(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: How to Keep Rolling After a Fall, The Truth About Happily Ever After
Published by Macmillan on August 4th 2015
Genres: Love & Romance, Social Issues, Special Needs, Young Adult
When Jordyn Michaelson's autistic brother joins her at her elite school, she's determined not to let anyone know they're related. Even if that means closing herself off to all her closest friends, including charming football stud Alex Colby. But despite her best intentions, she just can't shake the memory of kissing Alex last summer, and the desire to do it again. Can Jordyn find the courage to tell Alex how she really feels--and the truth about her family--before he slips away forever?
This is the book I’ve been waiting for from SwoonReads! While their other titles have been quirky and cute, none of them really made me swoon, so I went into this title with a bit of trepidation.
I’m so happy to say that I got everything I had hoped for while reading this lovely story.
Jodyn Michaelson has spent most of her life in the background when it comes to her life at home. As the older sister to her autistic brother, Phillip, most of her family’s choices have revolved around what is best for him … and she’s a little resentful.
Having to move in her junior year of high school to a different district, one that could accommodate his special needs is practically the last straw. When she starts school, she tells no one about her brother… not the girl who is quickly becoming her best friend, and certainly not the boy who she has a crush on, Alex Colby.
But when her brother’s school closes due to funding, there is no other school for him to attend except hers and she’s determined to never let on that they are related, especially when it turns out the school starts gossiping and talking about him.
You guys, Alex will totally make you swoon. Of course he’s hot and he’s super popular and a football player, but he’s so much more than that. He genuinely cares about people, he’s lived through heartache and pain and he’s determined to do what he can to help others who have disabilities. I loved that he was just more than the popular guy.
Jordyn… she’s such a complicated character and I loved that about her even though there were times I couldn’t believe the things she was thinking or doing. When you first meet her, you totally understand where she’s coming from, what she has to deal with can’t be easy for a teen… that’s not to say I agree with her attitude, but I can see where it comes from and it’s authentic to how I think most teens would feel in her situation. Her struggle to see how her mom was trying to make a life for Phillip and to understand that sacrifices were necessary was genuine… but her growth by the end of the book was perfectly done. I will secretly tell you, that at one point I had a few tears in my eyes.
The pacing was exactly right… I loved that the romance between the characters wasn’t the biggest thing in this story. Instead, we’re treated to a story where this character needs to learn that there are bigger things in life than being popular or liked… that even though her brother has limited speech and isn’t like other kids, he loves her in his own way and that despite his disabilities he is an incredibly intelligent and loving kid.
If you know me, you probably know I struggled with one aspect of the story… the mean girl. Ugh I kinda hate this trope. There doesn’t always have to be a girl for us to dislike immensely, and I did dislike Leighton. Like almost more than any other mean girl I’ve ever read about. I see why she was in this story, but I almost wish she hadn’t been.
One thing that I really was happy about was how much interaction we got between Jordyn and her mom. I loved that she explained to Jordyn some of her struggles and the reasons why she did the things she did for Phillip. It really helps the reader get into the mind of a parent and see things from a different perspective.
If you’re looking for a different kind of swoony read, you’ll definitely need to grab this one when it arrives in August. I have to say that I was on the fence with SwoonReads after reading a few of their titles that just didn’t work for me, but after this one, I’m definitely excited for more from this imprint!
Thank you to MacMillan for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.
(No PO Boxes Sorry!)