“If Hollis was a big kid, I was the little adult, the child who, at three, would sit at the table during grown-up discussions about literature and color my coloring books, not making a peep. Who learned to entertain myself at a very early age, who was obsessive about school and grades from kindergarten, becaus academia was the one thing that always got my parent’s attention.”
When your parents, both academics and well-known in their fields, name you after the poet Auden, chances are you are going to be expected to succeed in school. Eighteen-year-old Auden has done just that. She’s lived up to her parent’s expectations by being an excellent student and is now on her way to a promising college experience. Unfortunately, the one thing Auden hasn’t excelled at is social interactions.
She’s been so busy with schoolwork that she’s missed out on sleepovers, trips to the mall with friends, going to dances and dating but her last summer before college she’ll get the chance to catch up on having some fun. Auden’s dad is now living in a small beach town and has invited Auden to visit and get to know his new wife better and introduce her to her new little sister. Auden can’t imagine having a good time visiting with Heidi and a new baby but she’s also having a hard time being around her mom so she packs her bags and heads out to her dad’s.
Once in the beach town she’ll find that a lot of her preconceived notions about her dad, his new wife and the people that live in the beach town were just wrong. Her dad is so focused on his writing, or at least seems to be, he often neglects his family. Heidi is actually not the twit she was expecting but a business woman in her own right who is just trying her best to build a relationship with Auden. And, when Auden meets some of the local girls while she works at Heidi’s boutique she finds out that just because you enjoy shopping doesn’t mean you may not enjoy other things in life, like reading, school, etc.
Auden’s biggest risk though is learning to trust Eli. Eli has become the town’s loner after a tragic accident but somehow around Auden he feels like he can be with another person again. Together the two go out on midnight drives, experiencing life.
I thought the author did a good job of showing us how distant Auden was from most people and the transformation she goes through as the novel progresses. While I was hoping for a bit more of an emotional pull, I still cared enough to hope what happened to Auden and Eli in the end. It was a bit predictable but nevertheless a fun YA read.
Source: Library Copy