Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 6th 2014
Also by this author: Second Chance Summer, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, Save the Date, Take Me Home Tonight
Format: Audiobook (464 pages) • Source: Audible
Emily is about to take some risks and have the most unexpected summer ever in this new novel from the bestselling author of Second Chance Summer and Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour.Before Sloane, Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, and she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—someone who yanks you out of your shell. But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list with thirteen bizarre tasks that Emily would never try. But what if they can lead her to Sloane? Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough. Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a stranger? Wait…what? Getting through Sloane’s list will mean a lot of firsts, and with a whole summer ahead of her—and with the unexpected help of the handsome Frank Porter—who knows what she’ll find. Go Skinny Dipping? Um…
Review: Okay, first let me get out my feelings about audiobooks. I don’t like them. I love the idea of them, but really can’t stand them as I’m listening. They really impact the novel for me. I can’t separate the narrator’s (often annoying) voice from the characters and the story. I want to hear the characters as I hear them in my head, instead of from some actress who thinks she knows what the author intended. I absolutely love being able to “read” while driving or taking a shower or getting ready in the morning. I suffer through audiobooks for that reason alone. I am slowly but surely getting over this aversion, because I find the only way I can “read” two books at once is if they’re in these two different formats. Anyways, in spite of the audiobook, I really enjoyed this one. This has been on my to-read list for a long time. I love the cover and thought the premise sounded really cute. Other bloggers seemed to love this one too, so I decided to use my Audible credit on it. The story follows Emily as she checks of items on the list that Sloane left her. She becomes friends with two people from her school and the girl who works at the pizza shop in the meantime. It was really nice to watch shy Emily come out of her shell and develop her own personality separate from Sloane. As the novel went on, I decided I really didn’t like Sloane. Through flashbacks, you learn a few instances where Sloane made Emily feel inferior and tried to pressure her into things she didn’t want to do. I questioned their friendship, but it was a pretty standard example of one girl with a strong personality stringing along the impressionable shy one. At the beginning of the book, it reminded me too much of Lies My Girlfriend Told Me by Julie Ann Peters. That book was okay, but the audiobook narrator made the main character sound so incredibly whiny. In both books, the main character was dependent on the other person and was very “woe is me” about the whole thing. I think sometimes I need to put myself in the characters’ shoes a little better, because if all this happened to me I would be upset too. Regardless, Emily definitely grew on me throughout the book. I was so happy for her when she made friends and started taking more risks. I wanted her to be with Frank so badly and realized that she liked him far earlier than she realized it. It really infuriated me when she refused to hear Frank out; I just wanted to shake her and yell that she was being a predictable YA character. I knew it would cause this huge misunderstanding that would stretch through until the end of the book. I enjoyed the end but wished we got a little more information about the rest of the characters. Dawn and Collins were sort of accounted for, but not as much as I would have liked. I kept getting nervous when I was watching how much time was left in the audiobook and that they would end it sooner than I liked, but I guess it gave just the right amount of information to satisfy the reader.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a classic YA, summery contemporary. I would definitely further recommend this to anyone who is naturally shy and/or relies on their best friend a little too much.