While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with theWhile backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.
Love, Lucy is the story of a young woman discovering what she wants out of life, if she's willing to take risks and follow her dreams or stay grounded.
Lucy is a young woman not sure of what or where she wants to be, shaped by a priviledged background and a controlling father. Europe is a break from the pressures of home, an escape to be who she wants to before returning to become someone else. She's caught between living her own life and fulfilling her side of a promise made. It's a sticky situation. Then she meets Jesse, a young man who's living as he wants to without a lot tying him down. He makes her feel happy, he reminds her what it's like to be on stage. But summers never last.
Lucy's relationship with father isn't the worst, he's not overbearing and abusive, but it's not the best. He's essentially buying her off with the trip to Europe in exchange for her studying what he wants her to. He doesn't care about her own passions, her dreams of being a singer and an actress. Because of his callous attitude, his tossed-aside comments of how the odds are good that she'll fail miserably, Lucy becomes a shell of herself. Instead of battling him, she runs, hides, and capitulates. None of this is healthy. Yes, not everyone who wants to be an actress makes it, but part of being a parent is supporting your children emotionally and not just financially. And Lucy also shoulders some of the blame by agreeing, but not arguing her case stronger. Of course, if she had refused outright, he wouldn't have paid for the trip or her college tuition and this would've been a different book altogether.
This is a coming of age story, and it's a rather common one. Lucy suffers from the same problem a lot of young people have, that no everyone goes off to college right after high school knowing what they want to do in the future. Those eight to ten years are when you really figure yourself out. What kind of person you are, what kind of person you want to be in a relationship with, what you're passionate about and whether you want to make a career out of it. I'm not sure that this is Lucy's full coming of age, the book only covers a few months. She's still young, but this seems to be the most significant part in her life. This will shape her. It's up to her to decide if she'll be broken or whole.
I do wonder if I should've read Forster's A Room with a View before reading this. From what I've seen, Forster's Lucy is trying to find her place in the world, caught between polite society's conventions and true love. But that's what this Lucy is trying to do as well. The time period and circumstances are different but their struggles are the same. Should they follow the path laid out before them, the path they've been made to walk all their lives, or do their follow their hearts and race off in a different direction? I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Gayle Forman's Just One Day and Just One Year.
(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Hachette Book Group Canada.)...more
For Trevor normal was fast guitar licks, catching game-winning passes and partying all night. Until a car accident leaves Trevor with no band, no teamFor Trevor normal was fast guitar licks, catching game-winning passes and partying all night. Until a car accident leaves Trevor with no band, no teammates and no chance of graduating. It's kinda hard to ace your finals when you've been in a coma. The last thing he needs is stuck-up Everly Jenkins as his new tutor—those beautiful blue eyes catching every last flaw. For Everly normal was a perfect family around the dinner table, playing piano at Sunday service and sunning by the pool. Until she discovers her whole life is a lie. Now the perfect pastor's daughter is hiding a life-changing secret, one that is slowly tearing her family apart. And spending the summer with notorious flirt Trevor Lewis means her darkest secret could be exposed.
Some Kind of Normal is a look at two teens trying to figure out how to get their lives back on track, back to normal, because they don't feel like what they have now is anywhere close. But what is normal?
Trevor is trying to get back to where he was before the accident. Before the traumatic brain injury, the coma, and the seizures. Everly is wishing her family was back the way it used to be. Before she discovered a secret of her father's, before she realized he wasn't who she thought he was. Both wish they could go back to before but they can't, and they're struggling to keep from falling under the waves of sadness and frustration. There's hope in their voices but it's drowned out by sorrow and anger. And they're just hoping it will all fix itself, they're keeping everything else inside and not relying on anyone for help. Not talking about it. Pretending it didn't happen and things can be normal again. But that never works.
What is normal? Normal is a lie, there is no normal. It's just seeing how put together everyone else looks and wanting to be like that. It's not wanting to stand out, to be stared at and pointed at, to be talked about behind out backs. It's wanting to blend in. We spend out lives searching for something that doesn't exist. Being "normal" is impossible so stop searching for it. Instead, just be you. Be happy, be healthy. Be around those you care about who also care about you. And talk about what's worrying you.
