Avery James has her life planned out: this summer she'll work with a humanitarian program in Costa Rica, next year she'll graduate at the top of her class, and after that, college and medical school. Perfect, planned, total order.
The only problem: getting the rest of the money she needs for the trip before the deadline. Hannah Cohen, her biggest competition for the valedictorian title, makes an unexpected offer: If Avery can win over Zac Greeley and make him break up with Hannah before the end of the school year, a check for five hundred dollars is all hers. Faced with the prospect of spending yet another summer working as a giant hot dog, it's an offer Avery can't refuse.
Zac is nothing like Avery expected. Within his chaotic world of midnight slushie runs and spontaneous dance parties, her total order is quickly falling apart while Hannah seems poised to get everything she wants. But just how much is Avery willing to give up for the perfect, planned life?
My Take: Call it the high schooler still in me, but when I got the email about reading this book, I took it as an immediate yes. The title and cover alone had me in an instant. Now I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but the cover was cute and I thought after reading the synopsis as well that the story would be cute.
Little did I know what I was truly getting into with reading this book. I’ll be the first to say, I didn’t really expect there to be too much that I could really relate to myself and I’d be able to detach myself from it just being a story in no time. However, that wasn’t the case. Getting more and more into the book just proved that it was very likely the tale of a lot of high school girls out there – maybe minus having a business econ project that was so in depth – or working at a hot dog joint, but a typical high school girl nonetheless.
Avery was sort of this crazy, mixed up girl from the get go. I never felt a moment of true security with her, and I think that’s what drew me to her most. I feel like Shana did a great job in putting her out there as the girl to try and figure out – but it was like I never really could. Throughout the story, Avery’s this lost person, trying to keep a grasp on her own life, to stay in total control, when she knows it’s all coming apart at the seams. At least, that’s how she feels. To an outsider, or even as the reader looking in, it just seemed that she was going through a coping mechanism, and no one would ever understand her.
Cue best friend Molly. Molly is definitely a “character” and I don’t just mean in the sense that she’s a person in the book. Though she’s not a key role all the time, she’s that person that Avery could turn to and rely on…but she never really sees it. Molly’s that person that’s right there in front of you that would do anything for you, but you feel like you could mess it up any second so you just push her away. She kind of just shines with awesome.
Then there’s Hannah, and Elliot. Now, why am I mentioning two people together? Well, they are a big part of the reason that Avery seems to be the way she is. I won’t tell you how exactly, you’ll have to read the book to find out, but they’re very relentless each in their own way. Hannah on the one hand is the girl you love to hate and also love to be jealous of. Elliot is the boy that you just love to hate because you think he’s always up to no good – but it’s all in the eye of the beholder (you’ll see that near the end!)
And then there’s Zac. Now admittedly when he first came into the book, even I just thought of him as the “jokester best guy friend who does nothing but drink slushies and takes life at a pace that isn’t serious enough”…but he proved to be this fully different guy during the story.
Okay okay, enough about the characters and what they’re like – sorry if I bored all of you. True to myself, I didn’t really take this book too seriously, but I took it with enough in me to realize that – Avery’s situation is how I felt when I was in school. Though I was never up for valedictorian, or in every club (okay maybe almost all of them…) I felt like I had to live up to everyone else’s standards and never disappoint. The truth is though, the only person Avery was disappointing by not being perfect at something, was herself. The real truth as to why lies within the story, and if I say it, there will have been no point to you reading it for yourself.
Now typically, I wouldn’t immediately tell everyone to get out there and read something so cutesy and adorable and…where was I going with this…oh right. Go. Read it. Yes, it’s cutesy and adorable, but it also has a great ‘story’ to it. It upholds a lot of different feelings, and a lot of misunderstandings and misapprehensions about being a teenager. It is and isn’t the typical teenager story, and that’s what makes it so great.
Plus the cover is super cute (and I have a thing for Chuck Taylor’s).
Don’t miss our special author interview coming up tomorrow! You won’t want to, Shana is kind of totally awesome!
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