By: Emma Mills
Published Year: 2019
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): For Sophie, small town life has never felt small. With her four best friends--loving, infuriating, and all she could ever ask for--she can weather any storm. But when Sophie's beloved Acadia High School marching band is selected to march in the upcoming Rose Parade, it's her job to get them all the way to LA. Her plan? To persuade country singer Megan Pleasant, their Midwestern town's only claim to fame, to come back to Acadia to headline a fundraising festival.
The only problem is that Megan has very publicly sworn never to return.
What ensues is a journey filled with long-kept secrets, hidden heartbreaks, and revelations that could change everything--along with a possible fifth best friend: a new guy with a magnetic smile and secrets of his own.
Emma Mills became one of my favorite authors in 2017. I have been waiting for this book to come out since I finished Foolish Hearts at the end of 2017. The cover is gorgeous and even if I didn’t know and love Mills, I would have been drawn to it immediately.
What I thought
This book has Mills’ quintessential Gilmore Girl’s-like banter and wonderful friendships. While it might not be my favorite of Mills’ novels, that doesn’t mean it’s not a great book.
It’s the summer before Sophie’s senior year of high school. Her band is supposed to march in the Rose Bowl Parade, but they need to raise the money. When Sophie hears that they likely won’t be able to make it, she comes up with her own idea: to ask Acadia celebrity, Megan Pleasant. While she is worried about the Rose Bowl, August moves to town.
As always, I greatly enjoyed the friendships in this story. I liked the diversity between male and female friendships as well as the difference types of female friendships. One of the things I love most about Mills’ stories is how realistic they are. With the exception of the witty banter, the situations that the characters get into don’t hold back. They get into fights, there are parties, there are hookups, it’s pretty much a non-filtered view of teenage life.
In previous novels there have been great parents and I’ve always loved that relationships. In this story, it was more focused on a sibling relationship. Even though I don’t have a sister, I enjoy reading about solid sister-sister relationships.
The romantic relationship wasn’t my favorite and is maybe why this book isn’t one of my favorites? It’s not that I dislike August or Sophie, but their back and forth got on my nerves after a while. But overall I liked their friendship and I liked his relationship with his brother and sister-in-law. I almost would have preferred if he and Sophie didn’t have the romantic aspect maybe? I don’t know.