Realistic, but maybe too much so.

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gggina13 Avatar


This was incredibly, incredibly boring to me. I do acknowledge that it is a coming-of-age story, and a pretty realistic one at that. Here's the thing - when I was a teenager, and hyperfocused on every interaction I ever had with my crush, this book would have made me feel seen. The first time the love interest touches the main character is when she brushes a leaf out of her hair. I'm pretty sure the MC not only saved the leaf, but brought it up at least 2 more times. That is so inherently teen crush and it's well done. But it's so BORING to read about

This book follows Aria over the summer of 2013, where she's sent to live with her grandma after a Tumblr mishap (very 2013 lmao) She has always operated under the notion that she is straight, but when she meets Steph, her grandma's gardener, and a few of Steph's friends, who are all lesbians, she gets to know more about herself. Aria is 18, and Steph and her friends are only about 20, 21-ish, but the age gap between them seems really pronounced, probably more due to where they're at in life. Steph has an apartment with her girlfriend, and Aria is freshly graduated from high school, set to go to MIT in the fall.

You did read that right, Steph does have a girlfriend, which complicates things quite a lot when Aria and Steph begin a situationship. It is a very slow burn, like I said, we gotta read about a lot of leaves in hair first, but yeah, there is a massive cheating plot in this book.

Besides her coming-of-age and stealing-of-women, Aria is also dealing with her grandma's seemingly failing health, distance between her and her best friends from home, going through her late grandfather's things, complications between her and her opera singer mother, just, ya know, no shortage of life circumstances. The grandma plot is what kept this from an even lower rating or a DNF... I'm tender about sweet old grandmas

Aria is so frustrating, and it's sooo teenage of her so it's hard to be mad because I remember those days, but like, when there are pivotal moments in regards to her grandma, she is spending so much time thinking about Steph instead. And I get it. But as someone who has been there and is like, old, it's very hard to read.

This book just didn't really... accomplish anything. I don't know that it was supposed to? It was just a "hey this was what happened to me in that summer in 2013" kind of vibe... it just didn't work for me personally. I think there are some teens that will like this kind of story, but I think a faster paced book with a more obvious plot would work better for most of the teen readers I know.