My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book reminded me a whole lot of Eleanor & Parke by Rainbow Rowell. I really did not enjoy that particular one but this book definitely was more enjoyable for me. If you are a Rainbow fan than you should pick this one up!
What I loved:
I really enjoyed Eden’s snark and the way she did not care what anyone thought of her. Also, the fact that she tried to take care of her family and worked so hard to get a head in life so that she wouldn’t have to struggle later. She is definitely an awesome character!
Ash was pretty awesome himself too! He was kind of straight forward with Eden and told her just how it is. He also worked very hard and is a boy that others should admire.
My favorite character would have to be Mundy. She could totally fit in with the popular girls but chooses to befriend Eden whom is an outcast. I really enjoyed how she was “take charge” and made Eden come out of her shell.
I really enjoyed that Eden and Ash were kind of enemies in the beginning and how that had shifted somewhere throughout time. Both were able to pin point exactly when their relationship changed and it was so sweet that they were able to be open and honest with each other from the get go!
What I didn’t like:
He wanted to keep her home and was trying hard to hold her back from college for his own selfish reasons and used her for his own personal gain with his boss.
I also am not crazy about Eden’s bio Mom, Heather. I mean who just up and leaves their kid without an explanation?
The fact that just because Eden lived in a trailer park that meant she was trash. I am glad that some were able to see past the label!
Would I recommend?
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy!
✦ 1 ✦
An Exercise in Probabilities
My normal dress code was designed to keep me invisible, but today I made an exception. I wore a teal shirt (stolen
from my dad) over jeans that had only been owned by me. I fin- ished off with my best sneakers, freshly bleached.
After yanking my hair into a ponytail, I grabbed my back- pack, charged out of my bedroom, and screeched to a halt in the den. The trailer smelled like toast and bacon. Why?
I crossed to the table and stared down at the plate of food wait- ing there.
My stepmom came out of the kitchen, holding two mugs of coffee. She offered one to me.
I took it as my backpack slid to the floor with a thud. “You made me breakfast?”
She laughed. “I’ve done this before.”
“When I was nine, maybe.” The bacon looked like it had been fried to crispy perfection. I parked my butt on the chair and snagged a slice. “What’s the occasion?”
Her smile wobbled. “It’s the first day of your last year of high school.”
Oh, damn. She was going to get emotional on me. This day must remind her that I’d be gone in a few months. It wouldn’t be a good idea to act all happy about escaping town soon. Better change the mood fast. “Breakfast is amazing. You can repeat it whenever you want.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” She set her mug on the table and pointed at my ponytail. “Can I do something special with your hair?”
Clearly she wanted to, so sure. “That’d be great.”
While I finished my toast, she twisted my hair into a thick French braid. It took only a couple of minutes before she pressed a kiss to the top of my head. “There you are, sweetie. Now go on, or you’ll miss the bus.”
“Okay.” I stood, gave her a quick hug, and slung my backpack over one shoulder. “Thanks, Marnie. For everything.”
The bus dropped us off fifteen minutes early, something that would never happen again. I went straight to my first-period class. AP English Lit with my favorite teacher.
“Morning, Ms. Barrie,” I said.
She didn’t look up from her computer. “Hello, Eden.”
I slipped into a desk in the back row and watched as my class- mates trickled in.
My next class would be statistics, although it had been a re- cent change. I’d realized in middle school that college was my best route out of Heron, and I wouldn’t get to college without serious scholarships. So I’d mapped out my high school curriculum in
seventh grade, picking each course to maximize my GPA. Every- thing had gone according to plan until three weeks ago, when I’d switched to a different math class and elective. The decision had seemed bold at the time. Now, it felt crazy.
After English, I dropped by my locker and arrived late for second period. With nervous anticipation, I smiled at my statis- tics teacher and turned toward the back.
“Wait, Eden. Sit there.” Mrs. Menzies gestured at an empty seat on the front row.
I paused, looking from the desk to her. She eyed me steadily, a challenge in her expression.
Did she expect me to argue with her? I certainly wanted to. Swallowing hard, I took my seat.
“All right, everyone. I’m glad that you’ve chosen to take Advanced Placement Statistics . . .”
I tuned out what she said, too annoyed to listen to whatever welcoming remarks she had for us. They would be on her sylla- bus anyway. I was consumed with shrugging off how much it bothered me to sit in the front with a dozen pairs of eyes behind me. Were they watching me? Probably not, but I didn’t like that it was a possibility.
Even deep breaths betrayed me, because they filled my head with the soapy-clean, spicy-cologne scent of Ash Gupta. Why did Mrs. Menzies have me sitting next to him?
“. . . you’ll have one group project and one individual assign- ment due each week . . .”
I glanced at her. Group projects already? Was that why we had assigned seats?
“. . . that’s it for now. Form into your teams. I’ll hand out your first project.”
The sounds of dragging chairs and laughing voices filled the room. I checked around. Was I the only one who didn’t know what to do?
Ash was looking at me, pained resignation on his face. “You’re with us, Eden.”
I dragged my desk into the circle beside him. There were five of us in the group. Upala and Dev were Ash’s friends. A built-in alliance. They would vote as a bloc even if I could get the last guy on my side.
The next few minutes blurred into the rhythms of a project team pretending to become cohesive. I didn’t join in, listening instead to Ash control the discussion and watching as Mrs. Men- zies went from group to group, dropping off a large bag of M&Ms, several paper bowls, and the project sheet. When she finally arrived at our circle, she described what she wanted and then gave me a hard stare.
“I want collaboration from everyone.”
Message received—although it was unnecessary. I participated when it mattered. Reaching for the M&M bag, I filled a bowl and began separating the candies by color. An exercise in probabilities. “Before we go any further,” Ash was saying, “we should pick
a leader for the team. How do we want to choose?”
“Might as well cut the bullshit, Ash,” I said without looking up. “You want the job. No one’s going to fight you. Just take it by acclamation.”
Silence greeted my speech. I glanced at him. His gaze held mine for a second before he frowned at his notebook, picked up a pen, and began drawing tiny perfect squares, one after the other. I looked at the rest of the team. Upala and Dev glared at me but didn’t disagree with my suggestion. Probably hated that it had come from me, though.
About Julia Day
JULIA DAY lives in North Carolina, halfway between the beaches and the mountains. She has two twenty-something
daughters and one geeky old husband. When she’s not writing software or stories, Julia enjoys traveling with her family,
watching dance reality shows on TV, and dreaming about which restaurant ought to get her business that night.