First Lines: Nothing like a carful of boys to completely change my mood. There’s a muffled expletive from inside Castle’s Ice Cream, so I know Dad’s spotted them too.
I had to do one last hurrah for summer romances, and this was what I picked up. I’ve been wanting to read Huntley Fitzpatrick for a while now, but I just never seemed to find her books (all 2 of them) when I went to the library. And I finally got my hands on one.
If there was an Olympic medal for making mistakes in one summer, Gwen Castle would certainly win the gold. Now, Gwen just wants to get off the island she calls home to avoid the consequences. See, her Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, has taken a job as the local yard boy. He’s rich; she’s from a line of fishermen. When Gwen worries that she’ll be stuck in dead-end housecleaning jobs on the island forever, her dad gives her some shocking advice. Maybe now’s the time for Gwen to face what she’s done in order to create a future she’s excited to be a part of.
There’s so much that goes on in this story and my little blurb doesn’t do it all justice. It’s a pretty meaty book at 400+ pages, but it’s never dull. And it’s not a fluff read either. It deals with some heavier topics, though I wouldn’t call it tear-jerker material either.
I really liked the characters in the story. All of them. From Gwen and Cass, our main characters, to Nic (Gwen’s cousin), Vivie (Gwen’s bestie), and Emory (Gwen’s little brother). All of the characters had their own distinct personalities and enough background to them that they seemed like real people. We didn’t always know what was going on in their lives and that was fine. And I so loved watching them change over time. Hurray for character development!
The story has a lot of flashbacks in it to tell us about Gwen’s mistakes. Sometimes, I’ll admit, those got a little confusing. But mostly, I thought they were done well and done in a way that was interesting. Gwen has a really interesting way of telling her stories.
I thought this also hit on a lot of big issues too. Especially social class. Gwen lives on an island that is home to many wealthy summer homes. So many summer visitors are stuck-up millionaires while Gwen’s family can barely put food on the table. Seeing the two next to each other is startling and, in some cases, infuriating. But at the same time, I just know that things like this happen every single day.
I don’t want to say too much about the love story, just that it feels a little unconventional at times but 100% real for the characters involved. Does that make sense? Like, they aren’t the kind of people whose story walks right out of a romance novel. I may have swooned just a little.
And let me just say, that ending was so different from what I expected. So much for what I thought I knew. 🙂 (Get it? Like the title of the book? …I’m a dork.)
Anyway, this was a really good read. It did a lot of things really well and my only regret was that I didn’t have enough time to sit and gobble it down like I wanted to.