Lauren has Dave, the perfect boyfriend. She's not the most popular girl at school, but she's Dave's Girlfriend, and that counts for something. Furthermore, Dave himself is nice, loves his family, doesn't push her, isn't afraid of commitment, and wants to go to college with her. But Lauren just doesn't have the same passion for him that her best friend Katie does for her boyfriend Marcus. Even more, Lauren doesn't even really talk about this stuff with Katie, or with anyone really, including her lonely family life, in which her dad ignores her.
Enter Evan, and everything changes.
coffeeandink said this was Scott's first book; in some ways, it shows. The pacing's a bit off, and (I never thought I would say this) the book was a little too interior for me. As in, I wanted a little less of Lauren's thoughts and a little more action -- definitely not big action, as this is a book about moments and details, but at least something to move Lauren's development further. As it was, I felt like much of the book was about Lauren going over many of the same things (should she break up with Dave? What was this thing with Evan? How long could she avoid Katie?).
On the other hand, Scott does a nice take on YA tropes. Lauren thinks that if she were in a YA novel, she'd be ugly and quirky and smart (but not too ugly), battling against the pretty, rich girls. As it is, she's not really. She's just ordinary. And I like that the decision between Evan and Dave isn't the decision between being popular and not, although that of course is a part of it. It's much subtler than that, which I very much appreciated. I also liked that Dave wasn't bashed, no matter how stifling Lauren found him, nor was his devout Christianity.
Scott is also extremely good at portraying that headlong rush into attraction, how looks and smiles and just a few touches can mean so much, and she's also very good at writing about those small, important moments that look like nothing to outsiders.
The ending of the book really saved it for me; I was getting a little impatient with Lauren and waiting for her to break up with Dave. But I loved how her walls just broke, and I particularly loved Katie and her role in it. I think the book would have been even better had the first two-thirds gone with a little more action, and if there had been a few chapters after the climax, largely because I really wanted to see what Lauren would do afterward, how she would deal, if things would change, no matter how slowly.
Still, recommended, and I'm looking forward to what Scott writes next.
- gwyneira's review