Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Jennifer Gilmore
Publisher: Harper Teen
Lizzie Stoller collapses at summer camp unexpectedly, and her life is never the same after that. During her stay in the hospital, she meets Conner and his dog, Verlaine. Conner is sweet, cute, and funny, all the qualities that the boys who never like Lizzie back have. But somehow, Conner and Lizzie connect in a mutual understanding that isn't always clear to them. Lizzie is suffering from physical pain and anguish, while Conner is suffering from emotional and mental turmoil. As Lizzie starts to heal, Conner seems to get worse, and both are unsure about how to proceed. Lizzie eventually learns to forgive Conner for his mistakes and see him as a whole person instead of one isolated incident, and they both learn a thing or two about how to keep lasting, healthy relationships.
The blurb on this book jacket sounds pretty good, but the execution of the plot idea is very poor. Both Conner and Lizzie are flat, static characters and are not at all interesting or engaging. Their relationship is built off of a few interactions, and it doesn't make sense as to why they are so in love or care so deeply for each other. Lizzie is also pretty whiny, which might not be fair because she has a serious digestive disease, but she treats her old friends very poorly. The conversations between characters are awkward, choppy, stilted, or don't even make sense. There are a few jumps in scenes or between chapters that aren't logical or natural. Readers who appreciate a good contemporary romance will probably want to skip this one over because of its dull plot and poor writing.
*Contains severe language, moderate sexual content, and mild violence.