I love reading books, especially Young Adult books of all kinds. I have a book reviewing blog (The Reading Shelf) that I try to update whenever I'm not reading or procrastinating on the internet.
My third debut book of the year! And, unfortunately, also my third DNF of the year.
From the very beginning, this book just didn’t catch my attention. Annie was the type of “strong” girl that has dealt with hardship at the hands of an awful stepfather and a mostly-checked-out-of-the-world mother. She didn’t look back twice once she got the chance to leave her hometown behind for the much more glamorous (truly, not being sarcastic) life of a nanny for a wealthy family in California. It seemed like she just washed her hands of her mother, and though her mother didn’t seem perfect and the child should never have to bear the brunt of responsibility, it rubbed me the wrong way that she didn’t seem the slightest bit worried of leaving behind her mother in an awful life. Annie just wasn’t that sympathetic to me and I had trouble truly connecting with her.
Then there’s the “beautiful young matriarch” Libby mentioned in the summary. The summary claims that Libby acts as an older sister initially, and though that’s true, she also seems to behave coldly at the beginning. It almost seemed like she had bipolar disorder, although it was never actually addressed in the parts I read. She often switched back and force from the “cool,” caring sister-like figure Annie wanted to the cold, critical figure that she definitely did not. Because she started off so uneven right from the start, that also threw me off and made it even more difficult to get interested in the book.
After about 80 pages or so, I decided this wasn’t the book for me. I did want to know what happened, though, so I flipped to the back and skimmed the last 50 pages or so to get an idea of what I was missing. Now, I know plenty of people like to skip to the back of books to see how they end before they even start the book, but I never do that. The fact that I was OK with doing that with this book seemed like a clear sign that it was not the book for me. Anyway, I though the conclusion to the story, and thus the story itself, seemed a bit interesting, but it was the execution that ultimately didn’t work for me. I didn’t care about Annie, which made it hard to worry about her wellbeing or cheer her on as she started crushing on the boy-next-door.
If I had liked the main character more, I might have connected with this story more, and then I would have enjoyed it more. The story itself seemed interesting, but after reading 80 or so pages and not caring about the characters and then skimming the last 50 pages and not feeling like I really missed out on anything, I think it’s clear that this isn’t the book for me. I might check out Anna Collomore’s stuff in the future to see if I connect with them better, but they’ll definitely need to have really interesting premises.