I received this e-ARC from NetGalley and Kensington Books for an honest review.
Lexi is a teenage girl with what she perceives to be a shameful secret. She lives with a mother that is an alcoholic and more like her child leaving Lexi to shoulder the pressure of being the adult. Her mother fled with her as a child to protect her from her drug addicted father and it has left Lexi feeling abandoned and unworthy. Because of these feelings she is constantly seeking approval from those around her that she feels are superior and can give her the acceptance she so craves. But having spent her high school years pretending to be someone she isn’t could catch up with her when least expected.
Her childhood best friend, Nolan, has known Lexi since they were four. He knows the real and fake Lexi and helps her to keep her secrets. He’s the one person she can trust more than anyone. His family has been her family. She would be lost without them all.
One of Lexi’s secrets includes resident bad boy Tyler. He uses him for her urges and the way he makes her feels when he crawls through her bedroom window each night but that’s it. She has rules and an image to maintain. One that Tyler would destroy……right?
Ben and Emily are cousins and the two most popular people in school. Sophomore year Lexi was taken under their wings by pure luck and she’s counted herself lucky since then but she’s waiting for it all to fall apart. One wrong move on her part and these perfect people would reject her. Given the massive crush Lexie has had on Ben since day one she would be mortified if he or Emily learned the real Lexi.
Even as things start to come together the way Lexi has dreamed of for years it is also falling apart in tiny pieces. Everything thing she’s worked so hard to maintain is about to topple. What will be left when she picks up the pieces? Since this is a YA novel the timing of the destruction fits perfectly. Lexi’s humiliation is a public shaming. One that you think at that age will follow you for life.
It’s in the aftermath Lexi is able to step back and re-evaluate herself and the life she tried to create. She’s able to see for herself that nobody is perfect, especially the ones she idolized for so long. The people who know Lexi are the ones there to help her brush off the dirt and move forward. Reading this book you’re taken back to those teenage years when everything was so dramatic and emotional. The author makes your heart ache, you remember all those feelings. You just want to protect Lexi from all the lessons even though learning them will only make her a better person and more well-rounded human being.
This is a great summer time read for YA and adults alike. I would recommend this book to my family and friends for sure!
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