Published by Speak on February 16, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy
Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. She's got her friends - the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She's got her art - and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they're dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?
Here we have another cute contemporary romance, and it was just what I needed for a summery day spent reading on my cruise ship’s balcony. Oh, and I was sick. Who else loves reading cute love stories when you’re sick? They are like comfort food. :) Really, all I feel like I can say is that it was adorable! Sometimes I get so swept into a story that I forget I have to review it. Haha. That’s kind of what happened here. So, this review will most likely be short and sweet, just like the book itself! As always, my main points are bolded. :)
1. I went into this book expecting “Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss” since, well, that’s what the book said it was. While I certainly would not measure this book up to Anna (because it falls short in comparison), it was a sweet read that I’m glad I took the chance on.
2. I really enjoyed the wacky humor. Ella has this crush on Edward Willing, a painter from the 19th century. Obviously he’s no longer living, but she has a bust of him that she talks to about her life and inner thoughts. And he talks back and gives advice. I found that to be rather weird at first, but the idea kind of grew on me. I ended up enjoying their conversations. Ella also has this hilarious Italian family who all work at their Italian restaurant together. Their conversations and loud personalities kind of reminded me of the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
3. Ella is really easy to relate to. She’s got all the normal traits of a high school girl: a meddling family, a few best friends, a crush she is sure will never ever like her back, and some insecurities (especially regarding some severe scars leftover from a boating accident when she was younger). At the same time, though, she shines and gains the attention of that certain unattainable guy.
4. I love Ella’s two best friends, Frankie and Sadie, who go to Willing School with her. They are the misfits of their class, and have bonded together. Frankie is gay, Sadie is rich but has low self esteem, and Ella is there on scholarship. Clearly, they don’t fit in among the elite students (phillites) that surround them. Together, they help instil confidence in Ella, and help her grow as a person. Frankie is extremely flamboyant and confident, always bouncing around and voicing his opinion. Every girl needs a guy like Frankie in her life.
5. Alex is such a sweetie. He’s appointed Ella’s math tutor, and even though he’s a phillite, he is so sweet and caring towards her. They form this really cute relationship. There was no insta-love, just a simple, sweet teenage love story. They have a very real connection.
In short, I loved this book. It was cute, sweet, and light, but at the same time it touched on some of the deeper issues that teenagers face like self worth, body image, and feelings of inadequacy. I enjoyed everything about it, and would definitely recommend it to people who enjoy contemporary YA.