I found that Trevor's post-coma struggles were rather realistic, similar to Trina St. Jean's Blank. He wouldn't just bounce back once he woke up. There would've been a good amount of rehab, of setbacks, of new conditions and hurdles to climb over. It wasn't simple. I do think this book highlights the stress that some teens put themselves through by keeping all their concerns and problems locked away, the struggle that teens go through to put up a façade so they look "normal." It isn't healthy, it rarely works out, because it all gets exposed sooner or later. I would definitely recommend this to fans of the author's previous YA novel as well as fans of contemporary romance.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Sourcebooks through NetGalley.)...more
Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. InsteadCallie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!
Drama is funny and sweet, a wonderfully drawn and told story. It's an entertaining look at friendship, young love, crushes, and what goes on backstage during a middle school theatre production. No matter what's going on, onstage or offstage, there's bound to be drama.
Callie is kind, creative, smart. She's so excited about being part of the stage crew, she's got so many ideas on how it could be the best production ever. But like any kid with ideas, like any person in general with ideas and hopes and dreams, she's stuck because of that tunnel-vision. She can only see what she's aiming for, gathering in the people and things around her, when looking at the bigger picture might be better. But that's what happens when you're a kid, when you're devoted 24/7 to something and you want the world to see it. Obstacles? Challenges? Drama? Everything will work out. Until it doesn't.
What's fun and interesting about this book is as much as it's about Callie and her ideas, it's about her and her relationships with her friends and family. Being friends, having crushes, getting nervous around boys and girls, not understanding their actions and decisions when they sort of ruin things. At this age, it's all one big mess of hope, excitement, and developing hormones. And it's all anchored by Raina's bright, clear, realistic artwork.
Rare in middle grade fiction is the book that includes and semi-focuses LGBTQ characters. But why is that? There are coming out stories told by people who knew when they were young that they were gay. It's not something you realize when you hit high school or college. So why aren't there more middle grade books for those kids who are starting to realize they don't have crushes on kids of the opposite gender? Or that they have crushes on both? It's a bit easy for the kids in this book, they aren't hated or avoided because it's discovered that they're gay. Sometimes it is, sometimes the people close to you accept it and continue on, but other times it's not that simple. It's far more painful and frightening.
There's something about this book that screams fun and excitement. There are hard times, yes. Nothing is perfect. There were bound to be fires to put out. Just look at the title.
(I borrowed a copy of this book from the library.)...more
The truth is that Jess knows she screwed up. She's made mistakes, betrayed her best friend, and now she's paying for it. Her dad is making her spend tThe truth is that Jess knows she screwed up. She's made mistakes, betrayed her best friend, and now she's paying for it. Her dad is making her spend the whole summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen. The truth is she wishes she was the care-free party-girl everyone thinks she is. She pretends it's all fine. That her "perfect" family is fine. But it's not. And no one notices the lie... until she meets Flynn. He's the only one who really sees her. The only one who listens. The truth is that Jess is falling apart – and no one seems to care. But Flynn is the definition of "the wrong side of the tracks." When Jess's parents look at him they only see the differences-not how much they need each other. They don't get that the person who shouldn't fit in your world... might just be the one to make you feel like you belong.
The Truth About Us is smart and honest, the story of a teen girl coming to terms with her mistakes, her imperfect perfect family, and with finding the one person who makes everything feel better.
Jess is smart but reckless. Compassionate, understanding. Trying to escape the unspoken words that fill her house. The soup kitchen isn't somewhere she wants to be at the beginning, but it shows her another side of living, the less privileged side. The side that needs a helping hand more often than not. She learns from being there, but a number of people don't see that. They constantly see her as flighty and foolish. They don't think she understands. They think she's just playing with Flynn, trying him out like he's a sweater or a pair of shoes she can return if she gets tired of it fast enough. Maybe she doesn't know everything about the world, but she's not as clueless as some people think.
