July 29th 2014 by Point
E ARC from Netgalley.com
Lauren has moved to a small town in Oregon to live with an aunt and uncle who run a bookstore and have three small children. Her mother was not particularly effective, and there has been a bad incident in the past involving Lauren’s half-brother that continues to upset her greatly. Colby is a local football hero who likes to hang out with his best buddy Benny and lives with his father and grandparents. When the two meet, they feel an instant attraction but aren’t quite sure how to connect. They dance around the issue for a while, finally try to date, and then Benny is badly injured in an accident. Colby is grief stricken, and it puts him off his game, so his father becomes demanding. Lauren is in therapy, and dealing with the incident with her brother, but enjoying being in a loving family. Eventually, the two decide to hang out as friends, and do things like have a bake sale to raise money for Benny, but that’s unsatisfactory. The two decide that they will go out, and Lauren’s mom decides to move far away from the west coast, and asks Lauren to go with her. Through it all, Colby and Lauren just want their lives to settle down long enough so that they can be together. Will it ever happen?
Strengths: I do enjoy Schroeder’s middle grade novels, and while this is more YA, it is appropriate for younger readers. The “dark secret” from Lauren’s life isn’t that bad, and the relationship is chaste. I needed a lot more romances this past year, so will definitely buy a copy, especially since this has a sad, Fault in Our Stars kind of feel to it.