I started this book in November, but between working, the holidays, review book and buddy reads this one kept getting put away. The description sounded like something I would love. Best friends who end up going to college on the opposite sides of the country, keep in touch with e-mails and texts. This sounds like a unique way to tell a story. I finally finished it this week, so I can finally tell you guys what I thought of this book.
The phone on front of it illustrates this story very well, but I’m not to sure about the color combination that was used. I love pink, but this cover is just a bit too bright for me.
Gen and Ava have been best friends for quite awhile. The book starts off with them heading to their first semester of college. The only problem for these two best friends is that they’re going to college on opposite coasts. Ava is staying in California and Gen is off to Boston. This whole book is told through e-mails and texts and even though it took me a bit to get used to, it helped make this book a fast and easy read. Both girls are busy exploring their new lives. Gen more so than Ava. Gen is a bit more wild. She starts partying, trying drugs & alcohol and experimenting with her sexuality. While I think Gen went too far at times, I mean sleeping with just about any person, even professors was a bit extreme. Ava on the other hand is the opposite of Gen. She has a lot of anxiety and finds it hard to make new friends. And when she’s interested in a guy, Gen gives her advice every step of the way. I loved the humor in the e-mails and the titles could be hilarious at times. Gen’s room mate becomes an experiment, haha. Ava falls in love for the first time and is not sure how to handle it. Her description of the new people she meets is interesting. While they’re exploring their new lives, their friendship hits a few bumps in the road. Gen is exploring her sexuality and trying out drugs and Ava lets her know she doesn’t think it’s okay. Ava doesn’t know much about the LGBTQ community and Gen gets upset at her many times for this. Near the end of the semester things get a bit more difficult with more and more arguments. Ava tries to solve this by heading to see Gen for Thanksgiving. This turns out to be a disaster. Gen doesn’t show up when she says so and kind of ditches Ava. This causes an argument that gets out of hand. Including the chance that they can’t fix it. I have to say I was enjoying the whole book until this point. Of course, they’re in college, they can grow apart. I even expected there to be some type of argument. Maybe even new friends that took time away from the other. The fact that Gen completely ditched Ava really upset me. More for the fact that Ava doesn’t handle new situations well or new people. Gen knew how hard it was for her to get there. And on top of that, Gen got so angry she wouldn’t speak to Ava for weeks. I’m sure it happens, but it didn’t feel right to me in this book. It escalated too fast for me. A friend of mine finished this book as well and we both agreed we would be devestated if our best friends just disappeared like that. The ending wasn’t satisfying for me!
After finising this book, I read a few reviews on Goodreads. A few people decided not to finish it because of the drugs, alcohol, talk of sex and some thought the LGBTQ community was being insulted. While I can completely understand where they’re coming from, this book does give a semi-realistic image of what happens to many kids in college. No, not every student parties, tries drugs and alcohol or sleeps around/with their teachers, but it does happen. Of course, no book should ever promote these things, but I don’t feel it did. Ava always warned Gen of the consequences and that it wasn’t good. I mean come on, Ava is the opposite. She only went to a party a couple of times and mostly stayed in. Also, it’s true that Ava was rather clueless when it comes to the LGBTQ community, but just like Ava telling Gen when she’s wrong, Gen told Ava when she was insulting or didn’t understand. I think this only proves that we can all learn a little bit more. It’s okay when you don’t know something, just be open to learning the facts.
Ava is a shy girl and has some anxiety issues. We learn that she’s been seeing a therapist most of her life and takes medication. Even a few incidents that she cut herself. Ava has amazing parents though and she tells them everything. They’re also her best friends. It’s a big step for her moving away from home, especially without her best friend. She doesn’t like feeling like an outsider. Ava does give things a chance though. She tries making new friends and even joins a sorority. And she likes a guy and they end up together. She’s insecure though and lets him get away with a lot of things I wouldn’t have, but she is opening herself up. She wants to be a screenwriter and ends up making a short movie. It’s not the best, but she is proud she took the chance. I think the only good thing about the time Gen didn’t talk to her was the fact that she learned that she is stronger than she thinks and she gave other people a chance. Ava may not always seem strong, but she’s stronger than she thinks.
“You are so brave and so strong that sometimes I forget someone like me can hurt you. But you need to remember that you can hurt me too.”
Gen didn’t have an easy childhood. Her father is an alcoholic and her little sister is the only one who seems to exsist now. Gen’s father is trying to get sober, but she doesn’t believe it. One of her main reasons for leaving California. She wants to be a journalist and joins the newspaper at her college. Gen gets a few good articles and loves writing. Ava has been her best friend for ages and Ava’s family is more of a family to her than her own. To her college is the best thing that has happened to her and she is going to explore everything she can. This starts with partying and trying drugs and continues with her sleeping with a lot of people. Gen is exploring her sexuality and is trying to figure out who she is. She has a hard time listening to Ava telling her to be careful and doesn’t think she’s doing anything wrong. I think maybe her childhood plays part in her going wild or the need to feel free. Before their fight, Gen is a good friend. She is always there for Ava and wants to see her be happy.
“If anything, I got angry that morning because I was embarrassed. It’s hard enough living with my own questionable decisions without some pillar of morality reflecting back at me. (You’re the pillar, if that was not clear. And you’re quite shiny.)”
While this book started out strong and had a lot of good moments, I didn’t agree with the ending. Have any of you read this book? What did you think?