This book is hard to review without giving anything away. Because I really, really want to rant about some characters and rave about others. But to do so would give too much away. So I will just say, isn’t it amazing when an author can make you feel so much for her characters?
The voice of Hawthorn reminds me of a teenage Junie B. Jones. She’s immature and self centered, snarky and obsessive. But she is real and it’s in the most endearing way possible. She is someone we all know. And she is lonely. Lonely in that way that so many people are. And lonely the way I was at her age.
You can’t help but root for her throughout the book. She’s isolated and growing apart from her only friend. A friend that I completely empathize with, because it’s hard being friends with someone like Hawthorn. It’s draining and to save her sanity she needed some space. But she needed her space at a time when Hawthorn desperately needed a friend. Hawthorn is at that awkward and difficult part of life where the magic starts to fade but you desperately want to believe. Everyone has to grow up, and it isn’t usually done as flawlessly as it is in the movies, unless you’re Lizzie Lovett, of course. I wanted her theory to be right, but more than anything I wanted her to find love and happiness within herself.
The ending is more about recognizing yourself and knowing that everyone has their trials, even if you can’t see them. This book didn’t turn into the bright spark of sunshine I expected when I saw the cover. It was lighthearted, but not. Hawthorn was everything that was good about the book as she learned to maneuver through life. Serious subjects, and real life darkened the spark of lightness it tried to have.I stayed up late trying to figure out what happened to Lizzie, because wouldn’t it be awesome if Hawthorn was right? It was a departure from my usual fare, but I appreciated the writing and the story even if it didn’t quite end up the way I wanted.
Releasing January 3, 2017