A homeschooled girl gets the chance of the summer when she decides to join a youth crew to work and free trees from ivy. It will be a summer of discovery, flirting, romance, tons and tons of ivy, some Frisbee, and finding friends.
I am always interested in stories about kids who are homeschooled. It is such a foreign concept to me, I never heard about it until I saw it pop up in English books taking place in the US. I did some research and while there are some people homeschooled in my country it is like a tiny percentage and you really REALLY need a proper/important reason to homeschool your kid.
So, I am always curious to see characters who are homeschooled and see how they are doing. How they view life, and how they feel about not going to public school.
And in this one Hazel gets thrown in the deep end when she goes to work for a youth group thingie called No Ivy League. The kids get rid of the ivy that is cover trees, but they also have fun activities like Frisbee and other such activities. She meets all sorts of people, quite a few of them are people of colour. She finds common grounds, but also is confused at times. She has a hard time fitting in with the group.
Thanks to this experience she learns more about race.
I did think it was a bit weird that they didn’t get the movie about Ivy until like later in the work group thingie. Wouldn’t that be the first to show people? Same goes for identifying plants?
I also wasn’t sure about her flirting with an adult guy while she was in a relationship with a guy. Not only is it illegal, it was also just NOPE. I actually felt uncomfortable while she was flirting and felt sorry for the dude.
Then suddenly, page 147/148 are sketches? Is that done for a reason or did the author run out of time before the ARC was uploaded? It is really a shame those two pages were done this way as it kind of ruined a big moment. Oh, and later on page 151,152, 159, 160, 183, 184, 187, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209 are also sketches. Um… I had a hard time reading those pages, so yeah, I am deducing a bit of the rating because of these. I get this is an ARC, I get that it may be unfinished, but this just seemed like really random pages to be unfinished. Plus, it really got me out of the story. Especially since the whole ending was just one big sketch… Meh.
I don’t get why people were acting shitty with Hazel when she reported Obasi. Hello, that dude just came to her and asked her to suck his dick. That is sexual harassment. I don’t care that he needed this job, if he needed this job so badly he should just have acted better and more mature instead of acting like a little prick. 😐
Next up I didn’t get why everyone was so against Hazel and Anson dating and making fun of it. So what if it is 2 years difference? They are both teens, 15 and 17, and sorry I don’t get the fuss and why people tease her about it. Anson’s mom was also eh. So she called her boo because she needed to hear his voice and mom thinks that Hazel is needy? What? That is just how a relationship works.
There is also a competition and I would have loved to see Hazel’s animation for real. At times I forgot about the competition being around, but then it would be mentioned, and at the end we even get the results (and no, I won’t spoil anything).
All in all, I had a pretty good time reading this one. It was interesting, it fits with the current season, and it was wonderful to see Hazel grow.