Pub Date: October 15, 2013
Jessica Sweet doesn't want to go home for the summer and be under the constant scrutiny of her parents, who are the head of her church organization. She wants to just stay behind and work, so she tells a little white lie about volunteering to build houses for the less fortunate. Off the hook for the summer, Jessica just needs to find a place to crash for a week until her new place becomes available. Unfortunately, the only one who can step up and help her is Riley, her friend's brother, who she thought didn't even like her. But beggars can't be choosers, and she soon finds herself alone in the house with Riley. Trying to thank him for taking her in, she gets it in her head that she can do a little charity work after all - by helping Riley clean up the house in time for the social worker's inspection, who's deciding whether or not to place Riley's youngest brother into social services. And along the way, she realizes that Riley didn't quite hate her after all, and that maybe, just maybe, she's seeing him in a different light as well.
Hmm... I kinda wish I had done this review a little earlier. It's only been a week since I read it, but I had to reread the synopsis just to remember what this story was even about. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad novel by any means, but it didn't stick with me once I finished it. I can say that her parents were a real turn off for me, because it was hard to imagine that a family of God who preached love and forgiveness would be so quick to cast out and shun their daughter simply because she was dishonest about what she was doing for the summer. Just saying... We're also never given a real reason for why her brother dislikes her so much and is willing to throw her under the bus and that didn't sit well with me either. There's always a reason, even if it's as simple as jealousy.
However, I did enjoy seeing Jessica and Riley slowly learn to accept one another and the love that developed from there. I did find it ironic that Riley was the one trying to push off the sex and not the girl who grew up with such a religious background, but maybe having it shoved down her throat instead of allowing her to decide if it was right for her made all the difference in her current beliefs. Sweet was a cute, easy read, and if that's what you're needing right now, I suggest you give this one a try.
ARC provided by Penguin Group for honest review.