This book says a lot about privilege, both racial and financial. Jess has a lot. Her family lives in a big house in a nice neighbourhood. Her and her sister share a nice car. Her mother can afford not to work (when you take away the reason why she's currently not working, it's not that she doesn't work but that she can't work). On the other side in Flynn, whose mother works constantly to pay the bills, who lives where it isn't the nicest or the most crime free, who relies on the soup kitchen for healthy meals for he and his brother. Jess is white. Flynn is biracial, his mother Asian. Because of where they live, what they look like, people assume a lot about them. That Jess is spoiled, that she doesn't understand hardship. That Flynn is trouble, that he'll only drag Jess down. Working at the kitchen makes Jess realize a number of things. That she's lucky. That the people who use soup kitchens and shelters aren't bad people. That you can't judge people so easily. There's no perfect solution, though, but this book does highlight the start of something for Jess.
Like Janet Gurtler's previous books, this doesn't pull its punches. No one has it easy and everyone needs to learn something after making mistakes. This also says a number of things about female friendship and family dynamics, about speaking up and speaking out. About being honest when you're tired of living surrounded by lies and denial. A definite must-read for fans of contemporary YA.
(I received an advance copy of this title from Raincoast Books.)...more
Princess Snow is missing. Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punishPrincess Snow is missing. Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back-but that's assuming she wants to return at all. Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines. When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane's arrival was far from accidental, and she's pulled into the heart of a war she's risked everything to avoid.
Stitching Snow is an intriguing mystery all about a mysterious girl on a cold planet and the secrets in her past that can't stay hidden any longer. But she's torn between hiding and confronting those secrets, between keeping herself from reliving that pain and keeping the solar system from going to war.
Essie is a strong girl, a girl perfectly happy staying where she is and working hard. Doing battle in cage fights, showing tough men that she can take care of herself, repairing the drones that work in the mines. She has her reasons for fighting. She wants to make sure that the men know she can protect herself, that she can fight back, that she'll never be used or be a victim again. Which I have to applaud. She's not whining about being on Thanda. It's not the best place to be, but she's carved out her own little spot, she's proved she can survive. She has a place where she can be safe. But then Dane crashes nearby and ruins everything.
I don't usually elaborate on the romance unless it's a love triangle that I thought was done well (or not), but this is an exception. There's no love triangle (unless it's between Essie, Dane, and Dimwit), but there is a moment that made me sit up and respect the romance. Essie and Dane, though mistake and circumstance and kidnapping, are drawn to each other. But they have bigger things to worry about, like saving innocent people. Like surviving. As much as they acknowledge that there's something there, that they might be getting too involved with each other, they understand that their budding romance isn't a priority. It was a mature, rather adult decision to make. And it's not ignored, it's always there, waiting for when they're not constantly looking over their shoulders.
There are hints and pieces of Snow White in this fairy tale retelling, but not so much that it felt like I was reading something too familiar. I can see where people are coming from when they compare it to Marissa Meyer's Cinder, but there are enough differences for me that I can enjoy them for different reasons. Cinder for discovering her past and her strength, Essie for confronting her past and unleashing her strength.
This book is part discovery, part self-discovery, and part journey to confront those monsters under the bed. It works well as a standalone and I'm satisfied with the ending. I imagine this will appear to fans of fairy tale retellings set in outer space and quirky robot companions.
(I received an e-galley of this title from Hachette Book Group Canada through NetGalley.)...more
When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferentWhen Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.
I found this to be an entertaining new version of the classic Pride & Prejudice, updated but still so familiar, so faithful to Austen's original tale. As the popularity of comics, manga, and graphic novels continues to grow, as well as the updating and modernizing of classic tales of literature, I see no harm in books like this. Even though I went in knowing the story, I turned each page with excitement, wondering how the story would be portrayed next through the artwork.
The language used by the characters was rather faithful to the time period, perhaps with a few modern terms or inflections. And the artwork is gorgeous, the characters all fully realized with differences to help tell them apart, the sprawling English countryside landscapes and grand country estates. I will admit that the artwork tends toward the romantic, emphasizing Elizabeth's charms and Darcy's expressionless brooding, Jane's loveliness and Bingley's exuberance. It reminded me of certain things found in shoujo (manga aimed at girls) and josei (manga aimed at adult women) manga: sweeping romances, emotions, relationships. On the other hand, the way certain other characters were portrayed made it hard to like them, like Mrs. Bennett would would obsess over marrying off her daughters to rich men so she would in turn be rich, waving her arms about, and the bumbling Mr. Collins, who looked more like a Who from Whoville and less like a human being.
