Penny loves her small-town Florida life—including her boyfriend, Logan, whom everyone expects her to marry. And when she lands a scholarship to the prestigious theater camp of her dreams to explore her love of acting, it’s the beginning of a summer that will change her life.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced readers copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This in no way had an effect on my ability to write an honest review. I received no compensation.
Young Adult, Contemporary
PART OF A SERIES?:
February 27th, 2018 (My 30th birthday!)
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This book does not release until February of 2018. You can add it to your to be read list and preorder below.
Penny loves her small-town Florida life—including her boyfriend, Logan, whom everyone expects her to marry. And when she lands a scholarship to the prestigious theater camp of her dreams to explore her love of acting, it’s the beginning of a summer that will change her life. But when she arrives at camp, Penny is thrust into a world of competition and self doubt. And as she meets new friends, including Chase, a talented young actor with big-city dreams, she begins to realize that her own dreams may be bigger than she ever imagined.
Lauren Gibaldi tells the story of a transformative summer for a girl who discovers just how wide the world really is and that maybe the life everyone expects her to lead may not be the one she was meant to have.
I have had the privilege of reading every Lauren Gibaldi book released so far prior to its release and I am SO glad for it. Lauren writes the kind of young adult contemporary that just makes me feel so GOOD. It reminds me of the first young adult literature that I ever read, the kind that made me so passionate about it. It reminds me of Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen and authors like that, stories about young girls in the summer, trying to figure out what the hell is going on in their lives.
Penny has everything laid out in front of her. She doesn’t NEED to question anything in her future. She has a great boyfriend, a fantastic best friend, a community that knows and loves her and a job waiting for her. Everything is there. There are no risks and she’s okay with that.
But what I love is that Lauren takes Penny and throws her into something that she’s truly passionate about but hasn’t had the moment to really think of it beyond that. Sure, she loves it. She enjoys it but she hasn’t lived and breathed it the way she does at this camp and once she does that, it overwhelms her. This is where she’s supposed to be. Even if she doesn’t become famous or anything like that, this is what makes her happy, what fuels her fire, what gives breath to her lungs. It’s beautiful to watch because it’s exactly how I felt once I started blogging and was pushed headfirst into the YA community and felt more at home than I had ever felt in my life. It’s amazing and its uncomfortable because there is a PLAN and you can’t derail from it and it was familiar to watch Penny struggle with that, with what is supposed to be and what could be.
I think what made me like this book a lot was that it didn’t take the…I guess, predictable course of having Penny renounce all her old ways and jump into this new world. I like that she sort of has to figure it out. She doesn’t become all knowing. She’s more unsure at the end than she was in the beginning and that felt more real to me. I feel like there’s this idea that as you get older, you just suddenly figure it all out and that most definitely is not how it happens. I like that Penny is ready to tackle what comes next, even if she’s completely unsure of what that is going to be. That’s kind of what makes life both super scary and exciting and I love how Lauren captured that in this novel.
4 out of 5 Stars