Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
[January 11, 2011]
When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York--and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari's family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.
When misfortune befalls Blake's family, he pulls away, and Ari's world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?
This book? One of the best contemporaries I've ever read. It made me sit and stare at my favorites bookshelf and wonder if that book was even worthy of being next to this book. THAT'S how much this book just totally blew me away.
The feelings in this book were raw and up and down and just so very much like a teenager. I consider myself fairly normal, not boy-crazy, etc., etc. But my moods are all over the place sometimes and my feelings go crazy and sometimes I just want to shut down. These things were captured so perfectly in this book. At times it was like I was in it, like I was Ari.
The characters in this book are among the most perfect I've ever read because every single one of them had these major defining flaws. For some, it wasn't always their fault. For some, it was circumstance or how they were raised, or whatever. But they all had these huge flaws that made them so, so, SO human. Really human.
I was just totally immersed in this novel. When Ari was in love, I was in love. Then she wasn't and neither was I. I couldn't help but see more and more flaws as soon as she was in that ending phase. I felt like I was Ari sometimes and like I was her best friend the next, wishing vengeance on all those than hurt her or cheering her on.
I also loved how every relationship and every activity was connected. Ari did had a bunch of different things going on and all were clearly linked together. Sometimes it seems like in books, something happens in one aspect of the character's life, but everything else is fine. Here, it was such a delicate puzzle or a domino effect or whatever you want to call it.
This book is...amazing? The perfect YA first-romance story? The best way to put it is probably to say that if Courtney Summers wrote romance, I'd expect it to be something like this.