This was so much fun to read, to see the classic tale portrayed in this way. The serious tone brought on by prejudice, wealth, societal customs and rules, status, and pride continued throughout the book, as well as the romance. As well as Elizabeth's learnings and lessons to not judge by appearance, to observe and listen, to take time before forming an opinion on someone. To look past flaws and see what kind of person is truly standing before her. I hope readers will go into this excited and optimistic.
(A note for future readers that this book reads right to left, as manga traditionally does, and to not get flustered. There is a small guide at the start of the book that will/should help with this.)...more
This is the story of a wild girl and a ghost girl; a boy who knew nothing and a boy who thought he knew everything. It's a story about Skylark Martin,This is the story of a wild girl and a ghost girl; a boy who knew nothing and a boy who thought he knew everything. It's a story about Skylark Martin, who lives with her father and brother in a vintage record shop in St. Kilda and is trying to find her place in the world. It's about ten-year-old Super Agent Gully and his case of a lifetime. And about beautiful, reckless, sharp-as-knives Nancy. It's about tragi-hot Luke, and just-plain-tragic Mia Casey. It's about the dark underbelly of a curious neighborhood. It's about summer, and weirdness, and mystery, and music. And it's about life and death and grief and romance. All the good stuff.
Girl Defective is honest, painful, and realistic. This book is an eye-opening experience for a number of characters, not just Sky, and a coming of age for her. Everyone is defective in some way, every acts and reacts differently in certain situations. Everyone is different.
Who is Sky? What is the world? She's trying to figure it all out, like why people do what they do. Like why her mom left, why her dad hides in records and beer, why Nancy lives carefree and parties, why her brother Gully won't take off that rubber pig snout, and why Luke is so distant and closed off. She's also trying to figure out herself at the same time, like what she wants to do and who she is. Why she keeps all of her mom's old clothes and leaves semi-cruel messages on her website.
The setting seems perfect for a rude awakening coming of age story. Sky's home, St. Kilda, sounds like it's caught between the past and the future. Slightly crumbling, old, rough around the edges. It's a little hard, a little harsh, but it's realistic and also unique. The record store was also an interested place, a number of important things happen in it and above it in the apartment. It's like a time capsule, where classic rock lives on.
Growing up sucks. It's hard, it's painful. It's something that, when we come up against it, we don't want to do it. But growing up is all about navigating those hard and painful times and, hopefully, coming out on the other side. Lessons learned and realized. I think that's what this book is for Sky. She's coming face to face with the idea that things aren't perfect, that people aren't always who she thought they were. That you can't keep things from changing.
(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Simon & Schuster Canada.)...more
When 16-year-old Raina Resnick is expelled from her Manhattan private school, she's sent to live with her strict aunt — but Raina feels like she's perWhen 16-year-old Raina Resnick is expelled from her Manhattan private school, she's sent to live with her strict aunt — but Raina feels like she's persona non grata no matter where she goes. Her sister, Leah, blames her for her broken engagement, and she's a social pariah at her new school in Toronto. In the tight-knit Jewish community, Raina finds she is good at one thing: matchmaking! As the anonymous "MatchMaven," Raina sets up hopeless singles desperate to find the One. A cross between Jane Austen's Emma, Dear Abby, and Yenta the matchmaker, Raina's double life soon has her barely staying awake in class. Can she find the perfect match for her sister and get back on her good side, or will her tanking grades mean a second expulsion?
Playing with Matches is funny, witty, and clever. This is one girl's unexpected journey through the hopeful single Jewish community of Toronto. It has its perks, but it also has it drawbacks, and Raina has to be careful or else everything will fall apart at her feet.
