Oct 10, 2011

Back When You Were Easier To Love by Emily Wing Smith

Back When You Were Easier To Love, by Emily Wing Smith
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: April 28, 2011
Hardcover: 304 pages
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: BookDivas
Challenge: none
Rating: 3 stars
What's worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you've been dumped. Joy got no goodbye, and certainly no explanation when Zan - the love of her life and the only good thing about stifling, backward Haven, Utah - unceremoniously and unexpectedly left for college a year early. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California, and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan's former-best-friend Noah.
Original and insightful, quirky and crushing, Joy's story is told in surprising and artfully shifting flashbacks between her life then and now. Exquisite craft and wry, relatable humor signal the arrival of Emily Wing Smith as a breakout talent.

Wow. I don't really know how to explain my thoughts on this book. This is another book that is finalizing my decision to create a new rating system. Three stars doesn't seem enough and four stars seems like it's one of my favorites. I mean, yeah, at first when I started reading I was worried I wouldn't get into it. But it's one of those books that is just easy to read. Everything flows to where you read fifty pages and don't even realize it. Which makes it a fast read. 

Nearly 300 pages could seem like a lot to some people, but the chapters are very short. I mean, a few chapters were only a page and only a few sentences were on those pages. Some of them were just lists. 

It was fun to read, at first I thought it was kind of confusing because it was the start of the book and throughout the book it goes back in forth to when Jody was with Zan and then back to the "present" where Zan is gone. 

The plot had me SO freaking curious as to what happened to Zan. I got sucked in and couldn't stop. I'm really glad that I needed to read this one next for BookDivas, because it was refreshing. The last couple of books I have read have been some type of fantasy. The last real contemporary novel I read, that didn't have some sort of supernatural, or magical element to it was Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes and that was back in August. 

But anyway, on to the characters. At first I didn't really connect with any of the characters, even the protagonist/main character Jody. But after a while I started feeling bad for her. She had her heart broken, but she was also in denial. She was obsessed. So it made everything kind of 50/50 with me. I felt bad for her, but at the same time she could fix it and move on. She needed to face the facts! 

Noah was pretty cool, I liked him. Though in the beginning you don't learn much about him because Jody doesn't want to like him. She thinks she doesn't like him, even though she doesn't really know much about him other than he's a "Soccer Lovin' Kid". 

There are some religious references in here due to the fact that Jody is Mormon and basically the whole town she lives in, called Haven, is a Mormon town. It really kind of puts you into the life of really religious Mormons. Though that is by far NOT the main point. At all. So don't worry if you're a non-religious person like me. I mean, I'm Christian, I believe in God, but I'm not religious. And I don't like religions being pushed onto people. But I'm going to get out of that, because this book doesn't do that and I was very happy about that. It started to worry me a little in the beginning. 

Overall, this book was a good read. Not my favorite, but I overly enjoyed reading it. Though I wanted to smack the crap out of most of the characters 80% of the time. It kept me reading. I kind of wish there were a sequel in the making so I can figure out about Jody and someone I'm not going to name. =) Don't wanna giveaway any spoilers! 

The cover is kind of cartoonish, but it works. It's pretty. =)

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