Publisher: Delecorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Hardcover: 368 pages
Age Group: Young Adult
Challenge: Debut Author, A to Z, Support Your Local Library, 350 page book
When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York--and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari's family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.
When misfortune befalls Blake's family, he pulls away, and Ari's world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?
I finished this book over an hour ago, and since then I've been thinking about my review. This will be a hard book to review. To be honest I wasn't really sure what I was expecting out of this book. I mean, I saw it on the debut author challenge list and I fell in love with the cover. The summary sounded pretty interesting, so I added it to my list of books I'd like to read for the challenge.
When I put it on hold from the library, I didn't really know what I was going to get out of this book. It sounded interesting, but I still wasn't sure. You know what I mean? But this book, wow. I'm so glad I read it. A lot of people probably see the cover, and the title and then read that this book is about first love and think it's a fluffy read. Well, they are all wrong. Very wrong.
It's not only just about first love. It's basically nearly everything to do with growing up, being a teenager, trying to live up to what everyone expects you to be like. I think everyone can find some part of this book to relate to.
At first, it was kind of hard to get into it. I'll admit that. You basically go through Ari's every day life; get up, eat breakfast, socialize with parents, go to school, socialize with best friend, eat lunch, come home, do homework, etc. But after a while I got sucked in. Lorraine has a way of writing it that doesn't make it seem boring at all. She makes you WANT to know about Ari's life. And lots of months went by, about two years, actually, and it didn't drag on at all. I find it amazing she was able to add years into the book without adding "Seven months later" or "one year later" etc.
And the characters. Wow! They were so greatly mapped out and real. Everything felt real. I liked Ari, though she sometimes really annoyed me. Like towards the end especially. But she made me proud! And I liked Leigh, a lot better than Summer. Summer annoyed me. So did Del a little bit, but he was pretty cool. I really liked Blake, but some things he did really made me mad. You'll understand that once you read this book!
And Ari's parents. They had a pretty big role in this book as well. A lot of books nowadays mentions their parents, but you don't get to know them very well. But her parent's were their own characters. Even Ari's father who isn't mentioned much in the novel because of his job, but still. Amazing!
Overall, this was a great book. I overestimated it. This is a book you definitely want to read, no matter how old you are. This book is just so relate able. Oh, and by the way, it was set in the late 1980's, but half the time you forget about that and don't even notice! I will definitely be reading more by this author. I can't wait to hear news on another book by her.