I am fully aware I’m hella late to this party. This book was first published in 2010, and ten years later here I am. This book follows Lennie, a girl who loves to write down what she’s feeling, read Wuthering Heights and play the clarinet. Not gunna lie, the clarinet is what got me to pick this up! I used to play the clarinet before higher education came along (and it’s a difficult instrument to start back up when living with my parents cause it’s LOUD). Lennie’s older sister recently died, suddenly and without any warning. She should be grieving, she is grieving. But she’s also falling in love.
A unique aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was the inclusion of mixed media. At the beginning of each chapter there’s a black and white picture of a discarded note that Lennie has written. It also tells us where it was found. Under a rock. Written on the inside of the wardrobe door. These really added an additional view into Lennie’s mindset and also tells you more about her sister Bailey without having to have multiple point of views.
There are some very… weird? plot choices in here. Of course they could happen in real life, but it was really not what I was expecting. I can’t really go into details because it would be major spoilers, but if you’ve read the book I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. I just kind of had to… pretend that it wasn’t happening… so that I could actually read the book.
A problem that I had with this book is that I felt like the portrayal of teens wasn’t the most accurate. Now of course I’m no longer a teen, and I’m also British when this book is set in California, but these kids at points really just felt incredibly cliche and both excessively childish and too grown up simultaneously. But like I said, this could simply be cultural differences.
This book is quite cute and fluffy, and despite the dips and troughs you will likely come out of this book with a little smile on your face. It can’t be denied though that this is a cliche YA contemporary at its heart. Don’t expect anything more from this book. If you do you’ll be disappointed. And bare in mind that there are problematic aspects to this book. But as a basic work of fluff it does what it promises to.