I already had my sights on this book and then I saw many of my friends rave about this book. I knew then I just had to get it. Thankfully the book was out in paperback (my preferred format) and I could get it. I read it. And I just loved it to bits.
Meet Ever. A sweet and passionate girl with parents who have big plans for her future. Ever in the meantime just wants to dance. To make a career out of it and do it for her whole life. Her parents so don’t agree and my heart broke for Ever. I know my parents had high expectations but at least they still let me choose my own ways. This was just extreme. Ever is looking forward to one last summer with dancing as she doesn’t dare to tell her parents she was also accepted at an arts/dance college. But then plans are thrown over and she is shipped off to Taiwan for a summer of learning.
Or so Ever thinks, but this summer is the one that will decide her future, will have break loose from the confines of her strict parents (and then especially her mom). I loved seeing how Ever decided to do things she cannot do. She is afraid, which I could understand so well because it is scary to try out new things, and although you know your parents may not be able to do something instantly there is still this cloud hanging over you. They may find out, and they probably will even. Thankfully, they are far away so they can’t immediately chew you out.
I was so proud of Ever trying out new things, and doing things she never dared to do at home. Seeing her dance all the moves, seeing her try out new things, I loved it.
Though, sure there were times that I was shaking my head at her decisions. Decisions like that one photo shoot, or the ones involving Rick or Xavier. I felt like she should take decisions a bit more slowly and think about them more.
While I know most of these kids weren’t too enthused with the summer school, I actually found it was really cool and I wish I could go. It sounds amazing, especially when one can also explore a whole country, make friends, and maybe find that fated person to love.
Something that hasn’t happened yet, and I have read a lot of books, I loved the love triangle. Holy. Wow. Everyone who knows me knows that I absolutely detest love triangles. I find them annoying, a bother, and meh. But in this one? I actually loved it. I knew who she was going to end up with that was just so easily to read. But yet I kept shipping her with the other guy as well. Because they made quite the cute couple. I loved both Xavier and Rick. They each had their charms. Rick was tough, an athlete with tons of smarts as well and he is a real golden boy. Then we have Xavier who seems like a big player (he even reminded me a bit of one of my exes), but then he turns out to have deep waters running through him. I loved that we found out tons of things about both guys which in turn made me ship them with Ever even further. Plus, I love the interactions between Ever x Xavier and Ever x Rick. They were all just too adorable and cute and at times I was just squeeing out loud.
So a big big round of applause for the author for writing this love triangle and making it so good even I loved it to bits.
I loved the idea of the Loveboat. How kids in this summerschool did their learning, but then had dates, hook-ups, went out during the night (in epic ways as the school was of course kind of trying to not let them go). How most of them found their respective partners for life at this school. At the Loveboat.
Sure, I wasn’t such a big fan of the parents. But I guess that is the point of the book. I understand that you want the best for your kid, that you have big dreams of her following in your footsteps (in the case of the father), however to just send her to Taiwan without warning, send her to a country where she cannot even speak most of the language? That is just excessive. And throughout the book they kept controlling her in ways. However, I am happy with the ending. I am glad that her dad was able to open his eyes and I hope that mom will also see it.
Sophie was a character I loved. She was sweet and fun and I loved how she and Ever just clicked together. I loved seeing Sophie try to get Ever out of her shell. To get her to do all the things her parents would have never let her do.
But then something happened and my love for Sophie just dropped into the ground. I understand that she is angry. I understand that it isn’t fun to walk into that. But to decide that this was the preferred solution was just too damned hurtful. Instead of talking, or raging in an angry fit, she did that.
I loved reading about the food, the houses, about the surrounding area and also seeing various parts of Taiwan. I do hope to one day go there and this one has lit up the fire even further. Plus, there is a lot of exploring of her heritage and her feelings on being Chinese-American. Very interesting to read.
The ending and what Ever and her friends decided to do? LOVED IT. What a wonderful group of teens that they decide to do this and then go full out for it as well. Not taking back their promises, oh no, these teens went for it. I wish I could have seen the performances and seen a certain person’s art, but I guess I will just have to do with my imagination that activates when I read the descriptions by the author.
Phew, I could probably rave about this book even more, I just LOVED it so much. I flew through it and couldn’t stop reading until I finished it all. Now I want even more. I would highly recommend this book to everyone looking for a gorgeously written book with fun/likeable characters, dancing (which I love, though by no means as professional as Ever), romance, and finding out who you are and what your future will be.