Publishing Date: December 9th, 2014
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 368 pgs
Source: Given to me by the publisher for an honest review
Summary from Goodreads:
Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon's house. It's only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free- and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.
When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream- to sing on bigger stages- could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon's older (and unavailable) older brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes... and Amber starts to wonder if she's such a good girl, after all.
Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family's world- and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between "right" and "wrong," there's a whole world of possibilities.
My Review:This review is seriously overdue but I thought better late than never. I have to admit that the big draw of this book was the cover. I am a self proclaimed cover whore and this one is so cute. It's got the map, a cute heart pin and the font is nice. This cover screams roadtrip and I have to say that reading the book- not so much. That being said, I still enjoyed it.
The book centers on Amber, a church going girl who loves singing. Singing has always been something she liked to do but was never something she thought she could actually pursue. Her family is not exactly rolling in money and Amber never considered going away for school until now. With help from others she is starting to believe in herself and is willing to take some chances. Without getting into too much information, she may take a few too many risks to try to get where she needs to be.
There is a little romance also peppered into this story but what stood out for me was not the romance but the friendship that Amber has with Devon. It just stood out as genuine and I really liked reading passages about the two of them. I also liked how when romance got involved the two struggled with how to maintain their friendship when all they want to do is spend time with their romantic interests. This to me is reality. When you first start hanging out with someone you like, you just want to spend all your time with them and this can affect your friendships.
I also liked reading about Amber and her family. It wasn't a perfect family and that wasn't the focus of the book. There was a lot about her family in the book but it doesn't overpower other parts of the story. I like how her family is involved in her life and not just absent. Amber's personality and growth is shown through the depiction of her interactions with her family.
I will say that while I really liked this story when I was reading it, that now about a month later, it's not a book that stands out in my mind as fantastic. I would say that it's fun and cute but it won't be going on my favourites list. If you asked me why, I'd have a hard time telling you the reason because nothing really stands out. I guess that's the reason- nothing stands out. If you're looking for a fun contemporary then you will enjoy this book. Overall I'd say a solid 3 out of 5 stars.