by Juliana Stone
Pub Date: May 6, 2014
I received an ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
What it's about: This story is told in alternating points of view. Monroe is sent to spend the summer with her grandmother in Louisiana after a mistake tears her family apart and leaves her broken. Here she meets Nathan, a boy who also made a terrible mistake and is just as broken as she is. And then romance ensues and they put each other back together, of course!
I don't even know where to start on how much I loved this book. Maybe I should start by saying that the entire thing took me by surprise. I guess based on the title and cover, I was expecting it to be a cute romance and not too much more. But I was so wrong. The writing was beautiful, the characters were beautiful and real, and it was all just perfect. My eyes were watering up pretty much the whole way through the second half of the novel, and then a minute after I finished it, I had to grab a tissue. I wasn't expecting that! Also, I read the entire thing in one sitting, before bed, and it kept me up all night. I couldn't put it down.
I guess the biggest thing going on is the secrets that each of these two characters are keeping. If you read the synopsis, they're pretty obvious. But I did, and I was still caught up in the way the author slowly revealed the details to the reader as the characters slowly opened up to each other. She did a really great job with that.
I loved both Monroe and Nathan. And of course, I'm totally a sucker for the not-love-at-first-sight relationships. On their first meeting, all they did was bicker at each other. But thanks to Monroe's meddling (and completely awesome) grandmother, they have to spend more time together. And eventually, they start to develop feelings for each other. I felt like the author did a good job of making their relationship feel believable. Both characters were in such a bad place at the start of the novel that it was hard for them to let each other in. But then they did. And again, it was perfect. I also really appreciated how their romance didn't magically make everything okay again. It didn't. They just found a way to help each other start healing. And I really believed it.
To avoid just repeating the word perfect, I'm going to stop here. But I'll just say again how much this book took me by surprise. I'd never read anything by Juliana Stone before (I guess she normally writes adult romance), but I'll definitely be looking for her next YA novel now.
Boys Like You comes out today, so go check it out!