By: Sharon Huss Roat
Release Date: June 16th 2015
Rating: 5 Stars
Summary: When Ivy Emerson’s family loses their house-complete with her beloved piano-the fear of what’s to come seizes her like a bad case of stage fright. Only this isn’t one of her single, terrifying performances. It’s her life.
And it isn’t pretty.
Ivy is forced to move with her family out of their affluent neighborhood to Lakeside, also known as “the wrong side of the tracks.” Hiding the truth from her friends-and the cute new guy in school, who may have secrets of his own-seems like a good idea at first. But when a bad boy next door threatens to ruin everything, Ivy’s carefully crafted lies begin to unravel… and there is no way to stop them.
As things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart disabled little brother. She may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were… including herself.
For everyone who knows me, they know I am not a huge fan of contemporary. Normally it just doesn’t hit the spot for me, but this book was amazing. So funny and cute and from the very beginning I was rooting for bad boy Lennie, because here’s the thing.. He isn’t actually a bad boy. The main character had some moments where she really annoyed me, there were times where she focused so hard on not being rich anymore and what it meant for her. Or she was worried about what her “friends” thought, when she could barely even stand them. But over the course of the novel she begins to come out of her shell, doing things she never thought she could, and making friends who she didn’t have to keep secrets from. It was an amazing coming of age story and I just fell in love with the characters.
The relationships were amazing as well. Let’s start with Reesa. I started out the book not really liking Reesa, but by the end I loved her. I love that she had Ivy’s back, she was always pushing her to get on stage and share her talent. She was hurt by Ivy during the book but she still had her back. And she didn’t turn around and gossip about Ivy’s secrets. I liked that she was still a friend even in the bad times.
One of my biggest guilty pleasures is bad boy/good girl combo. And this book had that recipe but not everything is as it seems. And while Lennie may act like a bad boy, Ivy comes to realize that looks and rumors can be deceiving. I loved Lennie from the very beginning. I thought he was so cute and funny and sweet. He helps Ivy when she needs it even if she does act like he doesn’t exist. From the very beginning I was rooting for Lennie and Ivy. I think the chemistry and the whole dynamic is what made me really enjoy this book.
James. I liked James in the beginning. I thought he was cute and dreamy, but my heart was set on Lennie. Especially with the way James hides things. He refuses to tell Ivy anything about himself. Which I thought ‘Okay. I can deal with some secrets’, but it comes out later that James moved somewhere no one knew him, so he could see how people treated him and if they liked him for him. And while I get that, because his dad is a multi-millionaire people wanted him for the money, and for the status. I just felt that he was testing Ivy and then just bailed when, she didn’t live up to his standards. That bothered me quite a bit. After he leaves she tries to get him back, but has to go through so much just to prove she wasn’t using him. Although him doing this proved who was there from the beginning and who wasn’t.
Overall I thought this was such an amazing book. I loved the book messages and I loved the characters. Yes Ivy annoyed me at times, but she was written like a teenager I could relate to. One who cared about image as much as I did when I was in high school. I thought it was a brilliantly written book, not to mention the authors debut novel. And let me just say if this is the kind of work that comes from Sharon I can not wait till her next book! If you haven’t read this one or weren’t planning on it, I suggest you remedy that immediately. Seriously you will not regret reading this one.