Another start of a week, another review :)
Author: Lizzy Charles
Title: Effortless With You
Release date: 12th of August 2013
Published by: Swoon Romance YA
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: YA, Slice of Life
Pages: 249 in in e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle
School is out and Lucy is ready for the perfect summer: lazy days at the pool, invitations to the most exclusive parties, and romantic dates with her hot new boyfriend. That is, until she lands in trouble one too many times and her parents issue the ultimate punishment: a summer job. Suddenly, the summer can't end fast enough.
To make matters worse, the job is painting houses with Justin, the most popular, egotistical guy in school. Spending all summer with Justin might be other girls' dreams, but definitely not Lucy's. After all, Justin is cocky, annoying, and a jerk. So what if he's the most beautiful jerk Lucy's ever seen? Or that his grin makes her forget she’s mad at the world? Or that maybe, just maybe, there's more to Justin than Lucy realizes. Only one thing is certain: it won’t be the summer she wanted, but it might be exactly the one she needs.
I was really impressed by this story, it surprised me in a good way and, most importantly, it touched me, which doesn’t really happen often, since I’m usually quite emotionally distanced from books I read, even though I might love them and enjoy them to bits.
This book was effortless to like and read. It went by fast, but the content wasn’t simple or instantly forgettable. Despite all the problems and serious topics included, I didn’t feel depressed or hopeless, the feeling of summer and the promise of a happy ending was constantly in my mind. Also, the actions, reactions and motivators of characters came across authentic and believable, which in turn, made me more invested in the outcomes of the story.
I loved how involved Lucy’s parents were in her life, hated how she kept her problems to herself, loved the romance, hated how long it took to see it develop, loved how strong and determined Lucy was with guys and getting back on her feet, hated how she let people walk all over her and connected with the wrong sort, loved how difficult topics like bullying, rape, etc were included, hated that there were no real consequences for the perpetrators (but I guess this is how it is in reality), loved Justin, hated how hesitant and unsure he was regarding one thing, …. loved this book, but hated how soon it ended!
Needless to say there were diverse extreme feelings I experience while reading this, but one aspect especially connected with me. I don’t enjoy reading about family drama or issues between teenagers and parents, but I can’t say that I was indifferent towards the conflict between Lucy and her mother. Most of the time I wanted to shake Lucy and tell her to pull it together and learn to respect and other times I was disappointed with her mother for not understanding what the actual issue at the core was, the place where everything stemmed from. While I’m usually annoyed out of my skin by such YA mother/daughter moodiness, I was really hung on how things turned out in this book and I became so invested in the outcome that I even had tears in my eyes a couple times when reading and I can say for sure that that is a first for me in this instance and rare overall.
Lucy was at times really difficult to like or understand, because of her thoughtless actions and words. At the same time, she had faced and was still suffering from the aftereffects of humiliation and pain due to severe bullying, she wasn’t an emotionally healthy teenager, BUT she was trying. She admitted when she did or said something wrong and tried to repair the damage. It doesn’t matter that it took time for her to reach that point, what’s important is that she did come to the conclusion and mostly on her own. In the end, I respected who she had become. Plus, her pining from Justin was so cute.
Justin was a the perfect guy in every way, to the point that he was too good to be true, luckily, he acted quite cowardly regarding one topic, so I can safely say that he is not perfect, which in turn makes him just perfect. It’s not so confusing when you think about it!
I’m awful! While it was a great read, I felt something lacking somewhere, I don’t know where (and I feel guilty because of that) so I can’t give it a 5, which it more or less what it deserves, BUT I can’t if I can’t. Nevertheless, I urge everyone to give this a try, because it’s a beautiful coming of age story with sweet and sad moments that grip you emotionally and make you happy and sad and then happy again.