Sarah has always felt like she’s lived in the shadow of Scarlett, her older sister. When her boyfriend breaks up with her right before the family is leaving to go to Cape Cod for the summer, Sarah decides it’s an opportunity for an experiment. She’ll act more like her older sister and see if that attracts friends and boys. This is how she meets college boy Andrew. She finds herself having real feelings for him, feelings that seem to be returned, but he doesn’t know the real her. If she tells him the truth, she’ll lose him. But if she doesn’t, it all might come crashing down anyway at her sister’s going-away party.
I went into this book thinking it would be a cute, lighthearted read that would be perfect for summer. It was still cute and a great book for the summer, but it wasn’t as lighthearted as I expected. There was a lot of depth to it that I found myself both enjoying and appreciating.
I found myself really relating to Sarah. She surrounded herself with science and astronomy the same way I would surround myself with books and baking. Her story arc became more about her discovering who she was as a person than about her experiment. She made mistakes, sometimes big ones, and she would have to learn from them and accept them. I loved how scientific she was about the experiment. It really suited her.
I did find the love story part of the book hard to get behind. It was cute and I thought they did work well together, but it was based on a lie and I knew something would likely happen. Either he would find out, she would confess, someone would use it against her, so many options for some drama. He knew her only from the persona she was pretending to be, even if that persona was slowly turning out to be the real Sarah. If their whole relationship hadn’t started on lies, I probably would have gotten into them more than I did.
The coming-of-age arc was my favourite part of the book. Sarah’s experiment may have started because her boyfriend broke up with her and accused her of watching the world instead of living in it, but it turned into a great growth arc that had Sarah stepping out of her sister’s shadow, discovering new things she liked, and making mistakes that caused her to grow as a person. I also loved that her discovering herself didn’t mean she lost her love of astronomy and science.
Overall, I know it started out with Sarah changing who she is because of something a guy said, but it turned out to be the catalyst behind an enjoyable coming-of-age story.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.