Did I end up picking a contemporary romance to pull at my heart strings right before the holidays so I can intentionally make myself cry? Probably, but I’ll never tell.
Thank you again so much to the amazing team at Fantastic Flying Book Club for including me in this blog tour. Click on the banner for the rest of the tour, and be sure to check out the exclusive giveaway happening on Instagram! I’ll make sure I include the post in here for you as well.
Mansfield, Massachusetts is the last place seventeen-year-old Edie Price wants to spend her final summer before college. It’s the home of wealthy suburbanites and prima donnas like Edie’s cousins, who are determined to distract her from her mother’s death with cute boys and Cinderella-style makeovers. Edie has her own plans, and they don’t include a prince charming.
But as Edie dives into schoolwork and applying for college scholarships, she finds herself drawn to two Mansfield boys who start vying for her attention. First there’s Sebastian, Edie’s childhood friend and first love. He’s sweet and smart and . . . already has a girlfriend. Then there’s Henry, the local bad boy and all-around player. He’s totally off limits, even if his kisses are chemically addictive.
Both boys are trouble. Edie can’t help but get caught between them. Someone’s heart is going to break. Now she just has to make sure it isn’t hers.
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Jacqueline’s a writer, costume designer, and lover of beautiful things. She’s on the fulltime faculty in the Department of Theatre & Film at the University of British Columbia where she also takes any writing class they’ll let her into. When not obsessing about where to put the buttons or the commas, she can be found running by the ocean, eating excessive amounts of gluten, listening to earnest love songs, and pretending her dog understands every word she says.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club, Netgalley, and HMH 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.
I guess I can add an additional disclaimer here and say that I personally have never read Mansfield Park nor watched any of the adaptations of this book, so I was pretty lucky enough to go into this pretty much blind. It actually worked out in my favorite because I got to take this book as if it were its own thing, no retelling to speak of, and just see what I would enjoy about it. Which, yes, I did get to enjoy it and I was pretty content with my time reading this.
The first thing that made me appreciate this book really was how Edie had to deal with her privileged relatives. It sucked honestly, because it was like her cousins were so out of touch with reality that didn’t exist outside of their rich circle, that it was pretty frustrating to hear them say some pretty rude and hurtful things to Edie. However, I was seriously impressed with how she was able to control her actions and not beat the crap out of her cousins whenever they would say stuff. All that retail work must have paid off, seriously. And I appreciated that Edie herself paid attention to the kind of privilege and luxury that they had and never let it get to her head, especially since it wasn’t hers permanently. If that makes sense. I don’t know if it’s because she didn’t come from that life, but she was really good at calling out privilege – internally maybe – when she saw it. I know she didn’t probably want to call it out verbally all the time because that would isolate her in this world, but she didn’t shy away from her thoughts.
I also felt so bad for Edie and the grief that she was going through, and how her crappy aunt basically told her to get over it. Like… her mom died and her aunt was like “yeah well, she was my sister and you don’t see me wallowing in grief. Get over it.” That wasn’t verbatim by the way, but it might as well have been. I couldn’t imagine not being allowed to mourn for the one person in my life that actually gave a crap about me, did what she needed to in order to give me a life, and was just suddenly gone just like that. That was her real family, her mother, and now she’s basically alone.
Not to mention that she was in foster care for three years before her aunt finally took her in. So what does that tell you about “blood is thicker than water”. I know that’s not the full quote, but everyone focuses on that part, and in this case, that was a huge lie.
Then, I liked how musically inclined she was. I have never been able to write a song in my life, no matter how much I enjoy singing and listening to music. My brother is the musical one in the family, composing his own music and all that. So I thought it was really cool how easy it was for her to write a song just like that. I was a little jealous of that because it’s so creative and I’ve always wanted to be creative but I could never do something like that. I think if she was willing, she could have used that to help her get through her grief as well, not just the feelings she was having for an old childhood friend. But that’s okay. Music can help us figure out a lot of things in life, not just pain or love.
It may not have been “perfect” but when is a book every legitimately perfect? I still thought it was enjoyable and I think that there will be a few contemporary romance fans that will enjoy this, whether they are fans of the original story or not.
Haven’t made a playlist in a long time, so I’m glad to share this one with you all! I hope you like it, and feel free to check out all the other playlists I made for blog tours.
You guys know how I feel about favorite quotes. They aren’t always the thought provoking ones, or the ones that sum up a book so perfectly that they have to just be said. It’s the ones that illicit some sort of feeling out of me, and something that I want to take note of because I just could not move on until I highlighted it. So I’ll share a few.
Dude, this part made me literally hate Norah or whatever her name was. Like I hated her so much I don’t even want to remember how to spell her name. That rude ass…
This whole part. Like I’m a skeptic when it comes to love, even if I’m married. Sometimes I feel like the other shoe is gonna drop even if there is no evidence that would show that, and I’m like “see this is why” lol. I’m weird.
OMG I felt this in my soul too. I don’t even want to get into why this part just stuck with me because then that would be a whole other blog post and I don’t have time for that. Maybe later.
I am serious so often that sometimes I can’t even tell when someone is joking with me. Which is also weird because sometimes I can be so nervous that I’ll end up making a joke at my expense and then I don’t know what to do with myself. Do those two things even go together? I don’t know. I just liked this quote because I don’t always want to be serious. I want to be able to be carefree sometimes too.
Ain’t that the truth.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway only on Instagram! This is the post that you want to look for, and there’s a special portion of this giveaway as well that I haven’t seen before! I can’t wait to see who ends up winning and what their prize is going to be.
Until next time, fam!