Published: June 12th, 2016, self-published | Series: N/A | Length: 276 pages | Genre: YA, contemporary, romance | Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Summary from Goodreads:
“You’re off-limits, so why can’t I stop thinking about you?”
Fay Whitaker, sixteen years old and yearning for adventure, is excited to spend the summer with her fearless cousin Celia in small-town Juniper, Indiana.
But Fay soon discovers that her summer home is not what she expected. She is alarmed by her uncle’s temper, and learns of the grudge he holds against the Dearing family. Celia handles the tension at home by escaping with her boyfriend, leaving Fay with time on her hands—time that leads her straight to Malcolm Dearing, off-limits because of his last name. Fay is captivated by Malcolm’s warmth and intensity. She finds that trying to stay away from him only makes her think of him more.
Fay and Celia are launched on a journey, and each must attempt to navigate the thrilling and unpredictable world of love. Everything Fay thinks she knows about love is put to the test, as relationships unfold and reveal themselves in ways she never before dreamed.
Well, I have a new book to add to my favorites. And a new book boyfriend. Life is good.
I received a copy of this book from the author, Lora Richardson, to read and review and well, I couldn’t be happier that I did.
I believe this is Lora’s second book and I’m definitely going to add her other book to my TBR and be on the lookout for any future releases from her because this was just a fantastic book that I enjoyed from start to finish.
Fay is spending the summer with her aunt, uncle, and cousins because her parents are going on a service trip to try to rekindle their marriage before they decide whether or not they should get a divorce. In the past, Fay has spent about a week with her aunt and uncle during the summer, but now that she’s here for a much longer time, she’s getting to see aspects of her family that she didn’t know existed. It’s pretty tough at times and Malcolm ends up being her way to escape it, but she and Malcolm also spend the whole time aware that at the end of the summer, they’ll have to say goodbye.
The characters in this story are phenomenal. With the exception of maybe Malcolm, they’re all really realistic. It wasn’t that Malcolm seemed fake or one-dimensional, he just didn’t seem to really have any flaws (which honestly was fine by me because I loved him regardless and he still felt real).
Fay is a great main character. Richardson did a great job of making her a very realistic teenager. She’s silly at times but knows she has responsibilities which she does her best to manage, and she’s neither completely mature or immature. She’s strong and bold a lot of the times, but still vulnerable at others. She’s a very well-developed lead.
Nothing made me happier than seeing Fay and Malcolm develop their relationship. I liked Malcolm pretty much from the first page he was introduced. He’s just incredibly understanding, supportive, and respectful. Because Fay isn’t supposed to associate with the Dearings, it does take a little bit of perseverance on his part to get her to talk to him, but even when he was kind of pestering her, he was still respectful of her boundaries and wishes. He says flat out that if she really doesn’t want him around that he’ll leave her alone. He’s charming and determined without being overbearing.
There were so many scenes that had me smiling at how freaking adorable these two are together. Seeing them going swimming or having a picnic or literally anything was really sweet and, like I said, had me smiling. I really liked the relationship between them because I feel it was a good depiction of what a healthy relationship is. They’re very open with each other and tell each other their feelings, not only about the other person but also about how they see the relationship moving forward, how fast or slow they want to move, etc. It was great to see a relationship depicted that had such good communication, especially since so many authors use miscommunication as a plot device or a way to create conflict.
This book isn’t without its tough moments, though. As is mentioned in the blurb, Fay’s family isn’t exactly what she thought it was. And as she spends her summer with them, things get pretty intense. I do want to warn you that if alcoholism or abuse is a tough subject for you, you may want to avoid this one. But this brings me back to Malcolm because when things get hard for Fay, he’s always really supportive of her and he’s there for when she needs him.
All in all, this was a fantastic book that I am so, so, so happy to have gotten the chance to read. Malcolm and Fay are a fantastic couple and I loved reading about them. I was devastated when the book ended because I was not ready to say goodbye to them. If you’re looking for a good YA romance/contemporary, I can’t recommend this one enough. It’ll have you smiling, crying, and wishing for a relationship like Fay and Malcolm’s. You won’t want to say goodbye to these characters. Like I mentioned, this has become one of my favorite books and I’ll be recommending this to everyone for quite awhile. 🙂