Published by Harper Teen on May 10th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Social Themes, Death & Dying, Physical & Emotional Abuse
eARC provided by HarperCollins
We Were Liars meets Looking for Alaska in a uniquely funny and heartbreaking teen novel about a passionate-yet-doomed friendship set against a backdrop of wealth and glamour.
Willa Parker, 646th and least-popular resident of What Cheer, Iowa, is headed east to start a new life. Did she choose this life? No, because that would be too easy—and nothing in Willa’s life is easy. It’s her famous genius mother’s idea to send her to ultra-expensive, ultra-exclusive Pembroke Prep, and Willa has no intention of fitting in. But when she meets peculiar, glittering Remy Taft, the richest, most mysterious girl on campus, she starts to see a foothold in this foreign world—a place where she could maybe, possibly, sort of fit in. When Willa looks at Remy, she sees a girl who has everything. But for Remy, having everything comes at a price. And as she spirals out of control, Willa can feel Remy spinning right out of her grasp.
Andrea Portes, author of the hilarious, heartbreaking Anatomy of a Misfit, spins a similarly incandescent, heartfelt story that explores the meaning of friendship, new beginnings, and the precarious joy and devastating pain of finding home in a place—a person—with wings.
This was such a fun book about a girl going to an ivy league high school across the country from her actual home. Willa’s mother is famous for her brain and her father is just a regular guy. Of course she grew up with her dad and hasn’t seen her mother in years, but that doesn’t stop her mother from trying to dictate her academically. Willa agrees to attend Pembroke Prep, there she meets a girl who will change her life. Remy is the sort of girl everyone wants to be friends with. Remy chooses to befriend Willa and lets Willa into her world. Remy might be the only thing that keeps Willa from killing herself, but Remy has carved her own path to destruction.
Right away I have to tell you that the writing style of this book is not normal. It took me some getting used to. It made me thing of the way some bloggers write. I enjoyed the style that speaks directly to the reader and includes backround info and snark. The writing allows us right into Willa’s head in a very first person way. I think this is something you will love or hate right away, there is no getting around it. I liked being in Willa’s head, so I pretty much enjoyed this story.
That’s not to say I didn’t have issues. For example: right off the bat Willa is describing her classmates to us before she leaves for this elite prep school. She calls them horrible names like OCD, Peanut Allergy Boy, and Headhear girl. These people that she claims to miss aren’t even important enough to have real names. There is fun play with names for everyone in this book, but I really disliked this intro. It gave me opinions about Willa that weren’t necessarily true. Also, Willa admits to having suicidal plans, but we never really find out why.
Willa and Remy have a magnetic attraction to each other. They are not lovers, but I almost though for a minute that they were going to be. Willa goes out of her way for Remy, and Remy opens up to Willa as much as she possibly can. Remy invited Willa into her world, but it is not all that pretty when you get a good look at it. Remy is very very much alone and recklessly not in check with anyone. This lifestyle means that no one will ever call her on her bullshit or tell her to stop. No one, not even Willa.
There is a bit of a love interest, but… I thought right away, this is going to end badly. I admit that I disliked the ending. I can’t really say where people ended up, but it makes me kinda sad to think about some aspects of this story. I think this book will appeal to a certain reader who like the way Willa sees the world.