Release date: July 7, 2015
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Eva has always wanted to write a modern classic—one that actually appeals to her generation. The only problem is that she’s starting to realize she can’t “write what she knows” because she hasn’t really lived. So the summer before heading off to college, Eva is determined to live a life worth writing about.
But soon Eva’s story starts to go in unexpected directions, like growing apart from her best friends, working at a job she is completely unqualified for, and even falling for the last person she would have ever imagined. Like anyone, though, it will be up to Eva to figure out how she wants this particular chapter in her story to end.
I would like to point out in the start that the book is very meta about itself – the protagonist Eva imagines herself as the main character of her life, and every interaction is shaped according to what she thinks would be good for the story. This plan to change herself comes after her professor critiques her short story, saying that it sounds fake and maybe she should write from her experiences. As a character, she is a bit of a snob and keeps thinking she is better than others – but she is also self-aware, thanks to being a writer. She keeps analyzing her character as she would one she had created – and this leads her to interesting conclusions.
First, she dabbles with the ‘bad boy’ Elliot, who was a jerk right from the moment she met him, yet like two pages later she is – and I quote, “dying to kiss” him. Obviously, there is no chemistry there, since she is trying to see where it goes, and imagines scenarios in her head. Her other ‘love interest’ Foster – is her rival, and friend – her frival. Side note: the author loves puns; there is a generous amount of them strewn throughout the book. But working on the camp with him, she gets to know him better. While at said camp, she also realizes that maybe she doesn’t know everything. When trying to lead impressionable young kids, she realizes the effect of what she says has – a thing she didn’t really care about before, when she was generous with her criticism. That is a great turning point for her, but in a true meta way, she also realizes this herself.
Perhaps the best selling point of the book is the uniqueness of the main character, and the fact that the book breaks the fourth wall. The writing is okay, and definitely could improve the progression into chapters. The pacing was stilted – it was going nowhere at some points and then sometimes, I couldn’t even figure out what happened. But overall, it a very realistic story, and the development, while not in writing, but rendering, flowed naturally.
Received a free galley from Harper Teen via Edelweiss; this does not influence my opinions or review.