Author: Corey Ann Haydu
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 3.5 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. But Montana is a New York City girl through and through, and as the city heats up, she’s stepping into the most intense summer of her life.
With Arizona wrapped up in her college world and their father distracted by yet another divorce, Montana’s been immersing herself in an intoxicating new friendship with a girl from her acting class. Karissa is bold, imperfectly beautiful, and unafraid of being vulnerable. She’s everything Montana would like to become. But the friendship with Karissa is driving a wedge between Montana and her sister, and the more of her own secrets Karissa reveals, the more Montana has to wonder if Karissa’s someone she can really trust.In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a heady distraction in Bernardo. He’s serious and spontaneous, and he looks at Montana in the way she wants to be seen. For the first time, Montana understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else. But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life?
This book was a solid four star book right up until that ending. I hate open endings. I don’t want to imagine what happens to the characters. I want to be told. They’re not my characters. How should I know what happens to them? So when this book ended with, what was in my opinion, a non-ending it just really lowered my opinion. Now that I’m done whining about that, we can move onto what I really liked about the book.
I loved the main character, Montana. Montana is your typical teen girl. Unsure of where she belongs or who she is. She has a rough home life. Her mother left years and years ago and her father goes through woman like they’re loaves of bread. She’s had countless stepmothers over the past years and more and more keep sprouting up. Not to mention the fact that her father is a plastic surgeon and is extremely critical of women’s bodies. What a shitty environment for a teenage girl right? I felt so bad for Montana and I could really feel her pain. Her pain at being abandoned by not only her biological mother, but all the stepmoms that came after. Her pain at her father not being around, or just being a critical asshole when he was around. And the pain of feeling like your sister and your best friend left you behind when they went off to college. Montana was layered and real.
There were so many interesting aspects to this book. There were messages about body image and being happy with the way you look. There were messages about falling in love too fast and taking your time in life. There were messages about the importance of family and how messed up life can get without it. And there were messages about friendships and how sometimes, they can be toxic. Corey Ann Haydu does a great job of teaching all these lessons and talking about all these issues in a way that feels unique and genuine. I would definitely love to be able to get this book into the hands of teenage girls. I think they could learn a lot from it; I know I did.
Have you read this one yet? What did you think?