Raina's just trying to survive this new and unwanted life of hers. She's trying to survive her sister's sadness and anger, trying to figure out where she fits in. Trying to figure out how she's suddenly a matchmaker. She's the kind of girl who wants to help out, but most of the time it's because she's been roped into it. She has her negative qualities. She judges nearly everyone at face value, she has secrets in her past that she'd rather stay hidden. But when it comes to family, like Leah, she'll try as hard as she can to make it all better.
She certainly falls into matchmaking by accident. It's certainly not something she'd planned for herself in the future. And it's not easy. It doesn't take her long to realize that it's more than just matching up two single people and hoping they'll have something in common beyond not wanting to be single any longer. You have to know people in certain ways, know what they want and what they don't, know what they really need from a partner, and hope you know someone who will fill that role. Raina has it extra hard because she barely knows these people and because of all the pressure they've put on her to save them from being single. As she says, she's only sixteen. What does she know about dating and romance that they don't?
I thought the pacing was great. It was hard for me to put this down once I started reading. This book was just so much fun to read. The characters, Raina's friends and family, were interesting. They sounded like regular people with regular problems. The Orthodox Jewish community is one I'm not familiar with and I enjoyed reading about it (I'm not Jewish, so I don't feel I can comment on the accuracy of the customs and religion portrayed here). With a clever and trying heroine and a quirky cast of supporting characters, this is definitely a must-read for fans of contemporary stories and realistic fiction.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from ECW Press through NetGalley.)...more
Fairest is a look into the past of a cruel and controlling tyrant, the beginning of her and her rule. The beginning of everything.
It's hard to feel anFairest is a look into the past of a cruel and controlling tyrant, the beginning of her and her rule. The beginning of everything.
It's hard to feel any small amount of compassion towards Levana, knowing what she becomes, knowing the crimes she is guilty of, knowing how much blood is on her hands, but those short moments of sympathy do exist. It's because her true self is found here, in the pages of this book. A sad, scarred, lonely girl, unloved by those she wants to love her and bullied by a crass and uncaring sister. If it wasn't for her glamour, if she couldn't hide her scars, then I imagine she would be nothing. Nothing but a shell of a person, hiding from the world. Of course, it's just as likely that she wouldn't blind everyone so they would never see what she truly looks like.
Obsession fills her. The desire to be seen as beautiful, perfect. The desire to be loved, by everyone and by one person in particular. Nothing else matters, no obstacle will keep her from making him hers. However, the most frightening thing about Levana isn't the depths of her obsession, the lengths she'll go to get what she wants, but her intelligence. Her sister's flippant attitude towards anything serious gives Levana the chance to show she can make the tough decisions needed to rule over the Moon. That, combined with her obsession, make her an unstoppable force.
The series is here in its entirety, the bits and pieces that make up the beginning are present in the background of Levana's tragic tale. The disease and its cure, the plans for an army with animal instinct, the doctors and scientists before they disappear, the plots and plans to gain control over Earth. I do wonder what it would be like to read this without reading the previous three books, how the story would unfold that way.
This is definitely a must-read for fans of the series, for those desperate over waiting for Winter. As sad as this story is, it was still interesting to see how it all started, where it all started. Why Levana is the way she is. This is an intriguing character study.
(I received a finished copy of this title to review from Raincoast Books.)...more
I found this book intriguing, I was initially drawn in the by the premise, but it just moved a bit too slowly for me to enjoy it more. It's certainlyI found this book intriguing, I was initially drawn in the by the premise, but it just moved a bit too slowly for me to enjoy it more. It's certainly filled with mystery and intrigue, the tension is slowly pushed higher and higher as the book goes on. There were just some slow moments that bothered me. And I do wish the mythology had been a bit more clear at times. Which goddess of hope was Nadia? Greek? Roman? Norse? A little more world-building/backstory could've helped.
