This book has a heck of a lot of hype. I mean a LOT. Mostly due to the fact that it claims to be “Rainbow Rowell meets John Green” two of the most well-loved YA authors around at the moment. This books is hot on their heels but it’s not quite there yet. (For the sake of transparency I pretty much adore Rainbow Rowell, John Green, I only like TFIOS so far).
When we (the bookclub) received this, kindly from Hot Key Books, for our book of the month we were divided and after we all read it, we were even more divided! But that’s okay because this book has a lot to say, it’s more important to have something to say over being everyone’s 5* book.
I am a bit of a sucker for contemporary books written from a guys perspective and this book ticks that box. I really loved Henry, despite him being a bit of an idiot. He’s your normal angsty teen, looking for love just cruising through school with his friends…cue Grace Town. Grace Town is mysterious. She dresses like a boy and walks with a cane, she’s not the typical kind of beautiful but there’s something about her that Henry can’t deny just draws him to her. This is my fav kind of plot so I couldn’t wait to dive in.
I must say for a debut novel, the writing is amazing. Sutherland has really set herself apart from other YA authors by writing how her readers would speak. Her book also features images of text conversations etc which really help you to dive into the book. I loved these sections because I thought it really helped to show the characters and allowed us to see Henry and Grace’s private moments.
I really like how neither of these characters are perfect. Henry is nerdy and shy and quiet and a dork and Grace wears guys clothing and doesn’t shower. it doesn’t seem like a massively unrealistic story. The characters feel more real and well-rounded because they aren’t this picture perfect pair, their flawed, as is everyone.
Sutherland wasn’t afraid to attack big issues in this book and I loved that but I did have a few issues:
- LOLA WAS SO BADASS. Why did she not have more to do in the book? It was a shame to see the only LGBTQ character seemingly put on the side lines.
- I wanted to know more about each of their families. Henry’s seem so awesome, especially his sister but again they were kind of…absent in the book Grace’s family situation is unique (to say the least) and again, I wanted more.
- Henry comes across somewhat selfish and un-empathetic at points i the book and it really doesn’t suit his character.
With these points in mind, these issues do not discount how much I think you should read this book, plus, with that beautiful cover, who could resist?! This book split the bookclub, so why not pick it up and see what you think for yourself?
A really good debut with it’s foot truly in the door of the world of YA.
A pretty content 4/5 stars – look forward to what Krystal writes next!
Thank you lovelies and happy reading! xo