Release date: May 10th 2016
Looking for a change, Julie joins a youth group heading to New Orleans to rebuild houses. What she hoped would be a chance to escape from everything back home turns out to be just as suffocating so when she sees the opportunity to sneak away, she takes it. She finds Mid-Summer Mardis Gras and a boy named Miles. It’s exactly what she’s been looking for: the chance to be someone else for a night, to be drama free. Her perfect night is put into jeopardy when a hurricane shifts course and keeping her past a secret is no longer an option.
This was a cute, quick contemporary read. The characters were quirky, the plot was fun and fast-paced, and it made me want to visit New Orleans. Julie, or Lulu as Miles and his friends called her, was someone I could empathize with even though I couldn’t imagine just taking off like she did. I liked seeing her live in the moment and be able to forget everything that sent her running in the first place, even if only for a night. The flashbacks showed the reader the relationship between Julie and her brother, her friends, her parents, and how everything unraveled to the point where she felt that leaving town was her best option. There was such a contrast between Julie, the overwhelmed sister who just wanted to help, and Lulu, who just wanted to forget everything and be free.
I really enjoyed the moments between Julie and Miles. His friends were awesome and added some hilarious moments to the night but the main focus was the developing chemistry between Julie and Miles. I liked their connection for what it was: two people who needed a night to just live and forget their baggage so they felt drawn to each other. It was done in a way that didn’t feel like insta-love even though they got pretty intense.
There was a good balance between the heavier scenes of the flashbacks and the hurricane and the lighter scenes of just having fun and being carefree. There was a bit of a mystery of what exactly happened to send Julie running to New Orleans and it was slowly revealed with each new flashback. The plot was one of those enjoyable ‘under the right circumstances this could happen to anyone’ types that provide an entertaining and quick read. It took me quite late into the night but I finished it in one sitting.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.