In the first few pages, I was completely hooked. Shaynee is stuck somewhere between grief and normalcy, and while I would imagine losing a parent is devastating at any age, there's a certain cruelty to it happening to a teenager. Shaynee, her father, and her little brother are going through some hellacious grief, and oddly, it's eleven year old Lennox who seems to be handling it best. He's deeply affected, of course, but he's also a pint-sized deep-thinker who understands and puts things in perspective when the people around him can't get their heads straight. And the birthday gifts Shaynee's mom left for milestones she wouldn't be around to see? The one for Shaynee's dad just broke my heart in the most amazing way.
Shaynee, of course, is having all kinds of trouble coping, so I was honestly surprised she wasn't in some kind of therapy. Then again, her dad's having a terrible time of it as well, so I can't really fault the family for not getting help with their grief. As a result, Shaynee turned into quite the drama queen, and she really started to get on my nerves with all her hysterics, but I had to remind myself that a teenager going through something as traumatic as losing her mother probably had a right to act a bit crazy. Besides, I know how cyclomythia and bipolar can turn a teen into a combustible ball of emotion, so I'm going to guess that the kind of grief and depression Shaynee was going through was similar. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite come to the same understanding about her love life.
The romance part of the story isn't that complicated, but the way it played out is just mind boggling. Shaynee was acting afool with her best friend Tiffany one night, and she met Dean, a hot guy on a motorcycle. They ran into each other again, got to talking, and one silly bet later, she was invited to see his band gig at some place across town. It was cheesily romantic, they kissed, and then the character and the story went off the deep end.
After a single date, Shaynee was beyond infatuated. When she saw Dean the next afternoon, he kissed her, he sang her a song at some open mic thing, and then she freaked out because she realized he knew her mother was dead (she'd pretended, or at least implied, that her mother was very much alive). Cue the over-the-top hysteria, and they were done. The rest of the story is all about how much she loves him, how he's the One, how she made the biggest mistake of her life by essentially ditching him and then going on an ill-advised date with someone else. One date. And she loves him. And she thinks he loves her, too. Seriously. Just one date. I feel like I can't point that out enough. Oh, and her dad, who should have been the voice of some kind of reason, gets upset with her for blowing off class for a boy, but he isn't the least bit concerned that his barely sixteen year old daughter thinks she's in love with some guy after one date. Did I mention they only went out once?
Sadly, I think this could have been a pretty amazing story if these two kids had any kind of foundation for their obsession with each other, but instead it was the worst case of insta-love I've ever read. The writing style was great, and the plot had a lot of promise, but I can't get past that one date equals love thing. I mean, shouldn't someone warn Dean that there's going to be a boiled bunny in his future?
***FicCentral received this book from YA Bound Book Tours for free in exchange for an honest review. Even so, we're far too opinionated to let a freebie influence our thoughts or the contents of the reviews we post here.