Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Length: 400 Pages
Publication Date: March 17th, 2015
Source: Borrowed via library
Fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick will enjoy this smart debut young adult novel, equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries—plus a dash of Aaron Sorkin.
Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?
Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.
I'm always cautious to read books about politics because sometimes they are too preachy and other times it's vastly inaccurate and unrealistic. Jenn placed the perfect touch of politics, it was both subtle and realistic. There's a vibe, a sense of energy that follows the campaign trail, and Jenn did a wonderful job of capturing it on the pages. The writing was wonderful, and the plot was fun and addictive.
The characters in this book are all so endearing. Kate was a quirky protagonist, and it was fun going on this journey of self-discovery with her. The senator was a bit more closed off for most of the book yet I could see just how much he wanted to make a difference. The twins (Gracie and Gabe) were adorable and their innocence and kindness kept this book in such a sweet light. Meg's acceptance and embracement of Kate really furthered my love for this book. The interconnecting relationships and bonds formed were a key element and shining part of this novel. All of the characters had such vibrant personalities!
This book is romance-light and focuses on the values of family and self-discovery. I'm glad the romance never overtook the plot. It was adorable and sweet! Andy is totally swoon-worthy. On the family front, I loved watching Kate's relationship with Gabe, Gracie, the Senator, and Meg grow. My favorite part of this book was definitely seeing Kate and Meg's (her stepmother) relationship flourish. Kate learns more about herself and what she'd do to protect those she loves. She learns to stand up for herself and her friends.
This book is heartfelt and enjoyable, I highly recommend this to contemporary readers!