Too much going on to really fall in love with it
Actual score 1.75
I'm not sure what i was expecting when i picked this book up. The blurb made it seem like it was this sweet Interracial love story between a white girl and a black guy. But it was very far from that. Yea, the lead protagonist WAS in a secret relationship with a black teenager from her school however the story wasn't so much focused on them. For that I'm disappointed.
This book had way too much going on for me to recommend it. It involved abortion, teen pregnancy, interracial relationships, prejudice, gun violence, bullying. It was like a full 3 seasons of Degrassi wrapped up into 170 pages. I think perhaps if it would have focused on just 3 of those issues, I wouldn't have put it down so much. But this book was just.....a lot of topics to handle in just 160-170 pages.
The story followed Sara, a high school senior who pretty much lives a perfect life, in a perfect world and has a perfect father. It's just it's not so perfect, neither is her world and neither is her father. The story also switches POV from Alex, a bullied, abused teen who's basically obsessed with Sara.
The delivery in Sara's chapters were seamless which makes me wonder why I had so much trouble reading from Alex's POV. It was like it went from showing in Sara's POV, to telling in Alex's POV. This really bothered me because the whole time I couldn't wait for Alex's chapters to be over. It just slowed down the pace for me. It went from detailed to lazy writing. I wasn't sure why Alex's chapters couldn't have been 1st person like Sara's were.
I think this book wanted to be the movie, Higher Learning, but just wasn't. Some of the characters were virtually the same but the execution wasn't as polished as that particular movie.
I think my biggest issue was the fact that Sara was in love with David, a black classmate but the book focused so little on that. It was like it was added for convenience. Her father was a racist,so hey I know let me make her fall in love with a black guy. If the story wasn't going to follow her and her love interest around I think it should have been cut out completely. I couldn't understand for the life of me why it switched from Sara's POV, to a guy who was obsessed with her. So you're telling me that a guy who has a crush on her holds more importance to the story than her actual boyfriend??? Does the author know what it's like to be a black teenager in an all white town??? That itself is it's own story.
I think David deserved his own POV. The fact that he didn't have his own POV made me come to the understanding that he was just Sara's background music, he wasn't an important character.He was just added for convenience. And why does a story featuring an Interracial couple always have to center around their races? I can understand how race can play a huge factor in Interracial relationships, but it's not the only factor. They never really went on real dates, they never talked all night on the phone and they never had the real chemistry to be in love with their relationship. Again, David was just her background music, nothing more! Kim Kardashian could have prolly written a better book centering a young Interracial relationship, she for one has no problem showing her love for the "Brothas".
Sara was somewhat privileged but I think she understood that. She understood that what she initially felt about black people was really wrong. She understood that the fear of the unknown was probably put inside her head by your first teachers, your parents. But I would have liked to see her stick up for what she believed in more. She thought all her problems would be solved by moving to California for school, there her and David could date out in the open. But if your father pretty much controls your life, what makes you think moving to another state is goina solve your problem? What's stopping him from dragging you back to your little hick town of Montana and telling you College is for Liberals? She was just to scared of losing everything that she was willing to do things she wasn't necessarily ready to do.
As far as Alex goes....hmmmmm....I wasn't sure I really related to his character.He had a lot of demons and was very easily influenced. He was the wrong kid to be working in a gun shop around a man with lots of hate in his heart. Maybe if the story would have centered solely on Sara and Alex or Sara and David, cutting out David or Alex, the story would have read better for me. There was no need for both David and Alex. It made the story feel like it was going in a spiral of directions and cutting either one of them out would have had different impacts on the story.
The cover is cute but it's almost like false advertisement because it leads you to believe it focuses solely on a couple.
Overall, I was left a little disappointed in this book, I picked it up hoping for a really sweet love story. But it was far from it.
Was provided an e-copy from Netgalley