I will leave the next part there, because it showed clearly how I thought when I just finished the book. After that part the real review will begin. Sorry if the review is a bit chaotic, I am still so overcome with feelings, and it is hard to organize my feelings and thoughts for this book, but I will try my best. Also this will be a long long review!
So screw groceries, I just had to finish this book first. 😀
And this will be in caps, because while I know caps aren’t cool, this book definitely is, and I just need to shout out my feelings. THIS BOOK WAS BEAUTIFUL, GORGEOUS, FABULOUS. READ IT NOW!
coughsIt had amazing characters, sweet romance, a father-daughter relationship, a summer full of firsts, and so so so so so fucking much more. Everyone you should read this because Morgan Matson…. she did it again, she wrote yet another fantastic book, yet another book that will grab you, pull you into the world and not drop you until you are finished, and even then you are still in that world, still with Andie, still with Clark, still with Andie’s friends.
READ THIS GUYS, read it! Now!
I am a huge fan of Morgan Matson books (all of them are 5 stars (might even be more, but I didn’t have the 5+ star rating until not that long ago)), so imagine my delight when I saw there was another book coming out written by her. I was delighted, I was fangirling, I did a lovely book shimmy, and then I ran to Amazon to pre-order the book.
And then the book came in, and I while I wanting to read it immediately I had some books I wanted to read first, but then I started this one, and tried to stretch it out as much as I could (because I really didn’t want this book to be over so soon, so fast).
Now it is finished and I am still totally amazed at the whole book. It has everything that I love about books, from likeable and fun characters (even Toby though that changed a bit at the end), to cute romance, to character growth, to again a summer full of firsts, and several other ingredients. I also loved the realism in this one, the father-daughter relationship (and how that grew over the summer, how they spoke about the things that didn’t get spoken of for many years, how they did a lot of things together, but you could also see how bumpy it was in the beginning. Which made the changes that happened even better.), the fact that our MC Andie learns to let things go, to find someone who she loves, breaking the boundaries that she has kept so long in relationships with other guys, she learns so much in this book and it is amazing.
Yes, I didn’t totally like Andie in the beginning, I found her a bit spoiled, her dating ideas a bit weird (more on that in a bit), I found her a bit stuck-up, a bit too much. She was only thinking about her future, about her summer of work, work and studying. Sure, that could also grow to be a nice character, but I am sure I wouldn’t have liked her as much as I did with Andie.
And yes, it took a bit, but as soon as I saw the reasons why, as soon as I saw her change, as soon as I saw that there was another Andie underneath, I was delighted and I fell in love with the character and I began cheering for her. She deserved happiness, she deserved a summer with much more than just thinking of her future. Future is important, I get that, but it is something that I see more often in US books, kids studying till they go stir crazy, kids not picking a fun job, but instead pick something that would look good on an application. It is a culture thing, I get it, but it still feels weird and not right to me. You still have those summers now, but when you work, you won’t just have so much free time, so why not make them fun while they last?
Now back to Andie. She was a really interesting character, sure I was shocked when she said the only things she really read were textbooks (!!!!!). I loved how dedicated she was to her new summer job, how she even studied, how she even took care of everything in regards to her car, how she even tried doing more than just what was normal. And thanks to this she found a new purpose in life. I won’t say what exactly, but let me just say that I was happy for her, that even though she couldn’t do what she truly wanted to do, she didn’t linger, she went to find something new, and thanks to that something she found something new to love, something that changed her future.
I wasn’t entirely sure about her dating ideas. Her ideas were as following: she would date a guy 3 weeks, nothing further than kissing, and then she would dump them (not sure if it also happened the other way around). I was like: wait, what? That doesn’t sound like a good idea. But hey, whatever floats your boat. If this makes you happy then go ahead.
And this part under the spoiler will be about the romance between Andie and well a certain very cute boy.
And yes, I will put this under spoiler tags as I don’t want to spoil what happens when Andie meets Clark.
At first she was just annoyed with him, but I knew that she would fall in love with this guy. That this guy would be her first in everything. In showing interest and actually asking all the questions instead of polite conversation (as it seems she always did with guys). In helping her break her boundaries, and showing her a new world in love. In showing her that she could be loved, and she would find love. In showing that he would be there for her. Clark was just perfect, and they were so adorable together. They really had a sparkling chemistry, and I was just so happy for both of them. Of course it was scary, for Andie, because she was so used to dating and then stopping after 3 weeks, but now she found herself head over heels, not wanting this relationship to just stop and be over.
Of course stuff does happen and she is so confused, especially when her life at home, and also her friendship take a spin down the drain, that she doesn’t know what to do when Clark makes a big announcement. On the one hand I was angry at her. Gahhhh, just be honest about your feelings! But on the other hand I could understand why she did it. Everything was spiralling out of her control, and she couldn’t have another thing being uncertain, another thing that wasn’t in her control.
