In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.
Why I picked it up:
This book was sent to me from Penguin in exchange for an honest review.
This novel has a beautiful voice. Right from the starting pages it felt like the author has something important to say, like every word was carefully measured before jotting it down onto the page. Or maybe I’m just feeling articulate because Eva loves to read and appreciate the written word, so almost automatically I jumped on board and started thinking a little more elegant also.
Unfortunately, the effect didn’t last. The middle section of this book really dragged for me. I found myself putting it down and picking it back up, reading a little and putting it back down again. It was unnecessarily long. I’m not a huge fan of “road trip” novels, but all of the travel and meeting of relatives was boring for me. It felt like all of the “story” was in LA, so reading endless chapters of them getting there was just plain bland.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this story was the “illusion” that Eva was under. She had a few conversations and a make out session with Will and was all of a sudden traveling across the country to see him, calling him her boyfriend and telling him she loved him.
In short, this isn’t an exciting novel by any means. Nothing really happened, there was no dynamics, it was just all on one level. At its core, I suppose it’s a novel about grief, family and friendship, but considering I started the novel thinking the author had something really important to say, by the end I was still unsure what it was.
My Verdict – 2 Stars