Thrilled with the idea of a secret pen pal, she continues to write and they write back. Not knowing who she is speaking with leads to a “who are they” mystery. But when she finds out her dream pen pal is her worst real-life enemy, will the feelings remain, or will heartbreak ensue? Add on to this the drama of a closet musician, a super prestigious songwriting competition, and high school life… how will Lily manage?
A typical high school romance novel, West excels in this style and does not disappoint her fans in producing another sweet and compelling tale of enemies turned lovers. While this seems to be a big theme in YA literature today, it is not a worn out trope in this novel.
West keeps this story fresh by creating characters with depth and real personality. Finding characters that are more than the manic pixie dream girl or guy can be a bit hard these days, but these are not those types. Actually relatable, it is easy to fall for these two and see the world through their eyes. The supporting characters were also a bit more than one dimension and were interesting enough on their own to warrant attention.
While at times it is admittedly cheesy, the story moved at a nice pace that doesn’t leave the reader bored or rushed. Unlike what happens in most young adult love stories, the romance wasn’t completely instantaneous. It was nice to not have the main characters instantly rush into a relationship.
However, when they do get together, it is admittedly a little, well, cheesy. Puppy dog eyes and all. The high school is just that, a high school. No different than the many others in the book world, or real world for that matter. The family, while a bit over the top, is relatable if you have a few younger siblings and a reference of that type of lack of personal space. It’s a unique situation that is accurately portrayed in this novel.
The only parts that I had a little trouble suspending the belief were in the last few chapters of the book where we hit a climax and resolution super fast. That would be my only real complaint as I would have loved to see a bit more struggle in that particular area.
Overall, this was a very cute read. Naturally, everything works out in the end, which makes a great book for when you need something happy and light. It isn’t terribly difficult to read, which makes it a good beach, lake, or hammock book. I enjoyed it for its easy way and cute songs interspersed throughout. It took me back to the awkward years of high school, without forcing me to relive the super awkwardness of high school.