After that I was a bit frustrated, but I knew things would be right, and they do, in Morgan Matson’s fantastic fashion. What Andie does to make things right? It was just perfection and I adored it so much, I was so happy for both of the characters, and I just loved the reaction of the crowd when stuff happened.
Clark and Andie were just made for each other, it sounds cheesy, I know, but I just feel that it is the truth.
I could go on and on about Clark and Andie, but I think I have said what I wanted. Btw I just loved how she couldn’t stop looking at Clark’s abs when she knew he had those. It was hilarious, and so adorable.
We also have Andie’s friends, and I really liked them. A lot of times I had no clue what Toby was texting though. It seems to be all the rage to do stuff in emoji, but sadly I generally read them just as they are posted, so yeah, not for me.
I loved their friendship, but I was a bit worried about it. It seemed so perfect, so wonderful, and I just had the feeling Morgan Matson would do something about that friendship, that she would put in an event that might do something to it. I don’t know how, or why, but I just had that feeling. It might sound weird, I know. 🙂
And she did. I knew from the moment of that scavenger hunt that something had tipped the balance, that something had happened. Though I am not that angry at Bri for what she did. Nor am I that angry with Andie for keeping the secret (but telling it to her boyfriend). If anything I am pissed at Toby. She was just so selfish, so bleh. I mean, yes, you had your eyes on that guy, but he is not YOUR guy. Just because you kissed once, and he is clearly not showing interest now, doesn’t make him your toy. It doesn’t make it right to act like this. I can imagine you are hurt, and that you wanted your friend to be honest, but really? With this reaction? I can imagine she hid it. And Bri was also in pain, she couldn’t even enjoy the relationship with that guy because of you, because she felt guilty, because she kept wondering about stuff. But oh, no, it is of course all about you Toby. He is your guy, and you just keep demanding she breaks up with him, and other silly demands. Yes, I can also imagine that Toby was sad, that her heart was broken, but the way she acted, even after those weeks? No. Just no.
Because yes, Palmer and Andie (when they made up) do try to get the friendship fixed (in a brilliant way), but you just know what will happen even before stuff happen. It broke my heart, but I do think it is for the best in the end. Better for Bri, better for Toby. And sure, I do hope that maybe one day they will be back to talking more, maybe even doing stuff together again, but I think it will be a long long time before that happens.
But throughout the book I was just happy with Bri, with Palmer, with Toby, and even with Tom. They made me laugh, they were interesting, they were fun, they had backstories, they had lives, and they were really real. I began rooting for them. It is not always that I am completely invested in the side characters, because often they are just there, but not in this book. No, I was completely interested in these characters, I wanted to see more of them.
I also loved the text messages that went back and forth, they really did love making huge text chains.
I also have to say that I just adored Clark for everything he did, and also because it was so much fun that he was that person, and had that job. I was also happy for him near the end. Yay! Sorry, I don’t want to tell much more, and I also don’t want to litter the review with spoiler tags. So I will keep it brief, but know this, he was my favourite character next to Andie.
The book takes place from the first day of the summer and then you will see days from that summer (and also a bit after that summer). Sometimes days or weeks would pass by, and it would feel a bit jarring at times, but it mostly felt pretty right. I don’t think we would want all the days mentioned, I am sure some of them just are full of dogs, and other things.
I did love all the various events that happened. The scavenger hunt (and what happened there, that meanie Clark!) which was just so much of a delight, how Andie turned out to be completely right about what happens when her friends find out about a swimming pool without parents around, the times they went to the beach, the times they were just sitting in their favourite restaurant. And so much other events. It was such a delight, and it does sound like the most perfect summer.
The dogwalking was so much fun, and at times I was just laughing so hard at the stuff the dogs did.
The last thing to address is the father-daughter relationship. I really loved that this was added, and also what happened between Andie and her father. It was heartbreaking, beautiful, and I loved how both tried to make this summer something good and healthy. With her dad at home thanks to some stuff happening with his work (though it is not good, but well, it was good for Andie and her dad in the end). At the beginning you see this big rift between them, you see them not knowing what to do about each other. Her father is setting boundaries, boundaries he never set, and Andie isn’t sure what to do about it. There is a big scene (no won’t tell you what happens there), but it was a great scene and it really tipped the scale to something different in their relationship. They became closer. The dad became more invested in his daughter’s life, even taking an interest when she met a sweet guy (I just loved those parts, that dad is awesome).
As the story progresses there is also the past that is spoken about, there are stories about the mother, about what she meant to both of them, and they are now, 5 years after, getting to terms about things. They are both sharing stories, and it broke my heart to see those two tell it, because it was difficult for both of them. We also find out a secret, and that was just beautiful.
I was worried near the end, but afterwards I know that I shouldn’t have worried. It all ended perfectly.
What more? I think I mentioned most (if not all) of the things in this book, and the review is already terribly long. For you all, a TLDR: an epic book about a summer, a summer full of different plans, a summer full of romance, friendship and more! This book is a must-read, and I would really highly recommend this one to everyone! It is the book for the summer!