Publication Date: April 5, 2016
I am going to start this review by telling you, my darling readers, that I will be the black sheep when it comes to this book. I was excited to read this based on the blurb but when I started reading, I thought was reading a different story. I had to check the cover several times to make sure I was reading the correct book.
This is the story of Vivi and Jonah, two completely different personalities that met by chance. Vivi is staying in the small town of Verona Cove with her mom. She is still new to the town but it is apparent that she is not afraid of anything or anyone. She has never met a stranger and makes friends everywhere she goes. While working at a pottery store, Vivi meets Jonah and his little sister Leah. Jonah is the third of six children and carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Jonah’s father passed from a heart attack six months earlier and he, along with the two eldest children, are left to take care of the littles (the nickname for the youngest three children) and everything else because his Mom has withdrawn into a terrible depression. Vivi’s passion for life helps Jonah remember that life is still out there for him to live but she is all over the place. Jonah is the perfect boy next door that Vivi has always wanted. What Jonah does not know is that Vivi has a terribly dark secret that will eventually come to light and may turn everyone’s world upside down.
I was powerfully bored during this book. I never once connected to any character and soon I found myself not caring what happened to anyone. I knew from the first few pages that there was something wrong with Vivi, it was painfully obvious, which might have been Lord’s plan all along. When it was finally mentioned exactly what mental illness she had, it was more predictable than surprising. Vivi’s narrating voice was over the top and unbelievable – and not in that good way. There was no way I could take her character seriously.
There was supposed to be an intense spark between Vivi and Jonah but I felt no chemistry between them. I found myself cringing when they got together, as their romance was forced and rushed. I had no swoony feels for these two together.
I applaud Lord for writing about mental illness because it is a tough topic. I don’t feel it was properly executed in this book. The whole story felt predictable and boring. There was a lack of substance to this story which made it difficult to forgive Vivi for everything she has done, which is what she ultimately wants. This was my first Lord book to read and I will now struggle to pick up more of her work.