First Lines: There’s a long-held belief in my family that all the Saint-Martin women are romantically cursed. Unlucky in love, doomed to end up miserable and alone. Supposedly, one of my early New England ancestors angered a neighbor–big surprise–who then paid the wise woman in the village to curse us. All of us.
Jenn Bennett is one of those writers that I’m getting a really good feel for. When she comes out with a new book, I know exactly what I’m getting: a cute YA romance with deeper themes to it with flawed characters just trying to do their best. That’s what I was expecting from this.
Josie Saint-Martin, budding photographer, has spent her teenage years bouncing around from city to city every few months with her single mother. When they return to their hometown after years away to run the family bookstore, Josie knows this is just temporary. She dreams of going to the West Coast and she has a plan of getting there. What she doesn’t plan on is running into Lucky Karras–the town rebel, outsider, and Josie’s former best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with Josie. But after a disastrous pool party and an even worse act of revenge that lands Josie in Big Trouble, she’s surprised when Lucky takes the fall for her. Determined to understand why Lucky helped her, she soon learns that both of them have changed, that the Lucky she knew as a child has changed some, but he’s still there…and this time, he makes her heart race.
This ended up being exactly what I was hoping it would be: the cute characters, the cuter romance, and the many subplots that add to the overall story.
Lucky and Josie are interesting characters, especially given that they have a history together. When Josie returns to town after being away five years (and their friendship ending on somewhat negative terms), it’s no wonder she and Lucky walk on eggshells around each other. There’s a lot of misunderstandings between them. But as they warm up, they each have a great sense of humor and a willingness to see how the other one has changed. It keeps the story moving. And it was heartwarming.
Almost more than Josie and Lucky’s subplot (main plot??) is Josie’s family drama. There is a LOT of tension in that family and that definitely kept the story moving as well. There were a lot of land mines in their past that she needed to avoid. Again, this definitely kept the story moving, though sometimes it was like, “Oh my gosh, can we just deal with this like adults?” Because honestly, sometimes the adults were worse than the teenagers about dealing with drama. (And isn’t that true to real life sometimes?)
This was a sweet story. I really enjoyed the characters. It’s easy reading and it was fun.