By: Emma Mills
Published Year: 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.
Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.
I was very excited that Emma Mills came out with another book as I really liked her debut, First & Then. The blue cover caught my eye as it’s one of my favorite colors. The summary, however, not so much. It appealed to me enough to add it to my TBR, but it landed there and I forgot about it.
What I thought
I’m so glad that I added this book to my library pickup list without re-reading the summary. I did re-read it when I got home, but even though I wasn’t crazy about it, it was in my house so I started reading it anyway. This book was so wonderful. It was a keep me up past my bedtime book, which I haven’t had in quite a while.
Sloane is a senior in high school when her family moves from New York to Florida. She didn’t have any connection to New York, so she welcomes the move. While reluctant to open up to people, she finds herself thrown into a group of friends, closer than she ever expected.
If you like friendship stories, this book is for you. It is one of the best friendship stories I have read in a while. Also, Sloane and her sense of humor is right up my alley. She has a great dry humor that just left me constantly giggling and smiling throughout the book. While maybe not completely realistic, I enjoyed it so much it didn’t matter to me.
Sloan is a good person, and that is obvious from the very first moments of the story when she stands up to a bully for Gabe. This sparks an immediate friendship with her and Gabe’s twin sister Vera. Along with Gabe and Vera comes Aubrey and Remy, who have been friends with Gabe and Vera for practically forever.
The summary makes the hunt for the painting by Gabe and Vera’s late mother seem like a much more significant part of the story. It’s definitely a part of it, but it’s pretty minor. It’s a good way to develop Remy and Sloane’s relationship, and it definitely allows for some conflict and revelations later on in the story, but it isn’t centered around that. When I read the summary, it sounded like it was going to be a book that was all about the hunt for the painting, but it isn’t.
I also loved Sloane’s dad. He’s essentially Nicholas Sparks but stuck in a rut. He writes tragic romances where someone usually dies and is the reason why the family moved to Florida. He has a similar sense of humor to Sloane which makes for some great banter. While there is a little bit of tragedy in this story, it’s nothing like one of his books which was a relief. Every dramatic plot point was realistic which I greatly appreciated.