I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies.
Full Disclosure: I received a DRC of this via Netgalley to review. It did not change or influence my opinion on the work.
This is a perfect summer time read. It’s light, frothy, and doesn’t have that much substance to it. But at the same time, as far as contemporaries are concerned it’s not blah by any means. It has interesting characters and it was a nice little escape novel. Does that mean Jesse’s Girl is the best book ever. No. But I was glad I read it.
And yeah, I’m sort of bias because these sort of books are my thing (I totally got contemporary on thisquiz BTW), but I think for the most part this one was well done.
This was my first Hundred Oaks book. I plan on seeing what other ones my library has because I found it really enjoyable. While there were cliche contemporary tropes in this book, the characters were strong enough where I was able to enjoy it.
The celebrity themed contemporary YA book is really a fine line to do right. Most of the time it fails because they are just too tropey, but here it works to maybe the very last fifth of the book.
To not go into spoiler territory, that part was just a little bit too unbelievable to me.
The rest of it, didd surprisingly feel believable. Which is surprising because a lot of times these books do NOT feel believable.
But there was something about the two characters that really worked.
I liked the main character Maya. Usually in these books you get a cookie cutter main character-aka the typical YA character who is a quasi Mary Sue-however, Maya isn’t said quasi Sue. She’s had relationships before. She’s not perfect.
And the book is not totally about her relationship with Jesse. Well, a lot of it was. But a lot of it was the development of Maya as a character. I like how she really grew into herself, and most of herself was independent of Jesse.
I really liked the interactions between the characters too. The relationship begins with sort of a homage to Farris Bueller’s Day Off. In fact, Kenneally even makes a reference to the movie during that part of the book which I found really cool. What I liked was what happened after that day.
You get to see how the relationship progressed after one day.
While the ending got a little too cheesy for me, it was a nice summery read that was enjoyable.
Overall Rating: A solid B. I actually preordered a copy after this because I think it would be nice to reread.