If you’re a teenager in a small, rural area, how do you exist when your eccentric, free-spirited parents are the town freaks everyone laughs at?
For sixteen-year-old Rainbow Honeywell—or Rain, as she insists on being called—the answer was to become the queen of all pranks. She never wanted to be a troublemaker, but the label quickly stuck when everyone in Huntsville, Kansas, became a target. All she wanted was to deflect the negative attention off her parents, but Rain’s plan backfired to the max, landing her in a heap of trouble with the local authorities and expelled from high school.
An unexpected inheritance offers Rain an opportunity for a new beginning when she and her family move across the country to the quaint beach community of Turtle Bay, Florida.
Determined to make the best of her second chance, Rain vows to walk the straight and narrow, hoping her parents will fly under the radar while she soaks up some fun in the sun, sandy beaches, and hot, tanned guys. Unfortunately, she picks the wrong new friends, and a late night party lands her back in the kind of trouble she had been hoping to avoid. As the newbie in town with a record, Rain takes the brunt of the punishment when an unforgiving judge chooses to make an example out of her and slaps her with enough community service hours to keep her busy until she is old and gray.
Facing the harsh reality of paying for the actions of others while atoning for her own past sins, Rain is paired up with Josh Shaw, a judgmental local lifeguard whose love for the beach and the environment is eclipsed only by his distaste for those who trash it. As far as Josh is concerned, Rain is guilty and got what she deserved, regardless of her side of the story. To make matters worse, a tropical storm sits in the Atlantic, threatening to wreak havoc on the small beach community.
Things slowly change as Rain begins to appreciate her surroundings through Josh’s eyes, proving she is not the person he thinks she is. Their feelings for one another blossom as the tropical storm grows into a hurricane and bears down on Turtle Bay. With impending danger looming, the small beach community must come together in order to ride out the storm.
4 stars — I absolutely adore Ms. King’s YA contemporary books, they are some of my favourites in this genre. And for some reason while I bought this book immediately when it came out, I didn’t get to it right away. But it was exactly what I always love about her books, so I shake my head at myself for leaving it so long. (also, it’s currently only 99 cents people — if you love YA contemps, I recommend checking it out)
This is probably going to be a bit of a lackluster review, b/c I finished this book 2 days ago, and have read 2 more books since then…I hate doing that, but travel always screws me up. What can I say? The romance was definitely sweet, and I liked how the relationship progressed from intrigue to “sort of” hate to understanding to crush to more. It was the perfect YA romance in my opinion. And we definitely got enough of it to keep me satisfied.
I really enjoyed both Rain and Josh, though this was really Rain’s story. Rain could have easily annoyed me with her viewpoints on Josh and the aftermath of the party, but I thought in the end she was written very authentic teenager, and it didn’t last so long as to drive me nuts. Just enough to make her believable, but then give us some growth.
There were some tiny side plots that I was a bit confused about. I felt like Farrah was going to have a bigger part in the story, and then she just didn’t. I really feel like she has more to say. Maybe there was an initial thought to write more books and make it series-esque, and then it just didn’t pan out? That makes me sad, b/c I would love to learn more of Farrah’s story. And then there was the Evan storyline. Part of me liked what was brought there, but I felt somehow off about it. Like I wasn’t quite sure what all it brought to the story as a whole. But I also read this book off and on with a big break in the middle, so that sometimes messes with how I see the story as a whole.
In the end the part that stood out to me the most and just totally made me love this story were Rain’s parents, Butch and Buttercup. I LOVE when YA’s actually have parents that EXIST and are important to the story. So many times they’re just written around and it’s just not realistic. And while Butch and Buttercup were unbelievably unique and different, they were great parents and I really loved what they brought to Rain’s growth.
All in all, it was exactly what I was looking for from Ms. King. She writes a lot of different ages, from YA to Adult, but for me it’s her YAs where she shines.