Publisher: Lovestruck Literary, July 5, 2011
You know that old cliché “you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet your prince” – well I think that fits in VERY nicely when discussing the wealth of free/cheap e-novels. I kiss a LOT of frogs (A LOT) in order to find a few even fairly decent books. But every now and then you come across a real gem…and that’s exactly what this book was for me. (Side note: I totally just spelled that “jem” and couldn’t figure out why my computer was telling me I was incorrect. My computer is so obviously not truly, truly, truly outrageous.)
Plot: To say that Taylor Beauforte has had an unconventional upbringing is an understatement. Her father is one of the most well-known rock stars in the entire world, her mom is more interested in partying with her LA friends than being a parent, and Taylor just wants to get through her summer reading list before the school year beings at her posh boarding school in Massachusetts. But when her mother OD’s during the summer before her senior year Taylor’s life completely changes. Rather than spending days relaxing, reading, and practicing the violin she now has to travel around the US with her superstar father, his new wife, their young daughter, and a zillion hangers-on. Taylor is bereft at the prospect of leaving her bff Allison, her home in LA, and the hope that one day Allison’s hottie older brother Todd will wake up and realize he and Taylor are Meant To Be. But even sensible, down-to-Earth Taylor is changed by life on the road, the peer pressure to fit in with the daughters of her dad’s drummer, and the affections of hottie t-shirt seller Jake.
Review: Every now and then I read a YA novel that reminds me SO much of what it felt like to be an insane, unpredictable, overly-emotional, boy-crazy teenager that I feel like I’ve been overly harsh with all other YA novels. While my life is nothing like Taylor’s in most ways (although I’m still waiting for the birthday when my TRUE parents – who are glamorous movie stars and/or royalty – will come to claim me) her whole experience really spoke to me. Can I explain why this book as opposed to a bazillion others hit that spot? Yes.
Here’s the truth – I loved this book, and the reason why is 100% Taylor. Does she make stupid decisions? Yes. Is she sometimes overly selfish? Yes. Does she make some very awesome aesthetic choices along the way? Hell yes (I’m a Coach purse addict so I approve of that decision!). I cringed, I yelled, I hated Taylor, I loved Taylor, I hated Taylor’s friends, I loved Taylor’s friends, heck I think there might even have been a squee at one point. All I can tell you is the entire time I was reading the book there was not a single scene/sentence/word that seemed out of place or manufactured. I will for sure be reading the next book in this series.
In the end I’m going to give this one a 10 out of 10.
Based on the following criteria:
How much did I like the heroine: 10. I thought Taylor was an amazing person. First of all – how does such a grounded person emerge from the chaos that is her life? No clue. There were so many instances in which I, who is theoretically “an adult” (sorry to all other actual adults for comparing myself to you), was freaking out for her. She makes some moderately bad decisions but she’s 15! And yet even though she gets herself into a few compromising situations she never actually compromises her morals or sense of who she wants to be. I found this to be beyond admirable.
How much did I like the love interest: Errr. Well this one is tough to answer because I hate to spoil the book. Jake, Todd, Brian (#2)…who will Taylor choose? So I’m going to spoil this a little by giving it a 10 because what Taylor realizes is that while her own mother made A WHOLE LOT of really seriously bad decisions, at the end of she chose her own sense of self-worth over being “X’s girlfriend”. And Taylor does the same – which is so NOT what I would have done at her age but is what I’d like to think I’d do now. Which, btw, is not to say that I think Taylor ends up alone because I think we’ll find out in the subsequent books that she ends up with such a sweet, smart, cute, amazing guy. (Side note: I am so sappy about this book! I’m getting sick of myself.)
How believable is the plot: 10. I have no doubt all this stuff could happen. I’ll let you know for sure when my royal/Brangelina real parents show up.
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 10. I’ve got nothing bad to say.
How much did I want to keep reading: 10. I literally curled up, randomly started reading this, and did not stop.
Glasses of wine I drank while reading: 0. YOU GUYS. 0. None. Nada. Zip. I started the book and did not move until I finished it. This might be a first time ever for me. And it wasn’t even 7am!
Final Score: 10/10. Was it as swoon-worthy as some of our other 10 books? Nope. But so realistic , and well-written, and honest, and….don’t make me keep going on, just please take my advice and read it! (And it’s free right now!!!)