(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Also by this author: The Night We Said Yes
Published by HarperCollins on June 14th 2016
Genres: Dating & Relationships, Dating & Sex, General, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Romance, Social Issues, Social Themes, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
It’s always been a loaded word for Maude. And when she is given a senior photography assignment—to create a portfolio that shows the meaning of family—she doesn’t quite know where to begin. But she knows one thing: without the story of her birth mother, who died when Maude was born, her project will be incomplete.
So Maude decides to visit her best friend, Treena, at college in Tallahassee, Florida, where Maude’s birth mother once lived. But when Maude arrives, she quickly discovers that Treena has changed. With a new boyfriend and a packed social calendar, Treena doesn’t seem to have time for Maude—or helping Maude in her search.
Enter Bennett, a cute guy who lives in Treena’s dorm. He understands Maude’s need to find her mother. And as Bennett helps Maude in her search, she starts to find that her mother’s past doesn’t have to define her own future.
Lauren Gibaldi has crafted a beautiful and timely coming-of-age story that poses the question: Is who we are determined at birth, or can we change as we grow?
This was a pretty light read for the most part. Maude is adopted so family has always meant something a little bit different to her than it might to others. Her mother died when she was born and she doesn’t know who her father is. When she’s given an assignment in her photography class – show the meaning of family – she isn’t quite sure what she is going to do. She doesn’t even know where to begin because she’s tried to find out more about her mom before and it went nowhere.
This time, she wants to try something different though. Her best friend Treena is at college in Tallahassee… the same place where her birth mom lived and so she decides a visit is needed, not only to reconnect and share this experience with her best friend, but to also hopefully meet people who knew her mother.
When she arrives though, her plans to spend time with Treena are derailed. She’s changed in ways that Maude doesn’t understand and all, it seems, for a boy. Which leads to Bennett… a cute guy who lives in Treena’s dorm and decides to help Maude on her journey.
To be honest, this was a good read, but nothing about it really stood out for me. While reading I found myself sympathizing with Maude when her best friend is a jerk or does something stupid… I found myself liking Bennett just as much as she did, but when I turned the last page, that was kind of it. I never had any real strong feelings one way or another about the characters or the story.
Did I like it? Sure… Was there anything memorable here? Not really. I just kind of thought it was okay.
That said, I think that there can still be a lot of things here that others might relate a bit more to. Especially once Treena starts experiencing the college life and how that changes you as you learn to experience things on your own without the safety net of your parents nearby.
With a cute romance and sweet characters, this was an easy read that I think many will enjoy.
Thank you to the publisher for an early copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.