My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A very emotional and occasionally heartbreaking read. The story may not be the most original but it’s very well written. I found it difficult to put down and devoured the whole thing in one sitting.
Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She’s ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic—one of opportunities and chances.
Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.
Now Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.
For what she let happen.
With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when her and her friends’ entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?
Phew, that was emotional. I can’t remember the last time I cried so much reading a book, it should really come with a warning or at least a free box of tissues.
I started this early(ish) on Sunday morning planning just to read a few chapters before I got up and got on with my day but once I started I literally couldn’t put it down and demolished the whole thing in one go, bawling my eyes out for probably half of it.
I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on the plot but it’s a not unfamiliar story in YA contemporary. It’s about how you live with the consequences and the guilt of one wrong decision, one mistake that changes your life and the lives of those around you forever. Main character Lena Wise has her whole life in front of her but that all changes at a party when she doesn’t listen to her instincts and makes that one mistake that I’m sure many others have and probably will.
I really liked Lena for the majority of this book. She has a lot to deal with and doesn’t always act the way she should but I could definitely relate to her and a lot of her actions are very understandable. I could very easily imagine myself acting in the same way even though hopefully I’ll never find out. The highlight of the story for me was however boy next door Sebastian. I’m not sure he’s wholly believable as a teenage boy (he’s just too good to be true) but he’s just sooo sweet and funny and lovely I could definitely understand why Lena had a major crush.
There is a little bit of romance but it too is very sweet and not at all heavy. I absolutely adored Lena and Seb together before everything changed for them and even afterwards I loved how he tried to stick by her despite her pushing him away.
This story does deal with some very heavy issues but it does it in a very responsible way. There are the proper consequences and it gives the right messages without ever really becoming too preachy.
There is definitely a lot of good in this book, there were however a few things that forced me to knock a star off my rating. Firstly, it’s just not original enough. The writing is great and the storyline really got to me but I’ve read it before, more than once. I do think it has messages that are worth repeating but I would have really liked something to make it stand out from the rest.
Secondly, I didn’t 100% buy into the friendship between Lena, Megan, Abbi and Darynda. I’m not sure why but there was something about it that just didn’t feel true to me. Possibly it was just that it was more tell than show. And lastly, the plugging of books written by the authors friends just really irritated me. If the main character is a big reader she would get through more books than just the ones by those two authors.
These are fairly minor niggles and despite them I did find myself completely immersed in the story. If you like YA contemporaries I think you’ll enjoy it. Just don’t expect it to be too original, and make sure you have a lot of tissues.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC. As always all views are my own.