Sixteen-year-old Kate knows how to juggle. From basketball practices to her shifts at Jamba Juice, Kate flies through her days wondering if she got a decent meal. When she lands a role in the school play, adding yet another task to her already full schedule, Kate starts fumbling through her routine, resorting to desperate measures to get the grades expected of her.
Co-worker and classmate Seth isn’t much of a juggler. Crowds and attention? Not his thing. So witnessing Kate’s ability to handle it all leaves Seth in awe. He could never do it. But then one of the leading actors in the play gets tonsillitis days before opening night, and Kate volunteers Seth to replace him. With his eidetic memory and killer dance moves, Seth’s the obvious choice—if it weren’t for his social anxiety.
With Seth’s growing—and unwanted—popularity and Kate spreading herself too thin, they start to wonder if their friendship will even last through the performances. But putting these two into a romance on stage has an effect neither of them could predict.
4 stars — Technically I did receive an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review/opinion, but yet again I was behind so I only read half of the ARC and then switched over to my preordered copy when it showed up on my Kindle.
You guys, this book was just all sorts of young adult goodness. It contained two very *real* characters dealing with teen problems that really do NOT get addressed that much in young adult books — how to deal with being so busy!!! Honestly, I don’t know how Seth and Kate did it. I still don’t, even after finishing the book. But I guess that’s the point, they *didn’t* deal with it that well. But seriously folks, when was the last time you read a book that dealt with a seriously relevant and not over the top topic? I LOVE it! It was so frustrating to read about too, b/c you just want to shout “SAY NO!” but at the same time both authors made me believe in how hard it was for both Seth and Kate (mostly Kate).
One of the other aspects that I adored about this book is that both main characters were extremely likable but very different. Kate fascinated me. She was uber popular because she was super nice and friendly to EVERYONE, but at the same time she avoided deep friendships. And in some ways, her “niceness” became a bit of her downfall. Honestly it’s been a long time since I’ve adored a character while simultaneously being ridiculously frustrated with the same character. She made me want to bang my head on a wall, but I could also honestly see how things in her life spiraled so out of control. My heart broke for her every time her life got overwhelming and she couldn’t see a way out. I have no doubt that there are many teenagers who can relate (heck many adults can relate). And while I hated that she made some of the choices that she did, I kind of got it. A part of me wanted her to learn and grow faster than she was. I missed some of that internal enlightenment I think. I got some of it, but I wanted a bit more from her. But she made me cry TWO SEPARATE TIMES in this book, she made me feel just so much.
And then there’s sweet Seth. How can I not love a shorter, shy cutie?? I mean, seriously. Seth was such an interesting counterpart to Kate, and yet I could see what drew them to each other. And again, he was such a great guy!! Not without his own flaws, though he frustrated me a lot less than Kate. Honestly, the book felt a little less balanced b/c he didn’t seem to have quite the same struggles. I know he had the social anxiety and shyness to overcome, but I felt like his development got a bit lost in favour of the struggles Kate was going through. So again, I wanted just a bit more depth from him. But despite that, I still loved him. I loved how he took care of Shelby and helped out his family, and how completely oblivious he was to his own attractiveness (both physical and personality-wise). I loved how he cared for Kate and really paid attention to her and noticed her struggling and tried to be there for her, pushing past her natural barriers. And it was awesome to see him embrace the role of Will!! And OMG his kiss made me swoon!!
So yeah, this book is great to put a smile on your face. I think I wasn’t quite in the mood for a YA book right now, b/c you kind of have to be in the right frame of mind to read about teenagers being typical teenagers. But it made me smile giddily, giggle, and of course cry big tears, so it was definitely a success. 🙂