Charlotte wants to walk in Ashley's seemingly charmed shoes.
Colt wants to turn Smalltown USA on its ear--with Ashley at his side.
Jordan wants to follow his heart... but Ashley is the one sacrifice he never expected to make.
Ashley Lockett has always followed the rules. She's always done the right thing, played it safe, gone to church. And then her ideal life is shattered when her dad dies suddenly.
Fueled by anger and grief, she vows to do everything opposite of how she lived before. She rejects safety, rules, faith,
and then she meets Jordan.
Jordan has big dreams, he's had a crush on Ashley for years, and he's a great kisser. But he's also safe.
Enter Colt. He is not safe, and he's more than willing to help Ashley fulfill her vow.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Leigh Talbert Moore.)
17-year-old Ashley has just buried her father, and it seems like she’s never going to stop hurting, never going to get over it, and never going to feel normal again.
Starting back at school seems like both a good and bad idea, but she’s not the same Ashley she was before, gone are the pretty spring dresses she would normally wear, and she no longer wants to be a cheerleader. Her best friend Mandy’s constant gossiping and nattering is starting to annoy her too.
It seems that Ashley has made (in Mandy’s eyes) some strange new friends though. Charlotte, the fat girl who seems to have idolised Ashley’s dad and his keep fit tips, and Jordan, the geeky boy who has the locker next to hers. Ashley doesn’t care though, charlotte seems easy to talk to, which is what she needs, and Jordan makes her feel different – raw and on fire, and not so sad any more.
When Jordan tells her that he’s thinking about becoming a pastor, and that he’s saving himself for marriage, Ashley is annoyed. She may not have ‘broken the seal’ herself yet, but she desperately wants to do it with Jordan.
Taking this anger and trying to get over it, Ashley begins playing pranks with the new school bad-boy Colt instead, but it’s still Jordan she’s thinking about really.
How long will it be before Ashley feels better over the loss of her father? Can Colt ever be a replacement for Jordan? And how many other people will let Ashley down?
This was a great story about love, loss, friendship, and grief. I enjoyed it, and if you like contemporary YA, you’ll probably enjoy it too.
I really liked Ashley. She was struggling with so much after the loss of her father, and I really felt for her. The way that even small things became a challenge at times, and how magnified her feelings were about things that may otherwise have not been a big deal, was real testament to her grief, and I thought the author portrayed this realistically and with great feeling.
Jordan was a sweetheart, and I liked the part he played in helping Ashley work through her grief. I thought that the mini makeover was a nice touch, and showed us a little glimpse of Ashley before her grief, as well as how much Jordan was willing to sacrifice to make her feel better.
I thought the romance between the two was really sweet, but also something that Ashley needed, and I could understand her frustration over Jordan wanting to be a pastor, and not wanting to have sex until he was married. It was actually nice to come across a teen girl who wasn’t shy about suddenly feeling ready to have sex, or ‘break the seal’ as she referred to it, even if it was maybe in part due to her grief. She wasn’t unselective about it though, she knew that it was Jordan that she wanted, and she was sure about it.
Charlotte was a little more difficult to get a feel for. It was difficult to really put a finger on her intentions towards Ashley, and why she behaved so differently towards her in different situations. I also wasn’t that big of a fan of Colt either, and I was glad that Ashley managed to keep her head around him most of the time.
I liked the storyline in this book, and I thought the subject of grief was handled well. I liked the romance storyline between Ashley and Jordan, and I liked the progress that Ashley made in coming to terms with her dad’s death. I also liked the way that Ashley came to realise that her actions had consequence, and was ready to accept that.
I sometimes find that books like this can have a very open ending, as there is often no end to grief, but this book did have a well-defined beginning, middle, and end which was good!
Overall; a great YA story dealing with love, loss, and grief.
7.5 out of 10.