Despite what the cover suggests (extreme cheesiness, a plethora of the typical YA romance-y theatrics), the story is really anything but. In fact, I don’t even think it should be categorized as a romance at all, because it’s mainly friendship-based.
This book portrays such an amazing and realistic friendship between girls. We have our main character, Paige, and her three other friends: Kayleigh, Morgan, and Tessa. Their friendship and ceaseless support of each other during each downfall, i.e breakups, family problems, etc. made me want to join their group of friends or at least find a friendship as beautiful as theirs.
I’ll admit that I didn’t really connect with the main character immediately because she was kind of boring (ugh, good grades, a horrific grammar nazi, a bit of a drama queen at times) but as the story progressed and she began getting even more determined with completing her list, I found myself curious to see how her character would develop. Plus, I love the fact that she had a fierce loyalty towards her friends. I love that in a character.
The reason I didn’t bump this to five stars is because this book was just…well, kind of like any other YA contemporary in the sense that it literally had no plot twists and had some typical cliches, like that part where the teacher assigned them a partner they did not want to collaborate with but were forced to anyway. Plus, I felt that the relationship between Paige and Max (who was, admittedly, such a cute dork; his passion for airplanes certainly made me smile) honestly had no chemistry. Personally, I think they would’ve been better off as friends.
(Though Max and I definitely had some chemistry. Ahem. Cue winky face).
One more thing that I didn’t like was, aside from the well written chapters, there were scenes that were too stretched out, too many boring instances or conversations that sounded a little too mundane and didn’t add much to the plot or propel it any further – basically, it was extremely slow. The ending, too, was bit too rushed and tried to wrap everything up with a neat little bow. Nope. Did not work out.
In short, while this was a decent contemporary, it didn’t really cut it for me, especially because the romance could’ve been developed even further and the pacing a little faster. However, it wasn’t atrocious, either. It was definitely better than Open Road Summer, which I DNF. I guess I’m just getting even pickier with contemporary nowadays and I’ll just have to stick with sci-fi and fantasies for the time being.