Author: Erin McCahan
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Genre: YA Contemporary Realistic Fiction
Copy provided by: Publisher
Summary (via Goodreads):
Seventeen-year-old Bronwen Oliver doesn't just want a family. She has one of those, and there's nothing terribly wrong with them apart from bickering grandparents, an image-obsessed mother and a brother she describes simply as Jesus. But there's no natural sense of connection between Bronwen and her family, leaving her with the belief -- and the hope -- that she was switched at birth, that she was never supposed to be Bronwen Oliver but someone else entirely.
When she begins dating college senior Jared Sondervan, she finds herself thoroughly embraced by the loving family she has always wanted and does not hesitate to say yes when Jared proposes on her 18th birhday. Plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her junior year of college become plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her freshman year of college. And a wedding so soon isn't exactly what Bronwen wants. But Jared is. And his family is. Or so she thinks.
Before Bronwen can determine what she truly wants, she must first determine who she truly is, and the answer, she discovers, is only partially what she thought it was. She wasn't switched at birth, but she's also not Bronwen Oliver and hasn't been for a very long time.
Why I read this: When I read the description for the book, I thought it sounded like a fun contemporary YA that I would enjoy.
Plot: True to the tone of a great contemporary novel, this was another book that tugged at my heart and while reading it, I really felt that I was the main character. I was just so involved in what she was thinking, going through and all of the fantastic emotions streaming through the novel. I cried when she cried, my heart skipped a beat when hers did and I just couldn't put this book down when I was reading it. It's about a 17 year old girl who falls in love, almost gets married before even going to school and decides that yes, she does love her fiance, but is she ready to give up her whole future wants just to be with him? I think it was a great novel about love and being brave enough to see past falling in love with love and make real life choices.
Characters: I loved Bronwen's character. I think every little girl at one points wants to be Someone Else - maybe not a real someone else, but at least a rich princess or a heroine. I was really drawn to Bronwen in this book and I loved her point of view and the way that she had her faults and weaknesses as well as her strengths. Nothing was completely easy for her as hard decisions often are not.
As for Jared, I was little worried he'd turn out to be like the first boyfriend, but he really surprised me and turned into a guy that I think any girl would love to marry.
Relatability: As someone who actually got married last year, I can very much relate to what Bronwen was going through when she fell in love. I think finding the one person who is right for you is probably the most beautiful thing on earth and I loved how that was broached in this book.
Cover Commentary: I love it. Definitely captures the feeling of the book.
Rating: 5/5 Roses
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