Published on May 3, 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Andie had it all planned out.
When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.
Important internship? Check.
Amazing friends? Check.
Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.
Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.
And where’s the fun in that?
I've been wanting to read Morgan Matson for years, so when I saw this beautiful book on the bookstore I just needed to have it, I can't resist a cover with puppies in it. I'm so glad I got it and read it, this book was a delightful read, I honestly was a bit worried about the length, it has more than 500 pages and it's a contemporary book, but I flew by it in three days (which is quickly for me), that being said I do think that some people may have problems with this book, it's very character driven and if you asked me the plot of it I wouldn't have much more to say than that it's a story about a girl finding herself during a summer, and I know that for some people that may not be enough, so keep that in mind.
For me this totally worked, Andie, starts out the story pretty... Stiff, she has a plan for her summer (and entire life really), she has know what she wants to do in college since forever, knows what she needs to get there and works really hard towards it and that is a great accomplish but her control mania doesn't fit only on her academic level. Through the story we get to know that Andie is closed of in all of her relationships, all so that she won't lose control, care too much and end up with disappointments - of course that isn't healthy and things will happen so that she will realize that.
When her plans for the summer fall apart, due to a political scandal of her father, she accepts a dog walking job, which is definitely not a job that will impress colleges but is better than staying in her house everyday with her father there too. I really liked the way this story line played up, it was a way for Andie to get to know herself better affecting her entire future, it showed how a job that she would never have took otherwise, because it wouldn't look ambitious or good enough, managed to make her feel much better about herself than most of the stellar things on her curriculum. Also I loved reading about the dogs, so that was a bonus.
One of the things that was bought into her life because of this job is Clark, a super cute and kind of awkward new guy that would fit the slot of summer fling perfectly, except that he doesn't want just a superficial thing as she is used to have with her ex-boyfriends. Clark unsettles Andie, he challenge her barriers and wants to actually get to know her and not just pretend to talk in between make out sessions, this is unusual and it makes Andie run at first, but of course things happen, these walls come down and for once she let things just... Happen. Their romance is pretty sweet and it has a great development, with a bigger focus on their connection and talks, than in a physical focus.
One of the greatest things about this book is the friendships, Andie is part of a tight group of four girlfriends and their complement and support each other in amazing ways, I was a bit bummed for the ending because I loved them so much, can't talk much because spoilers but it broke my heart a bit. But what I want to highlight isn't the girls friendship but the boys friendship that develops between Tom and Clark, they are both boyfriends that tag along with the group of girls and it was really fun to read about them fitting with them, it' rare to read YA books that have an actual bromance in it, or really just a friendship between boys pictured in the same way that it's pictured girlfriends, it's a nice touch.
Other relationship that touched me was the one amongst Andie and her father, ever since the death of her mother things haven't been the same between then and this definitely affects Andie a great deal, is a major aspect of why she doesn't open herself up to people and his carer, on politics, has been dictating her behavior in a lot of ways. They start of without really knowing each other, there was some funny/awkward moments because of it but it was mostly sad, it got me to tear up a bit, but it was great to read about them re-connecting and really trying to work things out. Their interactions where definitely the ones that made me more emotional, specially on towards the ending, it broke my heart that Andie had to feel that way, worse yet, that it had been her father actions all these years that made her feel that way.
Long review, for a even longer book, I'm sorry but I just had a lot of feelings with all the aspects of Andie's journey. In case you didn't notice yet I absolutely loved this one so much that when I finished I wanted to start re-reading right away, is a perfect summer, fluffy read that has a great character arc, moving family dynamics and a great group of friends with a cute romance on the side, it has everything you could ask for a contemporary novel. Recommended to everyone, but mostly to lovers of Kasie West, fluffy and light reads that still have some depth to it.