Author: Emma Mills
Published: October 4th 2016 by Henry Holt and Co.
Genre(s): YA, Contemporary
Sloane isn’t expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that’s exactly what happens.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera’s twin brother and the most serious person Sloane’s ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins’ late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins’ lives.
Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Well, this book was a pleasant surprise. Honestly, I stumbled across this book almost accidentally. It wasn’t on my TBR and the synopsis bored me, but the cover caught my attention and it was available to borrow from my library so I did it on a whim. And I got so invested in this book. I was kind of making fun of it in the first couple of chapters because I still didn’t necessarily care about the plot, but when I put the book down I realized I immediately wanted to pick it back up. So I did. And I kinda stayed up until 4 A.M. to finish it.
That’s the moral of this story here, folks: judge a book by its cover.
just kidding. but not really.
The line “this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed” in the synopsis basically sums it up- our protagonist, Sloane (terrible name, I know), takes it upon herself to track down a painting that was extremely important to her two new friends. But, really, that journey is a front for the main plot of this book, which is Sloane learning how to find herself. Sloane has always believed she never fit in, and this book is about her tugging at that thread and unraveling everything she thought she knew.
As cheesy as that sounds, this book handles the issue of being an outsider really well. Personally, I saw a little bit of myself in Sloane, and naturally felt more drawn to her situation. But honestly, even if you don’t feel like you were ever in Sloane’s position, the writing in this book really connects you to her anyway. It’s raw and honest and relatable, whether you see Sloane as yourself or you resonate with any of the other unique and lovable cast of characters.
What I love is that this book deals with Sloane’s conflict through the personal issues her friends are facing. It really rounds out each character, all while tying into the overarching plot-which I think is really difficult to do. Emma Mills pulled it off tremendously.
The FRIENDSHIP – The friendship in this book is so great because Sloane doesn’t really want friends that much. This (amazing) group of people just kinda absorb her into their circle so seamlessly and poof- suddenly she has friends. The pacing and the way she befriends all of them differently make it so realistic; it shows how some people just click and some relationships take more time and effort but are still worth it.
The dialogue – It’s so witty and realistic. It’s so easy to feel what each character is feeling through what they say in this book, and it makes the story that much more immersive.
Sloane’s dad – Sloane’s dad is a pretty famous romance author (think Nicholas Sparks) and he was hilarious. He made this book 10x better, in my opinion. He has this whole arc where he’s struggling with book ideas and so he discovers fanfiction for a werewolf TV show and starts writing his own and I love it.
Slow-Burn Romance – THANK GOD. It’s magical. That’s all I’m gonna say because I went in blind and it turned out to be one of my favorite books in terms of romance, and I want you all to love it as much as I did.
The beginning – The first couple of chapters…weren’t the best. Mainly because Sloane was waaaay too over-the-top. She evened out later on, thankfully, but her personality was so big in the beginning; she was like the manic pixie dream girl on her 4th cup of espresso. She publicly dismantled this jerk at a party with everyone cheering her on, every sentence that came out of her mouth was some form of dry wit, she’s from New York and claims she has no emotions, and we find out she’s a fantastic singer because why not? I get that this was part of the exposition, that the author wanted to establish immediately exactly what the protagonist was like, but it was too much for me.
The “Everything Goes Wrong All At Once” Trope – I hate that trope. It wasn’t that annoying in this book, but I still rolled my eyes, so.
That’s my review! Did any of you guys read this? Do any of you want to read this? I know this book got a lot of hype back when it first came out, but that hype kinda died down pretty quickly. Let me know!