Raise your hand if you’ve seen The Hangover. Okay. Keep it up if you liked it. All right. Now, hands up if you’ve seen The Hangover and liked the idea of it, but wish there was more character depth and maybe a little more self-discovery. You. You right there, with your hand up. This review (and this book) is for you (are for you? what’s the rule here? I’m pretty sure it’s “is.”).
We start off with Kylie Flores — valedictorian, super-smart, straight-laced Kylie Flores — waking up in a strange bed. In Mexico. Next to Max Langston — super hot, Alpha Male, disarm-an-army-with-his-charming-smile Max Langston. And they have matching wedding bands on. And in the doorway is Lily Wentworth — perfect, super-groomed, girlfriend of Max Langston Lily Wentworth. Say what?
We know where we’re going, but how did we get there? That’s what most of this book is about. Honestly, if you’re not hooked at this point, there’s not much I can say about the plot that will grab your attention. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but that’s pretty much it right there. It’s the characters that really drive this story.
Kylie and Max are an odd pair, but fate (and perhaps an accidental kidnapping) has stuck them together on the last day of school. But something strange happens along the way. It’s possible that Kylie isn’t the stuck-up loner that everyone thinks she is. And maybe Max isn’t the dumb jock everyone thinks he is. And maybe Will is actually more than just the one out gay kid at their uptight La Jolla school, flamboyant enough for all those still in the closet. In fact, maybe there’s more to everyone.
And, of course, there is.
Don’t read this book because it may be billed as “The Hangover for teenagers” (though that does sort of fit). Don’t read this book because you enjoy a good mystery (though it does have a bit of that going on). Read this book because people are more than what they seem, and sometimes we need a book to remind us of that. Read this book because if you weren’t mistyped in high school, nearly everyone else around you probably was. This is their story. This is the story of all of us. Read this book because we all need to be who we are, and let that shine.