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Anna is your good girl who has a plan and sticks to it. Dean is the homeless guy that she falls in love with. As they learn about each other they find they have more in common than they first thought, but will it be enough to overcome the mindset that comes with homelessness…?
The best thing about this book is that you can connect to both characters. Anna really isn’t an unusual character, we’ve read these ambitious and go-get’em personalities before. But…I really liked her friendship with Katie and her relationship with Barney and the soup kitchen. These gave this rather one-dimensional girl some facets that these types normally don’t get. I liked that there were some consequences of her falling in love to her grades, not unexpected and yet not due to neglect. I also liked that back history with Katie and the death of her father, the outcomes of these really worked to make Anna’s story complete and not just about finding love.
The personality and backstory I read for though is definitely Dean. No one is going to go out and fall for any old homeless guy. There are some prerequisites involved and Dean definitely fills them. He’s on the street, not for drugs or differences with his parents, nor is he a thug who just doesn’t like working. So while this is a good character and the story does him justice we aren’t exactly seeing realism here either. Still I really liked how Dean’s attitude played a lot into what he felt he deserved and thus his actions being the ones of a person a young woman would want to be with. There was also already in place circumstances that would change his life, a lot of it was finding that inner space needed to accept help from those people. I loved the arc with the sister and the part it played in strengthening Dean’s relationship with Anna.
I would have liked this better if she were in college. It would seem like it had more of a future. Unless he moves to the town the ivy league school is in I highly doubt they will stay together. I don’t think they’ll get into a screaming match and break up but they will simply drift apart after 4 years apart from one another, not really spending time together. If she were already in college then he’d start over near where she’ll be for 4 years. That makes sense then, his circumstances would be different by then too and they can make decisions together. In lieu of this, then an epilogue would be nice illustrating how the author imagined their future looking. A dog, apartment, living in the same city…something!
The plot felt very slice of life. Nothing that happened linked to anything else. For example, there is a death and a mugging and neither of the assailants return, are caught or play any part in the story except for that one moment. While I didn’t mind this it made the story very soft and warm but not terribly compelling. I won’t remember this story for long, but it was a pleasant read and I highly suggest it.
BOTTOM LINE: A simple, sweet teenage love story.
Thanks to NetGalley and Mark My Words Book Publicity for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.