Olivia Henderson is a good girl who dreams of becoming a professional singer. There’s just one problem? she has to fight through random panic attacks.
Noah Dickerson is a troubled boy with an artist’s soul, from a dysfunctional family. The guilt he carries after events of an early summer party has him believing the negative labels his father dumps on him.
The two meet in an unlikely setting-a car show in a grocery store parking lot. From the onset it looks like their love is meant to be. But Olivia’s cousin, Kenny, knows Noah’s secret and is determined to tell everyone and rip Noah and Olivia apart.
Who is feeding Kenny information about Noah’s past? And how will Olivia choose between loyalty to kin and her new boyfriend? Can their “Romeo and Juliet” love survive when the darkness and the light collide?
I received a copy of this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Oh my goodness, this book brought me right back to high school. As I read about Olivia and Noah and their experiences, it reminded me so much of when my friends and I were going through similar situations. It was kind of weird because I don’t feel old enough to have nostalgia about high school, but here we are…
Anyways, what I loved about this book is that it is relatable to teens today. These characters face the same struggles that every American teenager does, including gossip, dating, drugs and alcohol, relationships with their parents, college decisions, Christianity, and a lot more. As someone who has gone through high school and come out on the other side, I really appreciated how this book processes these topics and shows readers the why a decision was good or bad. It was a good combination of setting a good example while not just being an unrealistic vision of moral perfection. Because the characters came from a variety of backgrounds, the book was really able to look at issues from different perspectives instead of just saying that something was right or wrong.
Another element that I appreciated was that, while this book deals with some intense topics, it does so in a respectful way, without providing any unnecessary or gory details. Some of the characters curse, but the actual words aren’t included. There is a discussion of an alleged rape (which was purely gossip), but it is only vaguely alluded to. Again, this book does an excellent job of being real and relatable without presenting inappropriate details.
One of the most important messages this book contained, though, was that people are so much more than their actions. For example, Noah is a classic ‘bad boy’ character, but we get to learn about his home life and his family, and we understand why he is like this. It can be so easy to write someone off because of the things they do without looking deeper into why they are doing them, and this story is a good example of why this is dangerous.
Overall, I have no complaints about this book. It is a real and relatable story for young adults in today’s culture that is entertaining while pointing readers to truth.