Let’s start by clarifying that there is no real comparison between this book and Gone Girl or the show Nashville as far as I can tell. Someone runs away. There is romantic drama. Seriously. The blurb for this book lead me to expect something darker and more twisty, but I still liked the concept – girl runs from controlling mother and finds the life she wants to live in a small town in Tennesee. Unfortunately, things started to fall apart as the story strayed further and further away from reality. I gave it three stars, but there are some real haters on Goodreads.
Gone Girl meets the TV show Nashville in this sultry summer read about a girl who runs away from her high-profile past to live the normal life she’s always wanted.
Cecilia Montgomery has been America’s sweetheart since the day she was born. A member of the prestigious Montgomery family—the US equivalent of royalty—her childhood was cut short after she was nearly kidnapped. Since then, Cecilia has been hidden away, her adolescence spent at an exclusive boarding school.
Her dreams of becoming a professional violinist—dashed.
Her desire to be a normal teenager—not possible.
Her relationship with her once-loving parents—bitter and strained.
Nothing about Cecilia’s life is what she would have planned for herself. So when an opportune moment presents itself, Cecilia seizes the chance to become someone else. To escape. To disappear. To have the life she always dreamed about, far away from her mother’s biting remarks and her sheltered upbringing.
Cecilia says goodbye to the Montgomery name and legacy to become Lia Washington: relaxed, wild, in love, free, and living on her own terms for the very first time. But being on your own isn’t always as easy as it seems…
I liked Cecilia/Lia as a narrative voice, and I was excited for her to get a little experience and fun. The town seemed awfully diverse and exciting for a small town, but I was willing to let that slide. I even liked the unrealistic but charming romantic interest she encounters. Their romantic relationship is fairly unlikely and entirely too whirlwind, but I was okay with that as well because I wanted them together. I thought there was a lot of drama in their relationship, and I really didn’t understand what exactly lover boy saw in Cecilia/Lia that made him want to reform (special snow-flake trigger warning). I still didn’t mind it. What I really minded was the terrible cliffhanger – if you want to resolve the major conflict and tease me with an enticing but smaller cliffhanger that is fine, but it just isn’t fair to leave a major conflict hanging like this book did. I’m pretty irritated by this, and it think a lot of other readers will be as well. It would be different if the story were more realistic, but if you are going to magic a romance, can’t you engineer a perfect ending? I think too many of my high school kids will be frustrated by the final chapter to make this a book I would recommend highly. Language and situations are appropriate for high school readers.
I received an ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.