Avery James has her life planned out: this summer she’ll work with a humanitarian program in Costa Rica, next year she’ll graduate at the top of her class, and after that, college and medical school. Perfect, planned, total order.
The only problem: getting the rest of the money she needs for the trip before the deadline. Hannah Cohen, her biggest competition for the valedictorian title, makes an unexpected offer: If Avery can win over Zac Greeley and make him break up with Hannah before the end of the school year, a check for five hundred dollars is all hers. Faced with the prospect of spending yet another summer working as a giant hot dog, it’s an offer Avery can’t refuse.
Zac is nothing like Avery expected. Within his chaotic world of midnight slushie runs and spontaneous dance parties, her total order is quickly falling apart while Hannah seems poised to get everything she wants. But just how much is Avery willing to give up for the perfect, planned life?
“You shouldn’t let her treat you like that,” I told him. “Why don’t you just breakup with her is she does all that?”
‘”Because you don’t just walk away from someone when things get tough,” Zac said. “You find a way to stick it out and figure out what’s going wrong.”
Avery is not a typical teenager. She is a straight A junior competing to be valedictorian for her senior year next year. Since her mother left when she was twelve, to cope, Avery has taken over the “mother” role at her house (not in a creepy way), needing everything to be in order (VERY OCD), her father buys self help books, and her brother Ian eats to comfort himself. If her home life and school isn’t enough, she is also working at a local hot dog joint to save enough money to go to Costa Rica over the summer to help doctors in a local humanitarian effort. Her dilemma? She’s already put the deposit down herself and is struggling to try and find the money to pay for the remainder of the trip since her job is just not cutting it. Enter Hannah, her ex BFF (and competition for valedictorian). She tells Avery she will give her $500 if she can get Hannah’s boyfriend Zac to break up with her since she doesn’t want to hurt him or look like the bad guy. Desperate to go to Costa Rica she agrees.
As the story progresses Avery starts to fall for Zac and wants to back out of the deal even if it means costing her the trip she has been planning for so long. Hannah not wanting to break up with Zac herself, blackmails Avery with the “secret” as to why they are no longer friends. They go into detail, albeit a bit slowly, about why they are no longer friends as it affects several relationships in the story but overall I thought the “secret” (no spoilers I promise) wasn’t really so horrible, but I guess being a teenager it couldn’t have gotten any worse. 😛
Zac is absolutely adorable; every girl can count herself lucky if they can find their own Zac at any age, let alone in high school. Avery acted like a typical teenage girl though I do have to say it didn’t annoy me like so many other books do. Most of them are just trying to find their place, which is what she was trying to do, but having to play the mom role threw a lot off. I also related with her a lot because she didn’t rebel. She was the good girl but still couldn’t get things figured out, which happens a lot, no vampires or werewolves needed. She also kind of reminded me of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, but with a bit more emotion. I really liked the book; I would definitely read more by Ms. Norris.
Quick and fun read!