Synopsis: Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who’s always done what she’s supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.
Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.
One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.
Review: Well, isn’t this nice. And I mean that in a good way. You know the kind that once you’re done it put a smile on your face. Yes, that one. But don’t diss it yet because it isn’t a complete fluffy read either. It still has a hint of drama because otherwise it will be too sweet. And I don’t want my book to leave me on some literary sugar high. It has good amount of teen romance, self-issue, peer problem, and some minor family drama. So, really what’s not to like.
I liked that it put bit of originality in some may called instantaneous infatuation. Wren saved Gray from choking a weenie, so of course it was truly understanble that Gray sought her out. She sort of saved his life. It made her interesting from the very beginning. And that’s triggering event, once that’s over, they started like the usual: asking her out, small talks over a coffee, the works. So the interest had level up from there. But getting to know each other was hardest part since both had issues that they were still dealing with (at least at that time). And regardless of how strong the feelings are, sometimes personal things hinder the relationship from progressing.
Let me flesh out Gray first. He was kicked out from school because of some term paper fiasco. The problem was he was still hanged up on his mistake. He was unable to move forward. It anchored him on one place. And add to his figuratively immobility is that his friends didn’t want him out of the business. And the pressure he got from them made it harder to move on—to start fresh. And then there is Wren who he thinks deserves the truth from him.
Wren has issues as well. She’s the quiet kid. The kind of student who doesn’t get in trouble. The girl who excels on what she does. And unlike other kids who worry on the parties and wardrobe, her main concern is her future. It worried her that some school official put everybody down by telling that none of them are going to Harvard. But along the way she snapped, she had enough, and she finally put her foot down and speaks up. The truth is, while I liked that she tried to burst her own bubble and try to live a little, I still don’t agree that she need to act rebellious just to feel that she is her own person. That she has a voice. Because she can still do the right thing and still has a voice. At least from my stance, she can.
I wasn’t entirely satisfied on how it addressed the problem with Gray’s friend, Luke. I think his character has potential. There were moments that I sort of, and almost in a very strange way, I understand the dude. It’s not really good for the ego, and even to the heart to be always the second best. And there were times that when he lowered his guard that there was something really sad about him (or he could be acting but I felt the sincerity…somehow). But since he’s over with Amsterdam thing so I guess that tied the loose ends. So to wrap up, it was a nice story (which I already said earlier). I liked it and although it didn’t connect to me in an emotional level, I still enjoyed it.
I received an advance copy from Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.
Preview Quote: “I’d imagine I was alone in the world. Invincible and above feeling compassion. I’d always be able to step back into my life,” — Grayson (from Uncorrected Digital Galley)