Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.
After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.
While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.
An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.
Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.
5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.
Well shit. That was just awesome. I’m so sorry people, but this is going to be a fangirl review. And not because I’m a Kylie Scott fangirl, b/c to be honest? This is actually my first read of hers, even though I have been collecting some of her other books since they sound like my bag. It’s a fangirl review b/c I just loved this book so much. I was sucked in and just freaking enthralled. It’s funny, b/c I really do rate just on overall pulled-from-the-gut feeling. So was this book perfect? Nah. But by the time I finished, I had 5 star glasses on my face… I don’t think that even makes sense.
I’ve been having a hard time staying focused on words lately, and I will admit that right at the very beginning I was having a hard time focusing as well. But Edie’s voice just pulled me in, and the intensity of what she was going through in the robbery had me paying more attention to the book and forgetting to adjust my bike resistance (bad for my physical health, but good for my soul). I just felt all of her emotions with her, even if I didn’t always understand them all.
And the book is about so much more than the robbery; it’s more about watching Edie struggle to deal with the aftermath and changes those events wrought in her personality and attitude. All of which is conveyed in the blurb, but I guess I just never imagined what that would entail. It’s not just about dealing with PTSD type symptoms (though those are there). It’s that she honestly had a hard time finding importance in so much of life. I will admit that I didn’t find her new self to be that wild. Wild for her maybe, but not actually *that* reckless…or maybe it’s that her new friends and John helped to temper that wildness.
Edie was just everything for me. You know how as a reader you just gravitate towards certain types of heroines? Edie embodied so much of what I gravitate towards. I could see some of myself in her. She’s a bigger girl, and she was this perfect mix of content with her size most of the time (and how the choices she’s made in her life led to that, and not wanting to change those) and yet still damaged by her experiences being bigger (low self esteem, believing she wasn’t good enough, basically allowing the bullies to affect her). I can totally vibe with that. It’s a bit schizophrenic in some ways, b/c you’re both confident and insecure at the same time. I thought those elements of her personality were portrayed beautifully, and that the development of her character as she navigated her relationship with John moved at a realistic pace. And it wasn’t really the focus of the book AT ALL, but it was an element that just existed and influenced things. I liked that.
And she was so beautifully snarky and sassy!! GAH! Love that so much. I can’t tell you how many interactions I highlighted b/c they just delighted me to no end. And part of that is that she ended up surrounding herself with some fabulous people. I LOVE when a book has a great secondary cast (and a diverse one at that). From her new BFF Hang, to Carrie and Sophia, to Anders…I just wanted them all to be real. I was so glad that Edie had them in her life, even if it took her awhile to trust them and let them in.
I enjoyed the fact that there could have been incidences of horrible slut-shaming, but that the girls tried to cut it off at the pass. I actually liked that the opportunities were presented, b/c I think it’s really hard as a society to change and get past slut-shaming, so the girls weren’t perfect, but they tried to adjust their attitudes. It made them more real.
And then we get to John. Oh what I wouldn’t give to be in his head…PLEASE LET THERE BE A BONUS SCENE FROM HIS POV, please please please!! He was swoony in such a weird way. He definitely wasn’t perfect, there were times when I thought he was a bit harsh on Edie, even if his heart was in the right place. But my heart just broke for all that he had to struggle with. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to overcome your own reputation and keep striving forward when everyone already judged you and painted you with one brush. And even though it was only from Edie’s POV, you could really see how her friendship and love changed him…how unused to it he was, but how he craved it in some ways.
And their romance was just butterfly inducing. Epic slow burn, but it really allowed you to become invested in their friendship as it developed and grew. And there were lots of tummy tingles when things started to heat up. *sigh* *swoon*
So yeah. Did I convince you? You should totally read it before you get attacked by a rabid Pekingese. 😛 Insider book joke for the win.