It’s your typical tomboy girl falls for brother-like friend story, but that doesn’t make this Kasie West novel any less compelling. While the love story is predictable, there are a lot of twists and turns and hidden secrets embedded in this novel that will make you want to keep reading. Plus, when the love story finally comes together, you’ll get a lot of satisfaction out of it.
Charlie’s the kind of tomboy we all thought we would be as a teenager when we were growing up. She plays soccer and basketball, she’s been raised by a cop and three brothers, she hates wearing makeup, and she speeds down the street in her car. So when she gets her third speeding ticket, her dad makes her get a job, and the only place hiring is a local boutique and makeup store that makes Charlie dabble in being someone she never thought she would be. Through these new, makeup wearing friends she meets a boy, Evan, but does he like the real her? Then there’s Braden, the boy next door who is basically a brother to her, but they’ve been having a lot of late night talks at the fence, and is she beginning to have feelings for him? And then there’s the underlying questions about Charlie’s mother’s death…and the things she doesn’t know about what happened…
Overall, this book goes pretty much exactly how you would expect in the love plot. It’s a boy next door plot, tried and true, but it was still cute because it’s Kasie West and she makes you want to fall in love with falling in love. What I thought was original in this was the story behind the mother’s death,though I wish it had come up earlier. I was definitely in-tune to what was going on, but I thought it was very original to deal with in a YA romance novel.
Something that really bothered me with this book was how much of a big deal was made out of Charlie wearing makeup. She’s a 16/17 year old girl in modern America. I don’t care if she’s a tomboy. It’s not the end of the world. If her brothers tease her about it but then date girls who wear it, they’re hypocrites. If her Dad freaks out about it and doesn’t let her go places unless a boy goes with her but lets the boys run around whilly nilly, he’s a hypocrite.
Overall, I really like the storyline and the love story was cute, but it had a lot of problematic family dynamics that just made me frustrated, but I don’t think that was the point. Read for yourself and see how you feel!
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