Simon Pulse, 2012
YA Contemporary Military
Source: Picked up from library.
This book caught my eye with its thought-provoking premise. Quinn kissed a guy who is not her boyfriend. Her boyfriend Carey is a Marine, a hero, serving his country overseas, the pride of their small military town. And although Quinn did not cheat* on her boyfriend, she cannot share that without hurting the person who means the most to her and violating her promise.
I saw a couple of reviews of this book that absolutely raved about it and as someone who loves contemporary and has been enjoying the YA military stories that have been released, I figured I would love it too. However I ended up having major problems with some of the plotlines.
- Years before this book, Quinn's mother cheated on her military father and then abandoned the family for her lover (aka the father's brother-ew). So now people think Quinn's a slut just like her mom and her father especially treats her poorly, essentially ignoring her presence and limiting her freedom. Over the course of the book, the mother returns leading to some much needed family discussion and healing although they still need help even by the end. Both of her parents are very flawed people
- Quinn caught on camera with a guy who is not her military boyfriend-this is the main problem I had with the book as indicated in my footnote. There had always been some tension between Quinn and this guy and as soon as she and Carey break up, she heads to this other guy for a night of passion. I mean, as soon as they break up-there is no break in-between.
- But then after Carey faces consequences, he asks Quinn to pretend they're still together while he's deployed which leads to Quinn keeping his secret at all costs, from her best friend, her other friends, her father, Carey's parents, the town. Everyone feels free to ostracize Quinn but nobody knows who the guy was and Quinn doesn't share, feeling there is no point. But Quinn still has that passion for the guy and I a. did not understand as I thought the guy was a loser and b. got kind of tired of her martyr routine.
- Quinn working at a veterans' hospital with George-this was by far my favorite plot. Quinn is initially signed up to work her by her dad as a punishment but soon comes to enjoy it for her own sake, partly due to her friendship with George, basically the one person in her life who doesn't judge her. He nourishes her love of photography and helps her see the world beyond her small-town. His impact on her is great.
Overall: I loved the subplot of Quinn volunteering with George but I was less enthusiastic about the other parts of the book, which unfortunately took up more space.