Author: Susan Hatler
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Length: 198 Pages
Release: July 2016
I received a copy of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book follows Poppy, a high school junior who starts an anonymous advice column as both a way to speak her mind--without facing the consequences--and as an experiment to add to her college applications. What she doesn't know starting out, is how much of an impact this is going to have on her daily life.
For the most part this was an enjoyable read. The main downfall was that it tried to tackle too much. Poppy had some self confidence issues, that she was trying to deal with by using Aubrey as her alter ego. There were boy issues--of course--with Poppy being torn between her long time crush and the new boy in town who actually seems to notice her. Friendship turmoil as Poppy and her two best friends are tested when they discover that they things they've always taken for granted about each other aren't the full reality. Then there is the family dynamic that we see behind the scenes of Poppy's life, where she struggles to make her single mom happy while her little brother seems to do no wrong. And don't forget the fact that she has a bully for a teacher and worries about her grade. And that is saying nothing of the that ensues because of her column, or the bullying that begins in relation to that drama.
So this was enjoyable, and any of those things would be fine for a book on their own or in small clusters, but all of them at once was a bit overwhelming and left me feeling less than satisfied with the conclusion, which was rather abrupt. This is the first in a planned series, meaning that some of this could have spanned into the next book and made things smoother.
The only other novels I have read by Susan Hatler are her Better Date than Never series and some of her Kissed by the Bay series, all of which are fairly self contained stories and geared more toward a grown up rather than teenage audience. So maybe the downfalls in this were the fact that the author is used to a one book story as well as writing for a different demographic.
This was well written and I really enjoyed the premise. I will likely continue the series when book two is released, to see how it improves and where Poppy ends up in future installments. Overall it was an enjoyable read, I just wasn't wowed by it. Also, the cover is pretty great.