I was so delighted when I found out that I was approved for the ARC of this. I absolutely adored, loved and enjoyed Sandy Hall’s previous book “A Little Something Different”, so I just knew I had to try and get this book.
The book is set in 3 POVs, though I have to say that most of the spotlight and most of the chapters go to Jane, followed by Teo, and then followed by Margo who only got a few chapters. Each of these 3 characters have something important going on in their lives. Teo is curious about his dad, and wishes to meet him or at least find out about him. Jane is insecure and doesn’t really know what to do with her future. Her parents, well… her mom, is pressing her to go to college, but she doesn’t want that yet. And then we have Margo, who is bisexual and afraid that her parents will disown her. They are all awesome characters and I really loved them all. Not directly, Margo was instant like, but Jane and Teo took me some time to like them. For some reason I got tired of Teo’s indecisiveness and his attitude towards his stepdad, while I was frustrated with Jane and her insecurity regarding her intellect, but also I was frustrated about how she thought about college.
But after a few chapters, finding out more about Teo, and finding out more about Jane, I saw two wonderful people who had some great abilities. Jane for instance kind of has plans for her future, and she still is thinking about it a lot. Something that I would say is normal for a girl her age. There aren’t a lot of people who know exactly what they want and how they want it at that age. Even older people often just don’t know about stuff. And Teo, after seeing how desperately his stepdad is trying to be some kind of friend or dad, I could imagine that he would want to find his real dad.
I really loved the story, and that we saw stuff happening from more than one POV. It gave the story some extra dimension, made it more fun and interesting. However, the story does start a bit slow, it took me a bit to get into it, and that is a shame. A book really needs to grab you by the nose from the start. Not 20, not 50, not 70 pages later.
The story takes place over the summer with each of them various things to do. Jane is babysitting (and those parts were just so much fun to read, Jane is great with kids, and I loved to read about the antics of those kids, really you got to keep an eye on that trio), Teo is working at the pool + of course doing the magic search for his dad, and Margo? Trying to connect with a certain someone (those parts were also really wonderful, though I had wished for more of them. It felt like Margo got the short end of the stick. And sure, I can imagine why, it is a love story, and Margo’s story just kind of falls out of that, but I still wish she could have had more of a spotlight. Maybe a novella? Or a book about Margo? I would so read and buy it!)
I also love that we had the magic 8 ball and how at times Jane asked it questions when she was in need of answers. 🙂
And this part I will put under the magical spoiler tags, as it isn’t really in the blurb. The budding romance between Teo and Jane was just so adorable and so cute. I really liked seeing them go from friends(????) to a crush, to denying that crush (mostly Jane, which was really fun, since her friends (and sister) just tried to make it clear to her that she really really loved the guy, and she would just shout no, and try to deny it), to something way more. And I have to say it was done really realistic. It wasn’t instant love, it took time for both of them to realize their feelings, to figure out what to do with them, to see if it was worth it and so much more. I also loved what Jane did near the end, it really shows that she truly cares. Sure, it was a bit crazy and a bit overkill, but I thought it was really nicely done. Plus, that part also gave us a lot of comedy and also some more background on mister dickhead, also known as Ravi.
Back to the romance. I am sure they will be a cute couple, and I hope they can work everything out.
However, there are 2 reasons why I didn’t rate this book a 5 stars, or 5+ stars. And that is Ravi, and the 2 mothers. Ravi was just a dick. I am not even going to go rant about him, he doesn’t deserve my time. Just this, the reason why he is such a dick towards Jane? WTF is wrong with you boy? Brain-damaged much?
And then we have Jane’s mom, who never listens to her daughter, but instead pushes, pushes and pushes her daughter to something that her daughter doesn’t want to. And she doesn’t even give her daughter the time or the day to prepare for a talk about stuff. No, if mom wants to talk, one has to talk. But if the daughter wants to start about it, oh no no no, that is just not done. rolls eyes
Lastly, the mother of Teo. I can understand her reasons why she did all this, but seriously, it is also just messed up and pathetic. Sorry, maybe this is mean, but that is how I feel.
But all in all, this is one amazing and fun book, and I would highly recommend it to everyone looking for a fun contemporary book with a lot of realistic issues (College or not? Sexuality. Real dads and families). As soon as this one comes out? I would say grab a copy and read it!