Originally posted at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
This seemed like a cheeky, fun novel in the same vein as She's All That (which I still love, to this day). I was also excited because it was self-pubbed before Cedar Fort took it on. After reading this one, I think it was good, but not great. It could have been SO much better if there were more edits, and some more depth to story. But overall, I thought it was cute.
I really did like the main characters, Jen and Trevor. Jen had some really funny quips and she seemed kind of like a "screw it" kind of girl. I admire her guts and the ability to kind of tell people who don't like her to kiss her butt. I think it's a great part of her personality that she discovers all the things she enjoys about Trevor and herself when they're together. Trevor reminds me of a couple of kids I knew in high school and it reminded me why I thought they were such good guys--because they are! Trevor is just a sweetheart and I felt he was probably the most believable character in the novel. I did enjoy that this kind of turned the stereotype on it's head and had the "goth" girl trying to change the "geek" boy. Little does Jen know, it's not that easy and maybe being a "geek" isn't so bad after all.
The cliches. Oh my lord. There were so many cliche's in this novel I thought it could have been a parody of YA novels. Rebellious foster kid? Check. Flirtatious to get her way? Check. Nerdy but still attractive male character? Check. High school challenge that creates the tension? Check. Bordering on juvenile dialogue? Check. I wish there would have been more edits (on this note however, I am referring to the ARC of this novel, so things may have changed or improved since it's publication date). I just felt like the writing was strong but could have been stronger. The characters were a great start, but could have been developed a little better. I felt that the plot was a little tired and overused for a YA novel today and that if Bennett could have figured out a better twist or fresh new take...it could have made it that much better.
Overall, I thought this was a cute contemporary YA novel and definitely worth a try!