Published by Bloomsbury Spark on December 6th 2016
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Netgalley
If anyone saw the prom boards Amelia Blanco makes on her favorite fashion app, they'd think Ethan Laurenti was her boyfriend. They wouldn't know that all the plans she's made for them are just dreams, and that she's the girl who watches him from the kitchen while her parents cook for his famous family.
When Amelia's abuelita enrolls her in a month-long fashion internship in NYC, Amelia can't imagine leaving Miami--and Ethan--for that long. As soon as she gets to New York, however, she finds a bigger world and new possibilities. She meets people her own age who can actually carry on a conversation about stitching and design. Her pin boards become less about prom with Ethan and more about creating her own style. By the time she returns to Miami, Amelia feels like she can accomplish anything, and surprises herself by agreeing to help Ethan's awkward, Steve-Jobs-wannabe brother, Liam, create his own fashion app.
As Liam and Amelia get closer, Ethan realizes that this newly confident, stylish girl may be the one for him after all . . . even though he has a reality TV star girlfriend he conveniently keeps forgetting about. The "new and improved" Amelia soon finds herself in between two brothers, a whole lot of drama, and choice she never dreamed she'd have to make.
There are a few things you need to know before we start. First, I almost didn’t finish this, and I am super glad that I ended up giving it a chance, because it is quite adorable and exactly what I needed in my life at the time. Second, the problems I had with it are 100% Shannon problems, and probably won’t be problems for people who are not me. I can admit when I am the problem. Usually. 😉
So anyway. What did I like about this book that made me super glad I read it? Let’s discuss!
- First off, I loved that Amelia is close to her Abuelita. I really love grandparents in books. Can we have more of this? Great. She is also close to her mom, but they have some strain in their relationship. This feels pretty natural though, as the mother-daughter dynamics shift through the teen years. So I liked that it was realistic, but still, Amelia and Abuelita made me smile so much.
- I loved Amelia’s drive and hard work ethic. It is super refreshing to see a young woman who has goals and like, really works for what she wants. Amelia didn’t have it all figured out, of course, she is still a teen after all, but she was exploring, and reaching outside her comfort zone (even if Abuelita did give her a little push). I think it sends a great message.
- Females helping and bringing up other females was such a win. Not to say there were never hard feelings or altercations, or even a few nastier characters, but these girls had each other’s backs for the most part. They looked out for each other, and I thought that was fabulous. Again, another great message for young women to be hearing.
- I really enjoyed the romantic aspect. I mean, who among us hasn’t pined away for someone for whom we weren’t even a blip on their radar? Yeah. I think we can all relate to Amelia’s struggles. Not that we’d all be making Pinterest boards, but still. And her coming to the realization that maybe she was romanticizing him, and finding out who he is beyond her daydreams is so important. And then throw Liam into the mix and… well, it’s just cute and I liked it.
So, what were my Shannon-centered problems, you ask? Okay, here we go:
- I realized that fashion bores me. Like, I did not care at all. I was happy she had goals, and was doing awesome, but I did skim a bit through some of the fashion-heavy portions. This is something I should note for the future, hmm?
- It reads a little bit on the younger side. Which is fine, again, this is absolutely a me problem and not a book problem. But worth knowing, I think, hence its spot in my review.
And then just some things that maybe are not just Shannon problems:
- It did start off slow. Hence the whole “I almost didn’t finish this” thing. I wasn’t getting a good feel on Amelia at the start, and I couldn’t really connect to her. But like I said, it really did pick up, especially after about 30-40%, and I was really into it. Still, something to be aware of.
Bottom Line: It is absolutely a cute, feel-good contemporary book. Perfect if you need a pick-me-up, Amelia is a likeable character that you want to root for. The slow start gets made up for by a strong second half and a satisfying conclusion.