Kaitlyn's life has been stuck in neutral- a lonely girl trying her best not to stand out. But by not standing out, she never really fit in. When an imKaitlyn's life has been stuck in neutral- a lonely girl trying her best not to stand out. But by not standing out, she never really fit in. When an impulsive decision leads her to the local wild child and her quirky group of perfectly imperfect friends, she's immersed in a world she never knew existed. In this summer before college, she learns about friendship, falling in love, heartbreak, and how sometimes you just need to take a leap of faith in order to soar. Through unlikely friendships, she'll finally find the spark to chase her dreams and to live life, not just survive it.
I enjoyed this book. Was it my favorite? No. Would I read it again? Possibly. More importantly, would I recommend it to a friend? Yes.
After reading the book, I would say the synopsis for the book is excellent. Kaitlyn is everyone's friend yet no one's friend. She is the girl you remember from high school as a person who was nice but that is all anyone really knew about her. Kaitlyn realizes this about herself during high school graduation and spontaneously decides to take a chance. We follow Kaitlyn further down the rabbit hole as she leaves some of her passive ways behind and embraces change. You get the feeling from the very beginning that each of Kaitlyn's new friends has his or her own story to tell. Mackenzie Herbert has created a cast of characters with enough range to them that each one could easily each have his or her own book. Each time there was a glimpse into another character's back story, I found myself interested in learning more.
During the first half of the book, I felt a little disconnected at times from Kaitlyn. Every time I thought I was starting to connect with her, the style of writing would push me back away again. That might not be the case for other readers. I have found that I have a hard time connecting with books that use a lot of descriptive words. For example,
"We wandered into a hazy basement, where beams of syrupy light shone on sweaty bodies, swaying against each other. The music played loudly through the walls and the hallway. People were crammed against each other in the corners of the room, possessed by the music. I could feel it, too. The music and the mood snaked its way down my throat and into my veins. It was all so dreamlike, beautiful, and distorted."
This style of writing for me is like a delicious dessert that ended up being so oversweet that I could no longer fully enjoy it. I think for this reason, I wasn't completely drawn into the story until the second half of the book but when that happened, I was hooked. There was a little more dialogue between characters and fewer descriptive phrases, which helped me invest more fully in the characters. The second half of the story is where the author uncovers more of the other characters’ backstories. I think I also started to become more used to the author’s style of writing and started to skim some of the descriptive phrases to get to the heart of the story.
This is a quick read, being only 212 pages, but don't let the length fool you. Mackenzie Herbert manages to create a story with a lot of depth in a short number of pages--enough depth that I think this book would be a great addition to any book club or classroom.
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. As I stated in the beginning of my review, I enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more by Mackenzie Herbert. ...more
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