Oh hey, here’s a contemporary novel that I get to read! I’m slowly becoming a contemporary girl, and it’s really all thanks to me getting accepted for a blog tour for more contemporary books! Thanks again to the amazing Fantastic Flying Book Club, Lauren Spieller, and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for this amazing opportunity! Click on the banner to see the rest of the stops on the tour. You don’t want to miss out.
Sisters April and Jenn haven’t been close in years. Jenn’s too busy with school, the family antique shop, and her boyfriend, and April would rather play soccer and hang out with the boy next door.
But when April notices her older sister is sad about staying home for college, she decides to do something about it. The girls set off to revive a pact they made as kids: spend an epic day exploring the greatest hits of their childhood and all that Los Angeles has to offer.
Then April learns that Jenn has been keeping a secret that could rip their family—and their feuding parents—apart. With only one day to set things right, the sisters must decide if their relationship is worth saving, or if the truth will tear them apart for good.
Lauren Spieller is an author and literary agent who lives in New York with her husband. When she isn’t writing, she can be found drinking lattes, pining for every dog she sees, or visiting her native California. She is the author of Your Destination is on the Left and She’s the Worst. Follow her on Twitter @laurenspieller and Instagram @laurenspieller. You can also visit her website at www.laurenspieller.com
Photo Cred: Dave Cross Photography
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley, Fantastic Flying Book Club, and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
Depression, Parental Arguments
Hindi, Queer, Depression
I’m slowly getting more used to reading contemporary novels, especially ones that don’t really deal with any magical realism. Sometimes I just need to remember that it’s always good to read about other people’s problems rather than deal with my own. I’ve never had a sister before, so it was pretty interesting to read about sisters that end up having a strained relationship. It’s kind of sad, but I guess it makes sense.
Jenn is the eldest sister. She has had to basically be the responsible one because her parents are a literal shit show. They are constantly arguing with one another after going into the antique shop world. She had goals to go off to Stanford for school and just live her own life, but she has to make sure that things are actually taken care of since her parents don’t handle it.
Thomas is Jenn’s boyfriend, and is supposed to be going to Stanford with her. Although he seems to be pretty aloof throughout the book, and it seems like things aren’t so good in couple-landia like Jenn really thought.
April is the younger sister. She is a soccer pro, and all she wants to do is be a teenager. I get it, she doesn’t want to have to deal with her parents arguing all the time but she doesn’t get why her sister
has a stick up her ass. It seems like she really does want a relationship with her sister again though, so she ends up planning a special day that goes back to their pact to have a full day to themselves before Jenn goes off to college.
Nate is April’s best friend, and their next door neighbor. He may end up having a crush on April, but he won’t admit to April, especially since she’s currently rolling in the hay with another dude. He seems to be going through some problems of his own though, and it’s affecting him really badly.
Ethan is the varsity soccer captain that April has been sleeping with, and he’s a total douche. Like, constantly using her for sex and I don’t think he really cares about April except to get his rocks off. The typical asshole, you know?
Sisters can grow apart, especially when parents are not copacetic anymore. Unfortunately, they both get on each other’s nerves and aren’t as close as they were growing up. Right before Jenn is supposed to start college – although not Stanford like she originally planned – April has the idea to have one last day together like old times. And apparently, Jenn is keeping some secret from her family that her boyfriend Thomas keeps trying to tell her to tell them before she doesn’t have a chance to do it anymore.
So hopefully that one full Special Sister Day has a lot of fun, but according to the synopsis, apparently not.
I think the relationship between Jenn and April is almost believable, and that’s actually kind of sad. I get that’s hard to be close to your siblings when you both are keeping secrets from each other.
I think this was one of my favorite parts of the book, because it’s so damn true. And honestly, I’m glad that Jenn called Ethan out on his misogynistic bullshit in front of April because her baby sister needed to hear it. Harsh or not, she doesn’t deserve to be used by this guy.
When it’s girl on girl hate and it’s in the family? That kind of breaks my heart.
Okay seriously, that breaks my heart because April puts her heart and soul into her soccer career – to the point that she is even getting scouted – and both her parents and Jenn seem to think that soccer is just a hobby that she’s going to grow out of. Just because it’s not academically inclined? That’s not fair.
Also, I feel like both of the girls just didn’t understand where the other was coming from because they stopped talking to one another. They didn’t have a chance to be in each other’s shoes long enough to understand why each made their decision, and if they had only continued to open up to each other, none of this would have happened. Basically, I feel like if they had just had an actual conversation without fighting, then maybe they could have figured it out…
The parents are so incredibly selfish and incompetent and don’t know what they are doing. They fight with one another so much that it even affects their business! How can they be so involved with their petty arguments that they don’t even realize that they drive their own customers away? And to put all of their worries on Jenn because they can’t be bothered to take care of things themselves. It’s no wonder Jenn feels like she has to hold everything together, and no wonder she doesn’t want to tell anyone about her secret. I don’t think I would either.
I may have not experienced this about LA, but I feel like Spieller really loves this city. It was kind of nice to see that. It was also nice to see Jenn say this about the city she’s leaving behind. It kind of shows that she really is going to miss some aspects of this place after everything.
I feel like this was pretty sad to read. It really hurt that April and Jenn had a bad falling out years before because of their secrets. I feel like having one full day to try to reconnect with your sibling can be either the best or the worst thing – and I feel like this book really showed that.
Yay for another playlist, fam! Hope you enjoy this one because it probably has a totally different vibe from some of my other ones that I’ve made. I mean, this book is totally different from what I made playlists for, so it only makes sense, right?
Dream Casts are hard. Why do I keep signing myself up for them?
“At the time, I did want to do it. I was fourteen. I didn’t know how much things would change between then and now.”
Maybe that makes me a snob – okay it totally makes me a snob – but I don’t care. Coffee Bean and Starbucks suck. Anyone who disagrees can come at me.
“And maybe you’re right. But even if you are, it still might not be the worst thing in the world to get April on your side before you talk to your parents.”
“I’ll bet you ten bucks that when she comes down, she’s fully dressed and wearing heels.”
Ethan is… a lot of things. Captain of the boys’ varsity soccer team. Tall and blond and hot in a way that makes me nervous.
Oh, baby! That was a long one. Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you get to enjoy this book.