1. She graduated from New York University.
2. She lives in or near Los Angeles.
3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week.
4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon.
5. She’s my mother.
Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much.
L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love.
But then the Reece Malcolm list gets a surprising new entry. Now that Devan is so close to having it all, can she handle the possibility of losing everything?
This book is exactly what contemporary YA should be. Even more than that, it feels like it was written especially for me (or for Teen Jess, anyway), and I love that.
First of all, you know I love me a hot guy, and this book had two. One for Teen Jess - Sai, the Indian/Chinese tall, hot-bodied, dorky, book-loving show-tune singer with great hear. And one for Old Jess - Brad, Reece's British, awesome in the kitchen, TV writer, band t-shirt wearing boyfriend. (I read a review where someone said she shipped Brad and Reece just as much as she shipped Devan and Sai. SO TRUE. I feel like in so many books the parents seem OLD and BORING, even to me, an old and boring old lady. But Brad and Reece were these awesome people you really did care about, even if you don't usually find yourself interested in the parent stories.)
This book is all about the relationships. Devan and Reece. Devan and her dead dad. Devan and the people at her new school. Devan and the best friend she left behind. Devan and Sai. Reece and Brad. Devan and Brad. All of these complicated, messy, confusing relationships built and built and built into this fascinating story about people you truly cared about. I didn't want this book to end. I wanted to move into Reece's guest room and keep living with these characters, because by the time this book was over, they felt like actual people to me.
It might seem like it's a little niche because a lot of the story centers around Devan's performing arts school and show choir and putting on a musical. I promise, though, even if you aren't into these things, I think you will still be super into this book. (I say this as someone who IS into these things, but still...) Because at the heart of all of the singing and performing is a girl who wants to get to know her mom and get to know herself, and absolutely everyone can relate to that.
Contemporary YA lovers, don't let this one pass you by.
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