Author/s: Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
Publisher, year: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2011
Page total: 368
Date Read: February 01 to 02, 2011
Genre/s: YA, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Coming of Age
First Line of Book:In 1985, just about everyone I knew was afraid of two things: a nuclear attack by the Russians and a gruesome death from the AIDS virus, which allegedly thrived on the mouthpieces of New York City public telephones.
"When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York—and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari's family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.
When misfortune befalls Blake's family, he pulls away, and Ari's world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?"
I have so much to say about this book I don't know where to start. There were so many things I loved, and others I didn't like so much, but overall it was a lot better than I expected.
New York in the eighties was a lovely background to this story, and though I wasn't born yet back then, I could imagine and see myself in there- that was fantastic.
I don't know how to describe Ari properly, she's perfectly average, but she's got something I couldn't help but like; she has problems, she's not perfect, she's talented but she doesn't know if that's enough, she's the good girl and has a naughty best friend, and she's never been in love.
That's when Blake enters the scene. I have to admit I really liked Blake- he was sweet, nice, respectful, and caring -but eventually he got on my nerves. The boy doesn't know what he wants. That was so annoying. I felt so bad for Ari because of that.
But it's not just Ari and Blake I want to talk about though, because all of the characters were really well written. Ari's mother was very believable and so was her sister, her brother-in-law and her friends. And since it's set in 1985, I found myself wondering how they'd be nowadays.
I also liked how STDs were talked about in here. I mean, from all I've been told, thirty years ago people didn't know how they could get AIDS, and it was really interesting to read about it too, even though it was only a very, very small part of the story.
Rosenthal's writing is really good, I'll probably read whatever she writes from now on, and I loved that the story wasn't just set in a short time period, so it was great to see Ari mature during those years the story goes. The only thing I didn't like was the title of the book and the synopsis: none of them do this book justice (and they could've been more appropriate, I think)
I'd most definitely recommend it, especially if you like the eighties (or even if you don't, it's a good book nonetheless) or just good realistic fiction.
"The memory of tonight was as unblemished as new-fallen snow that I had to protect from careless footsteps."
"She was wearing her fuzzy pink had and she was happy, which was so obnoxious. She'd become one of those people who waltzed through life without so much as a split end, and I was still one of those people who changed diapers for free but still got treated like a rented mule."