I think the last time I read a YA book, I actually was a teenager. And before you ask, no Harry Potter is not a YA book or a children’s book. But when I saw this on a Bustle list last year, I knew I had to add it to my Summer Reading List. I picked it up from the library on Saturday, started reading it as soon as I’d finished Moscow Rules on Sunday and had finished it by Tuesday lunch-time. It was just that good. Admittedly at 350 pages, it’s not War and Peace, but who cares?!
The Blurb: Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.
Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves?
Okay, let me start by saying I love that Laura Silverman doesn’t focus on Anise’s looks. It’s a good third of the way through the book before you find out that she’s 5ft 10 and I have no idea what colour her hair or eyes are. Which is perfect, because you can imagine her however you like. Secondly, the description of Santa Cruz has got me wanting to live by the beach and be a surfer girl for the rest of my days. I can taste the salt in the air, feel the sand beneath my toes and the sun on the back of my neck. I adore Laura’s writing. It’s so easy and straightforward, in the best possible way. We all remember the anxiety of leaving home for the first time, the worry of whether or not your friendships will last and the gut-wrenching joy of first love. If you read one YA novel this year, I would highly recommend this one. It’s so good, I’m hoping there’s a sequel!
Do you regularly read YA novels? Any recommendations for my ever-growing TBR list?