After a disastrous, reputation-destroying party at the end of junior year, Kat Henley has a new plan. When it comes to boys — especially other people’s boys:
In the past, drawing attention to herself helped distract people from what really makes Kat different — having two gay parents. But it’s also cost her friendships. Kat can’t afford to lose any more of those, especially not her cousin, Harper. They’re spending one last summer together at the lake, where they run into an intriguing newcomer named Emmett Reese. After years of trying to prove she’s just like everybody else, Kat has found someone who wants her because she’s not. A boy who could be everything she wants too — if Harper hadn’t liked him first…
This book was somewhat different from what I was expecting, and that’s such a good thing. I really liked that Rebecca Phillips took such a used theme, and gave it its own spin.
I really enjoyed the writing, the only small problem I had – and it wasn’t with the writing itself – was with the passages, which could totally be because I was reading the unfinished version. I thought that the passages were sometimes abrupt, some even encompassing long periods of time. But once I got used to them, I saw them coming and it was ok.
About the characters, I have to admit that none of the characters arose giant emotions out of me, though I did really like Kat and Emmett.
Kat is a bit different from the usual female main characters in YA novels. She’s very sure of herself, she loves to flirt, and she’s fully aware of her power over guys. That said, I really loved how none of those things were a factor in the romance, which, by the way, it’s a slow-ish burn.
The biggest themes of this books, however, did not lie in the romance, but on being true to oneself and the importance of friendship and family.
To be honest, I found Shay’s reaction in the beginning of the book a bit much. Yeah, what Kat did was wrong, but Shay, being her best friend and all, knew her well enough that she should have known that Kat’s intentions weren’t what they seemed. I kind of hated that she didn’t even give Kat the opportunity to explain herself.
When it came to Kat and Harper’s relationship, I really liked it. I was super sad when both of them started keeping secrets from each other, and here I don’t think that Kat held all the blame. Kat did try to get Harper and Emmett together, even when she was already having feelings for him, so I can see how hard it would be to come out to your cousin and say how interested you are in her crush… things just snowballed. Harper, on her hand, could see perfectly that there was something between her cousin and Emmett, and she also didn’t try to talk to Kat about it, instead she tried to push Kat into someone else, and I didn’t think that was cool at all.
I actually really loved the romance and how Kat and Emmett became good friends before anything else started. I liked how accepting he was of her, and how because of that she learned to accept herself a bit more too. And they were both so similar in some ways, the way they carried responsibilities that weren’t theirs to begin with, that made them kind of perfect for each other.
Kat grows a lot in the summer, and I couldn’t help but feel proud of her when she got back to the things she loved without fearing the judgement of others.
I was kind of hopping for some development in the Nate and Harper front, and I’m a little sad that it didn’t happen.
Now, I LOVED Kat’s dads. LOVED THEM! I loved how simple and normal they were portrayed. I could honestly read a whole book about Kat with her dad and her pop. I also really liked Emmett’s mom, and my heart broke so much for her during this book. Most of all, I loved how involved all of the parents were in this story.
In the end, I really liked this novel. Despite some issues with the writing, some so not fleshed out characters and some avoidable situations, it was a pretty damn good read.