Release Date: June 5th 2012
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorcé dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.
Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her stepbrother...at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.
Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger's most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about.
I love Kody Keplinger's books. With each of her books that I read I'm becoming more and more convinced I want to read every book she's ever published and every book she'll publish in the future.
The thing that I loved most about this book is that it was easy to understand Whitley. I am one of the lucky people that grew up with both parents, so I don't know firsthand the struggles that a child with divorced parents go through. I do have a glimpse into that drama through friends and one of my parents who came from divorced parents. Even so, Whitley's behavior was a bit understandable. I was so sad to see that Whitley's mom kept complaining about her ex-husband. I kept hoping that this woman, this ADULT woman would realize the damage she was doing to her daughter.
Whitley's dad isn't a role model either. She sees him as someone who can do no wrong and while I understand putting your dad on a pedestal, I had issues with how he treated this situation. He felt more like a buddy than a father to me and that didn't seem to help things.
I also found it easy to understand why Whitley had trouble accepting her dad's future wife. It felt like she was the kind of mother Whitley wished her own mom was. And it really is difficult accepting a stranger into that role.
Nathan is like a breath of fresh air. I liked the contrast between the two of them, how he tried to see past the anger and see the real Whitley. I really liked him. I also adored his little sister. I can only hope that we'll get a story for her in the future.