Synopsis from Goodreads
Lucy Green thought she had her senior year in the bag. Cute boyfriend? Check. College plan? Check. But when her boyfriend dumps her the week before school starts and she literally stumbles into Dov, the new Israeli transfer student, on her first day of school, Lucy’s carefully mapped-out future crumbles.
Determined to have a good senior year, and too busy trying to hold her family together while her mom is across the country working, Lucy ignores the attraction she feels to Dov. But soon, Lucy and Dov’s connection is undeniable. Lucy begins to realize that sometimes, you have to open yourself up to chance. Even if the wrong person at the wrong time is a boy whose bravery you admire and who helps you find your way back to yourself.
This is a character-driven coming of age story that touches on the topics of grief, duty, responsibility, education, family, and love. But at its heart, this is a story about growing up. It is about figuring out what you want to do with your life rather than just doing what others want for you. It is about learning and making tough decisions. I felt this book was a very realistic and highly emotional portrayal of the issues and stresses that many high school students experience as they prepare to embark on life as adults. Here are my Pros and Cons:
- I definitely fell in love with Lucy and Dov. I thought it was a touching and realistic romance between two mature young adults. I love how they bonded over their shared love of poetry. I felt the book had quite an intellectual slant to it and I really appreciated that.
- I loved seeing Israel through Dov’s eyes. It was clear he loved where he was from and it wasn’t just from a superficial level. I also loved that the author put plenty of Hebrew in the book – I learned some vocabulary!
- Lucy and Dov were both really relatable characters. The reader easily becomes emotionally connected to both and will ultimately root for them! Their maturity and growth throughout the book was a joy to read. I think a lot of teens/young adults will feel an instant connection to Lucy in particular.
- The book has a storyline that addresses grief and loss of a loved one. I thought the topic was respectfully and realistically incorporated into the story, without making the story overly sad or depressing.
- Lucy had some tough discussions with her parents. I thought those were handled extremely well. I thought Lucy’s final confrontation with her parents about her college decision was particularly well written. Lucy and her parents were at odds over her decision. There was anger and confusion and the discussion was tense, but it was also civil. It was nice to see a confrontation that didn’t end up just being a screaming match between participants.
- I think this would be a great book for parents of high school seniors to read. It might remind of them that mapping out a future is hard and super stressful… particularly at such a young age. Support and encouragement can be way more beneficial than providing a specific roadmap that may not match the desires of their child. On the flip side, I hope that young adults reading this book will understand that not all parents will discourage your dreams (even if they don’t understand them) and that you need to have a dialogue with your parents so they understand what you want and need for your future. Both sides need to LISTEN and LEARN and UNDERSTAND. The best decisions are made when those three things occur!
- I kind of wanted to see/read Lucy’s walls!
- Amy (a.k.a. Grandma) was an awesome character – definitely not a typical grandma! I became a step-grandma (Grammy) myself at age 32, so I am not your typical grandmother figure either. I totally related to Amy in this book because I try to communicate (talk and listen) to my granddaughter (who is 15 now) the way Amy communicates with Lucy in the book. I REALLY loved Amy! There is a line in the book that actually says something like “Everyone needs an Amy in their lives!” and I couldn’t agree more!
- The ending wasn’t what I anticipated and that is a good thing. I thought the ending was appropriate and very satisfying.
- I hated how much responsibility the parents put on Lucy. I know it was a plot point and necessary for the story, but jeez! They sure expected a lot from her!
- Lucy’s mom was super selfish in my opinion. I did not like the mom character one bit.
YA romances can sometimes seem a little silly and overly dramatic to me. They are often written with some kind of contrived misunderstanding that everyone has to overcome for the “happily ever after” to happen. This book was totally different in my opinion. While this story also had a conflict to overcome, the conflict was authentic and serious… it felt realistic and not at all contrived. The romance between Lucy and Dov was really organic and genuine. Although their connection was quick, it really felt honest to me – and that is coming from an old, married reader!!
This is definitely a book I will recommend highly to mature young adult readers. I think a lot of young adults will relate to this story and enjoy it thoroughly.
Thank you NetGalley and Amberjack Publishing for a free electronic ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Expected publication March 5, 2019 by Amberjack Publishing.
My rating – 5 out of 5
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