Publisher/ Year: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014.
How I Read It: Paperback (ARC!)
Why I Read It: I entered a Goodreads First Reads giveaway & was lucky enough to win this ARC!
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
This is a stand alone novel by the author of My Life Next Door which I read last year! It wasn't bad!
Summary from Goodreads: Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.
Quick Summary for those who have not read it yet:
This book was pretty entertaining but it was also everything I expected it to be. I honestly wasn't a fan of Fitzpatrick's first book, My Life Next Door, so I didn't have the highest expectations of this, but I found the story so much more interesting and intriguing in this book. The mystery in the story was one of the reasons I kept reading & the multiple relationships withing the story definitely gave a lot of perspective on how complicated love and truth are. I love contemporary but it didn't quite catch my attention as other contemporaries I read. It wasn't a great read, but it wasn't a bad read either. This took me days to read & the story either had high times or low times so it was hard for me to finish quickly. I recommend this book for people who are mature enough to handle sexual situations and context within a story, or if you just really love romance.
You know how they say never judge a book by its cover? Well unfortunately I do that all the time. It's a terrible habit. I am very aware. Anyway, I ADORED this cover. The colors are beautiful and the title is typed pretty much perfectly on there and it just made me wish that summer was here already.
The characters were a nice touch. It wasn't your typical, "nice girl meets bad boy" or "two misfits" or "love at first sight" or "best friends become lovers" kind of situations (well with the exception of Vivie and Nic). Well first let's meet our main characters: Gwen and Cass have a unique history and a lot of mystery and excitement to their relationship & I think what really kept me reading was waiting for the "thing" to be unveiled: the story behind why Cassidy Somers was Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever. Now before we discover this "Big Mistake" I have to say I thought the "Polar Bear Plunge" story was absolutely adorable. At that point, I believed they both were equals to each other and truly cared for each other, which made the kiss there so adorable. I bounced back and forth between whether or not I loved these characters. Gwen is known for her reputation & everyone on the swim team thought she was easy. Everyone saw her as a slut except for Cass, who saw her differently. When they eventually did it, it was clear that the two of them were in love with each other. But Cass being an idiot didn't realize his swim buddies were expecting him to "get lucky" with Gwen & that hurt her. If I were in Gwen's place, I would not have gotten back with Cass, as sweet as he is. That's just my personal opinion. I am a strong feminist, so that makes sense. But I do forgive Cass for what he did. It wasn't his fault, even though it kind of was. At the same time, Gwen frustrated me. She couldn't make up her mind and whenever she started getting close to Cass again, she blamed him for only wanting her for her body instead of for her. After pages of hearing the banter, I was just waiting for them to either make up and be together or just stop each other's misery and stay broken up. Cass was a great part of this book though. I do have to admit.
Other characters that stood out were obviously Nic and Vivie. Nic and Vivie's relationship was a challenging one but one that I'm glad Fitzpatrick brought up. It reminds everyone that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Well, Gwen's and Cass's relationship isn't near perfect. But Nic and Vivie's was the "best friends becoming lovers" or "lovers since childhood" kind of thing. They seemed like the perfect couple until you see the reality that not everything will work out. What you think is true (haha) won't always be true in some cases. Vivie was happy with Nic, but her feelings changed for him when she started hanging with Spence. That's the thing about feelings, they change all the time and sometimes you just can't stop it. I really felt for Nic by the end of this book. He was the one character with absolutely everything to lose. And he did lose the things he loved. Not everyone has the happy ending they expect.
I could talk about so many more things I loved like Emory or the old lady she cared for who finds pleasure in books I shouldn't even be reading, or disliked but overall I think you get my point. Not everything is going to be cookiecutter, and not everyone is perfect. Not every situation is perfect. But sometimes we need to be reminded about that.
Overall this book was only okay for me. It could have been better or a lot shorter than it was. It was unnecessarily long and I think the book could have ended 100 pages sooner. I've posted what I love and what I like and what I didn't like but maybe it's just me and my opinion. Maybe you'll end up loving it! But in conclusion, I did like this book. As I said before, it really does get me in the mood for summer time and all that jazz.