Since I always make good decisions, I thought it would be a good idea to not take notes for this book while reading it. Obviously I would remember everything I wanted to say. Obviously the review wouldn’t suffer at all without me already having a very detailed outline. Sigh. So, point taken. Notes next time. Sorry dear readers.
Marshall seems a lot like Finny from Paper Valentine. Tall, wide shoulders, dark hair (even though Finny’s hair was bleached, it was naturally dark). No one really liked them. They’ve had hard lives, but really, they have a hearts of gold, and they’re incredibly sweet. The fact that they’re very similar doesn’t make them dislikable-I liked both of them. For some reason, I prefered Finny, but, if you asked, I couldn’t give you any specific reasons. Anyway, these characters both have pretty similar personalities and appearances.
It’s not just Finny and Marshall who are like this, though. A lot of love interests seem to be tall with dark features and wide shoulders. I’m not saying that guys who look like that are unnattractive. Guys who look like that are fine. But, in books, there are lots of tall, attractive, dark haired guys with wide shoulders. It gets a little tiring to read about basically the same guy repeatedly. I don’t have any specific problems with Finny or Marshall, I just think they’re both a little cliched. Finny is probably slightly less cliched, in my opinion, which may be why I like him more, but I could just think that because I read Paper Valentine first.
Even though I did like Marshall, I don’t think his relationship with Waverly will work out. I do think that they’re a cute couple, but there are many couples who are cute in high school who don’t work out. They think they’re going to be together forever, but in the end they realize that they aren’t as perfect as they thought they would be. I just feel like their personalities are too different, and they didn’t even get to know each other very well before they started dating. Maybe it would work out. Maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about. Whenever I read books about a cute couple, I want to be able to think of them being together forever (which is weird for the cynical pessimist that I am, but whatever), and with this book I just couldn’t see their relationship working out. I think it would be a nice relationship for a few months. Maybe it would be a nice relationship until the end of highschool, or until the middle of college, but not forever.
One of the things that I really liked about the book is that Autumn was a realistic, not at all stereotyped, emo character. Most of the emo characters I’ve read about have been stereotypical emos who probably cry themselves to sleep every night, sulk constantly, and probably write My Chemical Romance lyrics on their converse because *aesthetic*. Autumn wasn’t like that at all. She was actually a lot like how I was when I was emo, and I’ve never come across an emo character who was the kind of emo I was. It was really cool to actually see an accurate, relatable emo girl. I don’t even mind that she became kind of preppy in the end, because that’s not unrealistic. Despite what everyone says when they’re emo, being emo is normally something you grow out of. Then you’ll either become preppy (again), or you’ll become grunge instead, and then you’ll obsessively play Radiohead on the bass, like me. Autumn was just written so perfectly. I loved her. The way she talked and acted was so real and I JUST CAN’T. I LOVE HER.
I like that there were occasionally chapters from Marshall’s perspective in addition to the chapters from Waverly’s perspective. You get so much more out of their middle of the night interactions with both perspectives than you would if it was just one person telling the story. I am slightly disappointed that Marshall’s chapter called “High, Low” wasn’t a reference to the Nada Surf album High/Low, but that’s just me, and I’m not complaining that it wasn’t a reference.
I felt like not a lot of stuff happened in this book. Waverly starts dating Marshall; Waverly stops hanging out with Meribeth and kind of becomes her own person. All of the characters seem to grow as people, but that can’t be the only thing that happens in the book. I did love this book, and I would recommend it, but in the end I was left wanting more. I don’t know how I would suggest changing it to make more happen, because things do happen, it’s just that not that many things happen. Even though I’m kind of complaining about this, I don’t think there was another way this could have been written. Maybe this book is more about the characters developing as people instead of doing things. Obviously, emotion and character development are very important things, and a novel without any emotion would be miserable to read, but I was still left wanting.
Even though I didn’t dislike Waverly, she really reminded me of someone I used to be good friends with. Now that person irritates me, so whenever Waverly was being especially like that person, I couldn’t help but find her annoying. Mostly, she was a really well-written, interesting character, and, like I said before, all of the characters grow as people through the novel, so it’s really interesting to see her become a better person. If you didn’t used to know someone who was like Waverly, you probably won’t find her at all irritating.
This book wasn’t perfect, but I did really like it so I’m giving it five stars. In the end, I think I like books with more action to go along with the character development. A nice balance between action, character development, and world building makes for the best book.