Sloane waltzed into Emily’s life with vintage clothes and an easy smile. She turned the monotony of suburbia into world where the two girls could find excitement in anything. Until Sloane leaves without a trace and all Emily has to go on is one of her infamous to-do lists. But with Sloane gone, Emily wonders if she’ll be able to do the list at all. She can handle apple picking at night and or asking for Mona, but kiss a stranger? Go skinny-dipping? Emily was never the one to push boundaries, but she thinks this is the only way she’ll be able to find Sloane again. She picks up support along the way, and her and her friends try to check every item off the list before summer ends.
I got this book at Christmas and waited until I was laying at the beach in the middle of June to read it. I needed the ambiance of a summer-anthem book, and this one delivered.
First of all, the cover is beautiful. The inside is also a scene of the girls walking with ice cream, and I adore it. I usually hate covers with real people on them, but for some reason this one is just stunning. I think it’s the feel of the entire novel. It fits with the plot and the characters.
I also have a slight obsession with mysterious female characters. They seem to be a little bit of a fad right now, especially in young adult contemporary novels, and I secretly love it. It’s cliche. It’s unrealistic. But I love it. For some reason, these always tend to be some of my favorite characters; I think it’s because I have a secret dream of being perceived similar to that. Exciting. Adventurous. Mysterious.
So I am in complete love with Sloane. Despite the fact that she’s selfish and unapologetic and a little toxic. But her whole being is so romantic and mystical.
I thought the relationship between Sloane and Emily seemed authentic, if a little exaggerated. Emily made a place for herself as the sidekick, the one who wouldn’t push boundaries herself, but would follow when Sloane widened the rings. So when Sloane disappeared, Emily was lost. I think it was exaggerated that she had literally no friends other than her, but I think it could be a real issue for some people to get too attached. She forgot who Emily was, she only knew herself as Sloane’s friend, which is a dangerous mindset. The novel showed the good and the bad of a beautiful friendship and the over-dependency of it as well. The girls obviously loved each other, but Emily was able to branch out and have different friends and push her own boundaries.
And it can’t be a summer-anthem book without a love interest. And it’s an unspoken rule that this relationship needs to be predictable with at least one almost-tragic misunderstanding before the final, romantic, in-the-rain kiss. Which all happened (and I can’t even consider it a spoiler). I did like this romance, though. It seemed, while predictable, unorthodox. Authentic.
The best thing about the book wasn’t the mystery of Sloane or the plot or even its summer ambiance. I loved all the characters just because of their relatablity. Their little adventures weren’t particularly exciting, but they were real. I could see my friends doing the same stuff they did and telling the same jokes and having the same reactions.
I don’t think the book has any deep meanings or problems, but I think it was an interesting read and a perfect summer read. I loved the whole feel of the book, and I think it showed both the ups and downs of Emily and Sloane’s friendship beautifully and realistically.