Published on May 12, 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
[This book was given to me by the Publisher but this on no way affected my opinion.]
Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. But Montana is a New York City girl through and through, and as the city heats up, she’s stepping into the most intense summer of her life.At first I was totally gonna past this book, the tittle and the cover (yes, I judge books by their cover whatever who never) sounded like not my kind of contemporary, but them the early reviews started to pop up and it was so much positive buzz saying things about this that totally sounded like it could be a me book that I had to check it out. And this is probably one of my favorite things about reviewers or even people that just put a small opinion about the book - putting books on the radar that otherwise would have passed by without notice or making me give another shot about books that I had already discarded as not for me or not interested.
With Arizona wrapped up in her college world and their father distracted by yet another divorce, Montana’s been immersing herself in an intoxicating new friendship with a girl from her acting class. Karissa is bold, imperfectly beautiful, and unafraid of being vulnerable. She’s everything Montana would like to become. But the friendship with Karissa is driving a wedge between Montana and her sister, and the more of her own secrets Karissa reveals, the more Montana has to wonder if Karissa’s someone she can really trust.
In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a heady distraction in Bernardo. He’s serious and spontaneous, and he looks at Montana in the way she wants to be seen. For the first time, Montana understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else. But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life?
Right from the first chapter I knew I would finish this book and look out for other books of this author, because seriously the writing is so good - it's kind of a stream of thoughts but not really, I don't know how to explain but it was really raw and it was incredible easy to get into Montana's head and feel all her emotions without a filter. Montana's character was a curious thing for me, she reminded me a lot of me with 17, specially her impulsiveness when trying to escape her problems, so I think that if I had read this one earlier on my life it would have been a favorite, now that I'm older I could see the motives for her actions and understand her emotions but also I could look from a distance angle and analyze it better.
I really liked the way the relationships were written on this book, this was probably my favorite part of the story - Haydu has a way of picturing just how messy and complicated a close relationship can be (no matter if it's with family, friends or lovers), how it doesn't matter how much you love someone and try to make it work sometimes it's impossible not to hurt each other, I especially loved the relationship between Montana, Arizona and their father, it showed in such a honest way how people can mess up with each other but also that this doesn't mean that there is any less love between them. The romance was pictured really great, I think, it was realistic to a first love their intensity and need to be always together and how hard it was to picture a day when that love wasn't going to make sense.
One of the things that bothered me was Karissa's character, she clearly has serious mental issues and it was addressed (kind of, I don't know people took Montana serious?) but at the same time it was never really dealt with, I know the focus wasn't Karissa's story so it didn't bothered me all that much. What did bothered me was the ending, it was a huge open ending, like seriously it was so big that it could lead to another book without any problem and I didn't enjoyed it, I usually don't have problems with open endings but I did had with this one - the main reason is the fact that nothing really seemed resolved, Montana's life is pretty fucked up on this summer and her relationship with her dad, best friend, sister, Karissa, Natasha and Bernardo are all a mess, so I was expecting that at the end we would come to a resolution of this summer you know but yeah no. And I could have dealt with that, because life is messy and blablabla but Montana is basically running away from all her problems at the ending and is acting like everything will be okay with that and this bothered me a lot.
Overall I enjoyed this book a lot, it was a crazy ride definitely, it made me laugh and make me heart hurt at times too and made me wish to be in love again (but only the first months of being in love, without the messy parts of later). I recommended it to everyone that loves a good contemporary story about growing up and first loves and summer on New York.
Ps.: this one has a lot of underage drinking and smoking and stuff so if you don't like that on your books I would recommend passing this one.