As if the summer couldn't get worse, Dad seems to forget Whitley's even there. She doesn't fit in with his perfect new country club family, and Whitley does what any kid lucky enough to go all summer unsupervised does: she parties. Hard.
So hard that she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a younger future step-sister 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, sweet guy who isn't her step brother (yet) and who actually seems to care for her. It will take all three of them to convince her that they're not phoneys, and to get Whitley to get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.
I don't think I need to say much about how much I adore Keplinger's books that you haven't already heard. So I'm going to keep it short and sweet.
- the same bluntness when it comes to the truth of teenage activities, but more to do with raw sexuality, teen drinking and the whole party-girl image than The Duff.
- Whitley was a very complex character - a semi-typical party girl, she was pretty annoying and flirty and had minimal boundaries but once we go under her skin, we saw what made her the way she is. I really liked her, especially once we understood her back story with her parents.
- revisited a couple of characters from The Duff, which was really fun. I especially liked getting to know Harrison, whom we only saw through a girl's fantasy crush before. He and Nathan were both really cool male leads; both were very funny and sweet and obviously cared for Whitley, it was nice to see her blossom under new friendships.
- the relationship between Whitley and her father and new girl was really interesting - it is all too easy to make the new step-parent a nightmare but Keplinger didn't, which was refreshing and also more realistic.
Published 6th February 2014 by Hodder.