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?
What first attracted me to this book, not to seem too shallow, was the cover. I love me a good cursive font, which this one showcases beautifully, and I love the juxtaposing images of those swollen lips and the faded retro cityscape. I think this evokes exactly what the book is about. It captures the vulnerable concept of love that this book offers in spades, and also the cool 80's setting that the book takes place in.
I love that the book was set in the 80's. I feel like I haven't read a book in this seemingly forgotten era, and it contributed a retro edge that was just noticeable enough.
But that is not really what made this book a 4. This book encompasses love in all aspects. It is just so genuine, and even when it was heartbreaking, this book spoke the truth about love in all forms: love between sisters, enduring love in a stressing marriage, hard love from a mother to her daughters, complex love between a father and his daughters, first-time love, skanky love, unconditional love, love between friends, and unrequited love. The heart-wrenching love stories that make this book amazing are so true and bittersweet. They kind of broke my heart, but I wouldn't have it any other way! I couldn't think of a more perfect title for this book, and I think the only complaint that I have about it is that the summary doesn't quite do the story justice.
This is an adorable book that can be enlightening for young adults and also reminders for adults. I think that it is a adorable, and worth everyone's time :)
Spoiler Alert: Don't read past this point if you don't want to know specific book details!
First things first: the love story between Ari and Blake makes me want to swoon and cry at the same time. It was definitely my most favourite of the many complex love-related plot lines going on in the story. Ari was so young and innocent and perfectly characterized to meet experienced, smart, sexy Blake who showed her love for the first time, and then breaks her heart. Which broke my heart. When all was said and done though, I loved the bittersweet ending, with Ari's heartache not only leading to growth within herself, but also growth within all of her other relationships. It was such an accurate portrayal of young love, and an awesome example for young adults trying to get through something similar.
The other relationships that we see throughout the story are also so genuine and important, and I love them all. Even the creepy crush that Ari has on her older sister's husband. I mean, ew. There are some things that are just pushing it, and I'm really glad that she got over it! And when she did, it was really cute, because then he got to help her learn about her relationship, and he became the older brother figure to her that he always should have been. As we saw said hot firefighters relationship with said sister struggle, endure, and flourish, it was so hope inspiring and cute. Just showing how not every marriage is perfect, and not to give up even though things aren't perfect.
That relationship also brings in the love that is shared among Ari's whole family. Her mother's tough love, that was sometimes hard for even me to take, but ultimately the kind of all-knowing motherly love that can straighten out any situation. Unconditional. Just like that of Ari's father, even though he was typically less outward with his affections.
Ari's relationship with her friends was also constantly evolving and truly deep. I learned so much from her shallow best friend, even though I wanted to kill her half the time. The dynamic that we saw when her new friend Leigh was introduced was also enlightening and showed a whole different side of love, along with Leigh's own struggles with love and fitting in.
Overall, I really think that this book deals with so many important teen issues and captures every emotion perfectly. It is not only a cute, genuine read, but also a life-lesson wrapped up into booky-smelling beautiful-cover-toting perfection. I really just keep thinking about all the different aspects of this epic book, and I can't help but smile.
Oh, the power of books--Cheers & Enjoy♥