Just okay | BookishFirst

Just okay

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"...but first love, I think it's like a song, a stupid pop song you hear and you think, well that is all I will ever want to listen to, it's got everything it's clearly the greatest piece of music ever written, I need nothing else. 'Course we wouldn't put it on now. We're too hard and experienced and sophisticated. But when it comes on the radio, well, it's still a good song."

As his wedding approaches, Charlie Lewis starts to reminisce about the summer when he was sixteen. That summer, Charlie met Fran Fisher and instantly knew he wanted to spend more time with her. But to do that, he must join The Company - a group of locals putting on a production of Romeo and Juliet. As Charlie falls in love with Fran he is also navigating his future and his relationship with his father throughout the summer on the cusp of adulthood.

It took me a while to get into this story, in part because of the somewhat literary, formal writing. While the writing was good and it fit the story it made it harder for me to connect with the characters. I do think this was somewhat a case of the time in which I read this book - like many others, right now I'm having a harder time focusing on things and have been gravitating towards lighter, faster-moving stories. I was also expecting more of a connection between "now" and "then", based on the official synopsis; instead there were a few instances where we'd be in the "now" but not enough to really get a sense of Charlie in the "now" and draw those connections between the two times. That said, there was a sense of that summertime nostalgia feeling to this story that felt familiar, an interesting cast of characters, and I enjoyed seeing Charlie begin to have a stronger sense of himself and what he wanted out of life over the course of the summer.

3/5 stars

Thank you to the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.