Summary from pub:
Gwen Castle’s Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He’s a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island’s summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she’ll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen’s dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.
I can’t help but compare every summer romance book to Sarah Dessen. This is just as good as any Sarah Dessen book, in fact, it might be better than many of them.
Gwen is such a complex character. She is really bright and fiercely protective of those she loves. Yet she is also so judgemental of anyone who isn’t from where she is from. Her assumptions close her off to a lot of things that could be really great and it is so frustrating. She lets the fact that they have money cloud what is right in front of her. Yet it also shows that sometimes people let money cloud their judgement and let them treat people who work for them like they aren’t even people.
The rich guy isn’t perfect either, but he is pretty great. He also made some of his own assumptions and had his own complexities. Things aren’t as easy for him as Gwen would like to think.
He really had me when he was with Gwen’s little brother who is developmentally challenged. I don’t think he had autism, he just needs so extra help and time with things. Emory was even a fully developed character, not just a way to show what all the other characters are like, though readers can learn so much from seeing how characters are with him.
There is a secondary love story also, of Gwen’s cousin and best friend who have been together forever and assume they will get married. But not everything is as perfect as it seems and they need to figure out what they want in life too. Sometimes you have to find yourself before you can be the other half of someone else.
There is so much going on in this book. There is a great romance, but it isn’t a light and fun book. There are real struggles with family. Readers will get angry at time at some of the entitled characters. Readers will think about how money – both having it and not having it – changes your life. I read this book quickly, but it stayed on my mind for weeks.
This is one of the best contemporary books i have read this year. I need to go back and read more the author has done. I know I will be passing this on to others.