Published by HMH on May 3rd, 2016
“Just let it go.”
That’s what everyone keeps telling Hadley St. Clair after she learns that her father cheated on her mother. But Hadley doesn’t want to let it go. She wants to be angry and she wants everyone in her life—her dad most of all—to leave her alone.
Sam Bennett and his family have had their share of drama too. Still reeling from a move to a new town and his parents’ recent divorce, Sam is hoping that he can coast through senior year and then move on to hassle-free, parent-free life in college. He isn’t looking for a relationship…that is, until he sees Hadley for the first time.
Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret that could ruin everything. Should he follow his heart or tell the truth?
Generally when I put a book down and then don’t pick it back up again for over a year, I just decide not to finish it. But seeing as I’ve read & adored Blake’s most recent two books, I knew I had to read her debut. And boy, I’d read this woman’s grocery list. I am not much of a middle grade book reader, but after reading all three of her YA books, I’m seriously considering reading her MG books.
That’s the mark of a fantastic writer.
This book was more complex than I expected. I was expecting something super fluffy, but with a side order of drama. What I actually got was a book about love, friendship, family and forgiveness. So I really got a lot more than a bargined for. I wasn’t expecting to laugh as much as I did throughout various parts of the book, mostly with Hadley and either Kat or Livy.
“You’re horny.” Hadley
“Concupiscent. Libidinous.” Hadley
“Hadley Jane!” Kat
“I don’t even know what those words mean.” Kat
“They mean horny.” Hadley
“God help me.” Kat
Hadley’s friendship with Kat underwent a lot of ups and downs, much like most teenage friendships, but I never doubted they cared about each other. Yeah, Kat was a bit judgy and yeah Hadley was pretty mean at times, but they worked it out. What I wasn’t expecting was for Hadley and Sam’s sister, Livy to form a friendship. I loved that and I wished we had gotten more moments with them together. Livy liked her and after all the crap that happened to her and her family, Hadley got her to smile.
Hadley’s insistence on correcting even the most boring teacher handouts made me laugh because I did the same thing when I was a teenager. Seeing improper grammar still drives me absolutely insane. I’ve even been known to correct my brother’s essays before he turns them in. I know, I know, I should just let it go, but like Hadley, I can’t.
There’s a lot of things Hadley can’t let go of no matter what anyone tries to tell her.
There are also a lot of things Sam can’t let go of either.
His best friend is not one of them. Ajay was one of my favorite things about this book. He was funny, kind and a great friend to Sam even if he sometimes sounded like a middle aged man.
“Sara and I finally copulated.” Ajay
“Jesus. Do you have to call it that? How old are you, forty-five?” Sam
“What you know I don’t like saying ‘We had sex’ or ‘We screwed’ I feel like a Neanderthal and it sounds dirty. ‘Making love’ sounds like I’m a character in one of those abysmal Hallmark movies my mom likes.” Ajay
“Well ‘copulated’ sounds like a science experiment.” Sam
“How about ‘had intercourse’?” Ajay
“Maybe if your name is Dolores and you’re teaching Sex Ed.” Sam
I know this book was supposed to be about Sam & Hadley falling in love, but I loved watching Kat & Ajay fall for each other even more. They were a lot more reserved than their respective friends and they just seemed to fit so well. Plus they didn’t have all the crap going on in their families.
Speaking of Sam and Hadley’s families, I saw the twist coming a mile away and knowing that Sam knew long before Hadley did and didn’t tell her, really bugged me. I wish he had told her a whole lot sooner. In fact, I think that’s what made me like, not love their romance. Hadley deserved to know a lot earlier than she did.
Final thoughts: If you want a book about friendship, forgiveness and family, then you should pick up this book.