Of course, I would definitely recommend this book to those looking to read an intriguing mix of mythology, mystery, romance, and an interesting cast of characters. It has all of those in spades....more
It's 5:00 a.m. on Fifth Avenue, and 16-year-old Gemma Beasley is standing in front of Tiffany & Co. wearing the perfect black dress with her coffeIt's 5:00 a.m. on Fifth Avenue, and 16-year-old Gemma Beasley is standing in front of Tiffany & Co. wearing the perfect black dress with her coffee in hand—just like Holly Golightly. As the cofounder of a successful Tumblr blog—Oh Yeah Audrey!—devoted to all things Audrey Hepburn, Gemma has traveled to New York in order to meet up with her fellow bloggers for the first time. She has meticulously planned out a 24-hour adventure in homage to Breakfast at Tiffany's; however, her plans are derailed when a glamorous boy sweeps in and offers her the New York experience she's always dreamed of. Gemma soon learns who her true friends are and that, sometimes, no matter where you go, you just end up finding yourself.
Oh Yeah, Audrey! is the story of one girl's day in New York City, her attempt to recreate events from the classic film Breakfast at Tiffany's, and what actually ends up happening.
I'm not so sure that this was the book for me. I thought it would be fun, sweet, and entertaining. At times it was, but other times some things felt too convenient, like some of the people she met. The book takes place over a 24-hour period and doesn't leave much time for character development. I guess I wanted Gemma to be constantly figuring something out, figuring herself out, instead of a slap to the face and a rude awakening.
I'm sure there are some who will enjoy reading this, Audrey Hepburn fans and New York City fans, fans of books where a girl goes on a journey to the big city to find herself. A girl who's making her own decisions. Instead of that, I saw a girl running away, a girl who followed around someone because of what she was given, a girl who was a bit too blinded by the bright city lights and the chance to pretend to be Holly Golightly. Instead of a girl taking charge and having fun, I saw a girl playing dress-up and get strung along by a pretty boy. It had its moments, but again, maybe not the book for me.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Abrams Books through NetGalley.)...more
After being entrusted with her brother's Los Angeles apartment for the summer as a graduation gift, Emi Price isn't sure how to fulfill his one conditAfter being entrusted with her brother's Los Angeles apartment for the summer as a graduation gift, Emi Price isn't sure how to fulfill his one condition: that something great take place there while he's gone. Emi may be a talented young production designer, already beginning to thrive in the competitive film industry, but she still feels like an average teen, floundering when it comes to romance. But when she and best friend Charlotte discover a mysterious letter at the estate sale of a Hollywood film legend, Emi must move beyond the walls of her carefully crafted world to chase down the loose ends of a movie icon's hidden life, leading her to uncover a decades' old secret and the potential for something truly epic: love.
Everything Leads to You is sweet and fun, an unexpected adventure into the behind the scenes world of movie-making and young love.
Emi is intelligent, a creative young woman with a lot going for her in terms of a career in film. She has supportive parents, an awesome brother, and a wonderful best friend. But when it comes to girlfriends? Not so much. Which is fine, in theory, but not when her on-again/off-again girlfriend can't make up her mind. Then comes Ava, gorgeous and broken Ava, and Emi's heart lights up. As she's working on the film that could give her young career a massive boost, she's drawn in more and move by Ava. At times it feels like Emi romanticizes Ava a bit too much, making her seem larger than life when she's just as young and struggling as Emi is. But all of this is a learning experience for Emi, so she's bound to learn something along the way.
I found the production design aspect rather interesting. It's creating but in a different way. Not creating the story but still bringing it to life. The actual tables and chairs that will make up a character's kitchen. The contents of the shelves in a bathroom. But what an assistant pictures might not be what their boss or the director pictures. They're creating the world, yes, but it's someone else's world. Emi gets a bit of tunnel vision when she puts together some rooms and sets. She pictures what would be perfect, but perfect for her interpretation, and that differs from what her boss is going for. It's okay that she doesn't see that at the beginning. She's already passionate about her work, but she's young. She has her whole career in front of her. She can take this time to learn.
What's refreshing about this book is it isn't a coming out story. It isn't even the main part, and so it just appears, effortlessly. This is a finding yourself story for Emi, and she already knows who she is when it comes to being a lesbian. It's just the rest of her life she's trying to sort out.
This book was an unexpected discovery. I wasn't sure if I'd like it when it started, but it didn't take long to join Emi and Charlotte on their summer adventure. Designing sets, uncovering Holloywood mysteries, discovering new people and places. A definite must-read for fans of contemporary YA, behind the scenes movie secrets, and sweet love stories.