While spending summer vacation with her family at her cousins’ fancy beach house in the Hamptons, Mia, 16, wants to join the popular crowd. Instead, she feels like the “frumpy relative”; in fact, even her own mother is a class snob who thinks Mia isn’t slim enough to be part of the “in” set. Then she bonds with gorgeous Simon, the boy next door, and they meet secretly at night on the beach, drink vodka, and skinny-dip in the wild ocean waves. The details about what the kids wear and their conversations about what is trendy overpower the story, especially because much of the fashion will date. But many teens will appreciate this first novel for how the dialogue not only captures the dynamics of Mia’s standoffs with her peers but also reveals her surprising discoveries about adults. Mia’s first-person narrative is right on about wanting to be “cool” (“I couldn’t help wishing I was more like them”) even as she despises much of what “they” stand for.
(Terra's Thoughts) I remember when I was in high school that I was a basket of insecurity and unsurity and can only imagine that the youth of today are much the same if not worse for the way that the lifestyle has changed so drastically. This book was a wake up call. Sad and happy, dangerous and free spirited, angry and loving and so much more. A most definite read for anyone this Summer and one that should be on high school reading requirements nationwide.
I am not a big lover of first person narrative but Mia's story just grabs ahold of you and won't let go. This is a quick read only because you can't put it down once you start it. A story that is vividly in tune so as to make you think you are actually the one telling the story and seeing all that is really happening. You'll feel the awkwardness that Mia feels around her cousins and their friends, the loneliness that she feels and the spark of excitement that flairs brighter that the fourth of July fireworks when she meets the pale faced awkward boy next door.
Honestly this is one I don't want to elaborate on except to say it is a must read. Young or old or anywhere in between, take a chance you won't be sorry on.
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (June 1, 2010)