard and frustrating.
I think the back and forth between Adam and Jolene is really what made this book so great. They were both in such different situations, both emotional and heartbreaking. I think it would be easy to be skewed one way if we only saw one point of view, maybe thinking Adam’s situation was worse than Jolene’s or vice versa but being able to see what each kid was going through, really made you have sympathy for each of them. I think it would be easy to say that Jolene has a much, much worse situation but I think its kind of great that we see both of their points of view because you still sympathize with Adam as well. It really reminds you that no matter the level of someone’s pain, no matter that someone might have it “worse” than you, it doesn’t mean that what you feel isn’t real. I think Abigail really accomplishes that with both Adam and Jolene, no matter how different their stories are, and I think its honestly what made the book so good.
I also just enjoyed the beautiful friendship built between the two characters that built in a slow burn from friendship, friendship, friendship, maybe more, could it be more, friendship, we’re so confused but we obviously belong together. One of my least favorite tropes in any book is insta-love and this book was so opposite of that so I was basically salivating over this story. I love the way they meet, I love the friendship they build, I love how they are there for each other during a time when its so easy to feel so so alone and I love that it builds into something more. Its a very believable romance and I was rooting for Adam and Jolene from the beginning.
I think Abigail succeeds at writing such a sweet and emotional and REAL story between the two main characters. They were easy to relate to and extremely likable. All of the secondary characters stood out on their own and there were surprises from all corners. I know there are books that center around other characters and I loved this book enough to want to read those as well.
5 out of 5 Stars