Mara James has always been a perfectionist with a plan. But despite years of overachieving at her elite school, Mara didn’t plan on having a total meltdown during her calculus exam. Like a rip-up-the-test-and-walk-out kind of meltdown. And she didn’t plan on a video of it going viral. And she definitely didn’t plan on never wanting to show her face again.
Mara knows she should go back, but suddenly she doesn’t know why she’s been overachieving all these years. Impulsively, she tells her mom she wants to go live with her estranged dad in Tahoe. Maybe in a place like Tahoe, where people go to get away from everyday life, and with a dad like Trick McHale, a ski bum avoiding the real world, Mara can figure things out.
Only Tahoe is nothing like she thought. There are awesome new friends and hot boys and a chance to finally get to know Trick, but there is also still massive amounts of schoolwork. Can Mara stopping planning long enough to see the life that’s happening right now?
This was cute! I gobbled (most) of this up super quickly, but found myself slipping away and losing interest once Mara got together with the eventual “love interest.” After a few obstacles were cleared, this felt a little too much like insta-love. Yes, they were friends for a while first, but once they got together, they were suddenly IN LOVE. It was too much, too soon.
There were definitely moments where I felt like I was way too old for this stuff. Mara can be super sensitive. And sometimes she lashes out like a total teenager. I mean, I guess that’s what she is, but she does need to learn how to handle her emotions and her temper better. Appeasing her or letting her run away is not going to help her grow up.
My heart really went out to Beck. He just seems so… misunderstood. And of course he’s not going to be the perfect guy when you intentionally ignore him and push him away. I hated how Mara kicked him when he was down. He’s not a lost cause. He was there, he’d call, and he was obviously trying his best. His family may not have been perfect, but we aren’t just our parents, you know? I wish this thread of the story got tied up more neatly.
Mara had a lot of growing up to do at the beginning of the story. I enjoyed the ride because I thought she was really learning how to relax and grow up, but by the end, I felt like not that much had changed at all.
- The Ex Games – Jennifer Echols
- Bittersweet – Sarah Ockler
- The Boy Next Door – Katie van Ark
- P.S. I Love You – Jenny Han