Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: March 17, 2015
Song I Played While Reading: Sun Goes Down by Robin Schulz
Rating: 5 stars
Kate Quinn's mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront a reality she never thought possible. She does have a father. He's a powerful politician. And he's running for U.S. president. Suddenly, Kate's moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. But when her true feelings fly in the face of the campaigns talking points, Kate must decide who she really is. Will she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn't necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?
I'm a big fan of the All American-Girl duaology by Meg Cabot. I don't read many contemporaries that take place in or around politics, especially in relation to a major campaign like running for president. So as soon as I could, I got my hands on this beaut. Lets take a moment to appreciate this cover, shall we? Round of applause for the designer.
This book blew all my expectations. Its by far one of the best contemporaries I've read this year, quite possible of my entire life. I knew it was a winner the first time I had to set it down and squeal, wiggling in my spot on my bed. I only do that when I really, really like the book.
Kate was a strong and simple character. She was honest, kind, fair, and an absolute blast to read about. She's a regular girl, worrying about college and what her plans are for the summer, when her life is flipped upside down. She struggles with who she is and what she believes in, firmly standing by her decisions even though everyone around her is telling her to believe in something else. The story is mainly focused on her internal struggles and I found myself easily relating to them. She was real.
I loved the dynamic relationships with her new family. It wasn't squishy and warm all the time (though this book definitely had a lot of those moments). They all struggled with this shock in their own ways, sometimes doing or saying the wrong thing
I almost forgot there was a love interest aspect to the story! I was so caught up in this fascinating world that the love interest didn't register until we finally meet him, over 100 pages in. I knew right away who he was, and I loved the added drama of it. Andy was sweet and funny, the perfect guy to help Katie along her journey. He was described as rebellious but I never really saw it. He was a total gentlemen, with a dry sense of humor and strong morals. He didn't let anyone write something for him or try to change for the sake of his image. I absolutely adored their phone calls.
I was completely swept up in the story, loving how Thorne managed to balance all different aspects of life in here. Theres something for everyone; first love, family dynamics, political hot topics, personal discoveries, death, and the always wonderful coming-of-age storyline. I can't recommend this enough!
"I'll be on tomorrow," I'd said. "Just to listen to speeches. Not to make any."
"What are you wearing?"
"Not sure yet."
"No, right now."
"Fuzzy slippers. Nothing else. Got it."
"This doesn't bother you?" Andy motioned to the graves
"Not really." I tried to smile. "She was cremated. After the funeral, we sprinkled her ashes up the coast at her favorite beach."
"In the ocean?" Andy stood next to me and turned toward the view.
I nodded, watching a boat draw its wake across the water. Andy's pinkie grazed mine.
"That's smart. You don't have to go to a specific grave to visit her. The earth is seventy percent water, and its all connected. So in a way, you're visiting her right now."