Ruby and Kaz hope that a three day outdoor music festival will clear their heads about their changing worlds. Of course, nothing goes to plan…
I went with this on a recommendation from Blogs of a Bookaholic – Becky over there got an ARC and loved this book. It isn’t usually the genre I’d pick for my YA reads, but I’ve had fun with Non Pratt before with TROUBLE, so I gave it a whirl.
Boy, does Pratt know her characters! Both Ruby and Kaz leap right off the page with witty and realistic dialogue, pulling you right into the heart of who they are. Their narrative voices are very different, a real strength to Pratt’s writing (One minor complaint…I don’t think Ruby would use the word portmanteau). It’s only Pratt’s second book, but she’s already developing a major talent.
I was tugged along with the girls through their problems: Boyfriends new and old, changing schools, bad decisions and new friends. And these teenagers are realistic – they drink, they fret, they have sex, they get out of their depth and into bad situations through their inexperience.
And what a delight they are to be with. I’m thinking of how refreshing they are compared to the pretentiousness of the characters in The Fault in Our Stars. Read this and then TFiOS back-to-back…then tell me who has nailed teenagers better.
The minor characters were all given room to breathe and grow as well, going through their own character arcs off page. Everything is moving along, nothing is wasted. Only at the end does Pratt lose the plot a little, veering towards soap opera tricks to bring one of her plot lines to a close.
It’s a great character study from a very talented writer.