Riches to rags is the premise behind this contemporary YA romance. Personally, this protagonist grated on my nerves from start to finish, but there were several favorable reviews of it on Goodreads, so maybe I’m just being cranky (I’m not). While I wouldn’t purchase this for my classroom library and subject another reader to this entitled little snot, I am not one to censor the press either, so. Here. If you do read this, I would like to know your thoughts, so comment away!
When Bentley’s father loses his job, she can handle the cramped, musty apartment and her new job in the fast food industry, but she isn’t sure she can navigate the life of an average teen in her new school until she befriends her next door neighbor, Kai. He isn’t like anyone she has spent time with before, but together they set out to make lemonade out of the lemons life just keeps handing them. There is a lot of high school drama in this little contemporary YA romance, and the road to the end is paved with mean girls and a lot of over-the-top hard knocks. While there was an attempt to elevate the story through character growth, Bentley’s enlightenment falls short of sincere. An unnecessary extended episode where Bentley attempts to establish someone’s sexual orientation is likely to offend some readers as will the stereotypical and negative depictions of public high school students and teachers. The attempt to depict the gritty realism of a life of poverty doesn’t pair convincingly with the unrealistic ending. Personally, I found the book condescending because Bentley isn’t an example of a survivor, she is an example of someone proud of herself for adapting to a life most of us live on a daily basis.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.