My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Guilt, Contemporary Romance
Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She’s ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications, and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic–one of opportunities and chances.
Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.
Now Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.
It’s as though Jennifer L. Armentrout wasn’t even trying to be original.
Like she thought, ‘‘Okay, so I need to write a book because I’m on contract, but I don’t have any new ideas, so I’m just going to write about something that’s been written before, and add a lot of cheesy scenes, and my fans will probably enjoy it.’’
Nuh-uh. You should know that I’m a JLA fan. Have been ever since I read the Lux series. I even loved THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER, which she published last year. I have to say I find her fantasy books better than her contemporary ones, because it’s easy to be cheesy and cliché with contemporary romance, but I’ve always adored her writing and characters.
This book, however, displeased me from the start. I finished it, of course, because one cannot not finish a JLA book—that’s how addictive they are. Unfortunately, I rolled my eyes for the entire drive (HA!).
I have a problem with contemporary novels that are trying to be mysterious. Look at the blurb for this one. It’s so intentionally vague. It’s a marketing strategy, but seriously not a good idea in this case, since the ‘‘mystery’’ isn’t one, and also, when you get to that part, you’re going to be so annoyed, because there’s nothing original about Lena Wise’s ‘‘mistake.’’ The first part should have been removed.
And can I just say that irony in a story isn’t always good either? Like the fact that Lena’s family name is ‘‘Wise.’’ Oh, for the love of God. Anything else would have been better—literally anything.
To be honest, I thought this book would be dealing about teen pregnancy, and I expected it. I mean, come on, ‘‘A single choice can change everything.’’ She’s a teen, who’s in love with her best friend, who she recently kissed, and she’s a virgin, and the sort-of prologue shows her in a hospital.
But I was wrong. Oh, how I wanted to be right. It would have been more interesting than this. I’m not saying what Lena deals with is not important, since it obviously is, and it’s true that there should keep being stories about it. But if you’re going to write about something that’s been written a thousand times before, add something original to it, something that makes it YOUR story, not your borrowing of a thousand other authors’ stories.
I know I’m complaining a lot, but I did like Lena. She’s a credible teenage girl who hasn’t everything figured out. She loves books, works hard, even plays volleyball. She’s a nice kid. Her blaming herself is definitely annoying, but we are warned about it beforehand, and I’m sure anyone with a conscience would blame themselves in a case like Lena’s. Plus there’s good writing, no surprise there. And once again, it’s addictive. Just not memorable, rather cheesy and predictable.
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