I received this book for free from Ya Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I wasn’t expecting that much from this book. The reason I signed up for blog tour was because this is a Harlequin Teen novel, and I tend to enjoy anything published by Harlequin Teen. I only vaguely remembered the synopsis from when I signed up for the tour. I was very pleasantly surprised by the issues and depth I found.
I was immediately drawn into this story. I read the bulk of the book in one sitting. I felt connected and really “in” the story the whole time. It flowed nicely. I’d definitely call it a quick read, but in no way is it a “light” read. It’s not profound, but the characters are dealing with real issues that readers their age may deal with. The range of conflicts and personal struggles was interesting to me too. They were dealing with sexual discovery, family discord, break ups, and life after high school. They were also dealing with things that are less common, like PTSD and futures that don’t include college.
It’s hard to say what captivated me more: the story itself or how much I adored the characters. I think there was a slight lack of depth in a couple of secondary characters, but Cami and Julian were perfect. Their relationship with each other was just fun to read. They also had believable and entertaining relationships with others. Cami deals with some issues with her father, awkwardness with her stepmother, and she has a wacky friend that I loved. I felt like both Cami and Julian had a good arc, though Julian’s wasn’t as pronounced since there’s never anything from his perspective. Still, they both developed and learned about themselves and each other throughout the book.
The writing wasn’t spectacular, but it was appropriate for the book. I felt neither amazed nor disappoint by it, and I’m okay with that. There was a good deal of sadness and some hard moments in this book, but it always felt hopeful. Julian was surly and angry, but I never felt like he would stay that way. Cami was confused and angsty, but I knew she would figure things out eventually.
I think this will be a great read for anyone who enjoys the contemporary romance genre within young adult fiction. I did notice a number of lukewarm reviews on Goodreads, though. I was a bit surprised, since I enjoyed the book thoroughly. Still, I think it’s worth mentioning here that it didn’t meet many readers’ expectations. I’d also like to note that the publisher recommends this book to readers 16 year old and up, and I wholeheartedly agree. There are some steamy scenes in this book. Definitely recommended!