Author: Emery Lord
Genre: YA Contemporary
Length: 352 Pages (Hardcover)
Release: April 2016
It's hard for me to put my feelings on this book into words. While there were a lot of things that I really enjoyed, there were also a lot of things that annoyed me. Let's start with the good stuff.
Jonah's family was fantastic. It was great to see the struggle that an average family was experiencing after great loss because so many people (myself included) have experienced similar loss. Also, the big family aspect was done splendidly. The only thing that I don't think was done well here was the arguing. I don't find it realistic that Jonah had never made his siblings cry before, or that he would find that strange. People argue, people say hurtful things, and they move on. Particularly families, no matter how happy. But Jonah's interactions with his younger siblings were beautiful. I wish this had been more of a focus than it was.
Now let's look at some lukewarm feelings. Jonah and Vivi's relationship had it's cute moments. It was very rushed, but I guess that went along the summer romance theme that was presented. I was never fully invested in them as a couple, but I do think they learned from each other. Maybe not the lessons they really needed, but it was cute and sweet nonetheless.
Now to the main dislike. Vivi. It's not that I hated her character, I just found her extremely hard to have consistent feelings about. She was very selfish and this got really old. I don't feel like there was enough development from beginning to end with her. It felt more like she was back to what she had been at the beginning of the book, like she had gone in a circle through the summer.
I've suffered with anxiety and depression for my entire life. I know they present differently in everyone. No two people have the same symptoms or fixes. I was not entirely satisfied with how the mental health aspect of this was handled, however. Vivi seemed more into letting her mental health problems control her than actually learning to live with them and work with them. There is no way to just fix things, but you have to acknowledge them before you can learn to change. And I don't think there was enough acknowledgement happening in this book.
This was a well written story and it addressed some important topics, I just wish it had really delved into them a little more. Overall enjoyable, but not a favorite.