What’s it about?
Aspen Kirkland is a slut. Or at least, that’s what she’s spent all of high school believing. So when she goes to visit her estranged father the summer after graduation, she has no reason to believe things will change. But then she finds her childhood best friend Sean again, and everything changes. Sean is smart, driven and Harvard-bound: everything Aspen isn’t. But the more time she spends with him, the more she feels their old connection. He makes her feel like the person she was before high school, before her life did a 180. But Aspen doesn’t want to change, and she doesn’t want to make any more mistakes. Between her renewed friendship with Sean, a cute local boy and the revelation that her father may not be as clueless as she once thought, Aspen feels the ground shifting beneath her every day. As the summer unfolds, she finds herself working to reconcile her past, present and future, and carve out a place in her constantly changing universe to call home.
This is Elizabeth Murphy’s debut novel. She pens down a girl’s struggle with her past, her parents and the future. Aspen has problems in all of these areas and we follow her tackle these problems one by one. At the end of the book I was really satisfied and although it seemed hopeless in the beginning, it is really a feel good story.
Aspen Kirkland has a tenuous relationship with her father at the start because he was not much around, she only spoke to him like four times a year on the phone, he’s even always absent when she’s at his place for the summer. And then he springs another surprise on her and she doesn’t even know how to feel about it. He’s also always asking her about what she’s going to do in college. Frankly, she doesn’t really have any idea yet what she wants to do in her life. And then last of all, she’s been feeling bad about herself, sleeping with so many guys, starting in her junior year with a guy named Nick. It wasn’t at all how she imagined it to be. At the time she thought it gave her power over them, but it really just leaves her with a hole in her heart afterwards. She’s not proud of her past, yet finds it difficult to change. Old habits die hard. Luckily she has her friend Hannah and I really liked what a good friend and voice Hannah was. And she also reconnects with her former best friend Sean, the one she had to leave to go live with her mother in Austin when her parents divorced. She meets him again at a chance encounter and they pick up right where they left off. She forgot what fun it was to be around him. But then a hot looking high school student pops up and she’s feeling her old tactics resurface.
This was certainly an enjoyable read but I still found it a bit hard at times to follow her actions in the past. I still don’t fully comprehend why she went through so many guys if it didn’t give her any satisfaction and that it was all coming forth from her first bad experience, or why she and Will really had to break up, her thinking pattern is hard to follow. I guess that’s a teenager for you, it’s not always very logical. On the other hand, I really liked how it all evolved in positive things, and I loved the last chapters, I even felt a bit emotional.
*I received a free copy of this book from GenuineJenn in exchange for my honest opinion*