When fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows discovers that her father has a child from a brief affair, a eight-year-old boy named Thomas who lives in her own suburban New Jersey town, she begins to question everything she thinks she knows about her family and her life. Lucy can’t believe her father betrayed the whole family, or that her mother forgave him, or that her sister isn’t rocked by the news the way Lucy is. Worse, Lucy’s father’s secret is now her own, one that isolates her from her friends, family, and even her boyfriend, Simon, the one person she expected would truly understand. When Lucy escapes to Maine, the home of her mysteriously estranged grandfather, she finally begins to get to the bottom of her family’s secrets and lies.
Disclaimer:I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The more I think about this book, the more I realize that this could’ve been a really great book had it been written by someone like Morgan Matson or Stephanie Perkins.It had all the good aspects of a contemporary novel but the execution was really off and there was something really weird about the writing.I didn’t hate it which is why I gave it a three stars but there were a lot of things that were lacking.
One thing that I liked was the whole storyline with her grandpa,it was very sweet and I really liked seeing Lucy going to Maine and seeing her relationship with her grandfather grow. Had this been more of a central focus of the plot,I think I would liked the book a lot more because I feel as though the things that were focused on were shouldn’t have been the focus.
I think what really threw me off was the writing, it wasn’t outright bad but the way it was written rang really weirdly to my ears.One thing that really stuck out was the way Lucy kept describing food.I know this sounds really weird and normally I wouldn’t care but there was just something about the way she off-handedly kept mentioning the food she was eating that rubbed me the wrong way. Once in awhile is okay but she legit described all of her meals and it was just really boring food like pizza.It was a weird thing to keep talking about and it was done in a way that made me feel as though the author had nothing else to write about.There also was this weird part where she was scared of these group of black people in new york, which was just like what the fuck and then she was like “idk if that makes me racist.” and it was just really out of blue and kind of hella offensive.
The main character,Lucy was a very typical YA contemporary character which there’s nothing wrong with but because of the writing and some of her actions it was very hard for me to relate her. I did enjoy her grappling with the fact that her father had a son that she had never heard of but I did find that at times her reactions were a tad bit extreme. As I said before, I loved her relationship with her grandfather and just really loved him as a character.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the love interest, I found their relationship to be really weird and found that it wasn’t developed nearly enough.
There was also this really weird part where at the beginning of the story where Lucy gets mad at her best friend and then she just never mentions her again, and we know like nothing about her. I feel like it was a weird character to add to the story when there’s like no point to her.