A girl forced out of her comfort zone finds that being true to herself is the best way to live her life, in this second novel from the author of For the Record.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Skylar Hoffman’s senior year at her preppy East Coast boarding school should have been perfect:
the coolest friends
the most desirable dorm
But it’s far from it. To her dismay, Skylar’s not going to rule senior year because she’s stuck in Abbot House, a tiny dorm known for, well, nothing. Living with a group of strangers everyone thinks is lame is bad enough. Worse is that Skylar wasn’t exactly truthful about how she spent summer break in Los Angeles—and her little white lie is causing her once rock-solid romance to crumble fast. And when it turns out that Skylar’s best friend is the one responsible for having her booted from Lincoln? It’s an all-out war.
Stepping out of her comfort zone never felt so scary—or necessary. But everything is different now. Including, maybe, Skylar herself . . .
Publication Date: September 13th, 2016
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About the Author:
Huge thanks to Charlotte Huang, Wendy Loggia w/Delacorte Press, and the crew at The Fantastic Flying Book Club for sending me a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
At the beginning of this read, I was super annoyed with Skylar. For having to deal with family drama and financial pressures, she came off as a hugely spoiled brat. She was whiney. More than that, she complained–all the time!–about pretty insignificant problems. I was not, in truth, impressed. I spent a good chunk of this read praying to my book penguin queen for ANY amount of character growth, because I wasn’t sure Skylar would be willing or able to change.
I pushed past my annoyance, however…and by the midpoint of this book, FINALLY began to see changes happen. I attribute this growth to the rest of the characters cast here–the friendships and relationships built into and surrounding Skylar were, in my opinion, the best parts of this read. Sure, there are other important morals touched upon–toxic friendships; bullying; standing up for what you believe in; putting yourself out there. These all play such key roles in this journey…but it’s the focus on friendships, and on acceptance, that stood out most to me. So Skylar’s growth was not necessarily due to a shift in her way of thinking (not at first, at least), but instead the changes in who she surrounded herself with.
There wasn’t, overall, a ton of action to the plot. In terms of the plot mountain, in fact, this read was pretty one-dimensional. However, the moments of snark were super entertaining, and I really enjoyed following Skylar on her journey to self-discovery and self-acceptance. Watching her find her feet–and then a way to stand strong on them–proved both endearing and empowering. There were also some very beautifully written scenes…which helped show that Charlotte Huang knows how to set the stage and craft gorgeously unique imagery for readers.
In the end, I really enjoyed this book, and will probably be picking up more of Charlotte Huang in the future. The beginning was a bit rocky for Skylar and I…but the ensuing friendships MADE this book for me. I’d recommend this to lovers of contemporaries, flawed but adaptable characters, and vibrantly detailed scenery. For now, it’s on to the next one!