Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Tiffany Brownlee
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Emma Ellenburg has the perfect life: her father is a retired famous baseball player, they live in an amazing house in California, and she is the perfect student. Nothing can pull her focus away from the thing that matters most, namely, getting into an Ivy League college. That is, until her parents bring home a new foster sibling, Dylan. The two find themselves in the same English class for the semester where they are studying Wuthering Heights. Quickly, it becomes obvious how the two feel about each other, and they become intertwined in a risky and secretive relationship. Things take a downward spiral when Dylan's moodiness seems to take hold of him, causing angry outbursts. These moody spells land Dylan in a severe car accident where he is almost killed. Emma is forced to decide what matters most to her in this crucial period of life, eventually helping the family to return to the closeness they once shared.
This is an excellent book! At first, the relationship between Emma and Dylan feels a little odd due to the sensitive nature of kind-of siblinghood intertwined with romance, but the reader is quickly enveloped in the forbidden relationship as it is made clear how the two can heal one another. Their relationship has ups and downs, lies and heartache, but through it all, it is obvious how perfect Emma and Dylan are for one another. Readers will enjoy the parallels drawn from Wuthering Heights, adding another layer of depth to the novel. In addition to the romantic relationship between Emma and Dylan, this book explores the sometimes difficult relationships between parents and teenage children. Emma learns how to be herself and fulfill her own dreams, while her parents learn to respond to the dynamic nature of family life. This book takes a wonderful, thought-provoking look at how there is not always black and white clarity in what is right and what is wrong. Through the use of colors and Dylan's artistic mind, the reader is shown how the differing shades between black and white are sometimes what leads to the best outcomes.
*Contains mild language and mild sexual content.