Bianca Easton is the perfect senator’s daughter.
Law school? Check.
Camera-ready smile? Check.
A dull and boring existence? Double check.
But that was before. Before she lost her best and only friend in a tragic accident. Before she found that friend’s unfinished bucket list. Definitely before she turned her life upside-down by deciding to stay in New York for six months to finish it.
It’s while she’s checking off her first item on the list–buy coffee for a stranger–that she meets Ian Mathis. Between the tattoo sleeve curling up his right arm, his guitar-roughened fingertips, and the secrets shadowing his past, he’s a complication Bianca doesn’t need but desperately wants.
With every item they cross off the list together, Bianca uncovers a piece of herself that she’s buried under what’s expected, all the while breaking her own rules by falling hard for Ian. But when her six months run out, Bianca has to decide if she’s willing to risk her empty but picture-perfect life for a chance at real, messy love.
A little while back I read Until it’s Right from Jamie Howard and I loved it. Since then I’ve been keeping my eyes open for any more books from her, and when I saw this one, I had to have it. Luckily Netgalley was good to me.
I love Jamie’s writing style, it’s first person, and kind of lyrical in a way, and I loved it. It did the story justice. A particularity of this book was how the dual POV was used. Have you read Ugly Love? It’s kind of similar. While we get Bianca’s POV in the present, we get Ian’s journey from 8 years before, to the moment he’s in.
I really liked both characters and how much they grow with the turn of each page. Bianca was never her own person until the moment her best friend dies, and she decides that she owes it to Renée to find herself. She’s strong and while she craves her parents approval, she does just fine on her own. I really liked seeing her complete the items on the list, whether by herself, with Ian or with Harper. I loved Harper, and I was so glad that Bianca found such a great friend – because she most definitly needed it.
Present-day Ian is a mystery for most of the book, but past Ian is AMAZING. Well, I wasn’t very happy that he was the kind of person that blew out his friends because of his new girlfriend, but I do think he found a balance there. I did love all of his friends, especially Rachel, but Maggie… I don’t know… she was awesome, but maybe she was too perfect?! Once all is said and done though, I understood present-day Ian, and it hurt like hell. Poor guy. 😦
The relationship between Ian and Bianca felt real, in the way that it was never perfect, it evolved very slow and tentative, and it wasn’t all consuming. I felt their chemistry though, even throughout some cringeworthy moments.
The story story core was predictable to a certain degree, but it took things a bit further than I was expecting, and I appreciated that. It’s a beautiful journey about finding oneself and learning that it’s ok to move on. I appreciated that the things took their time, it made a lot of sense.
I’m honestly a fan of Jamie Howard, and I will continue to read all of her books, though i hope the next one is about the rest of the gang here… Ben and Rachel maybe? Maybe Felix? I know I want to read about him soon :D. Either way, I’ll be happy!