This is a cute, lower YA, story of a summer escape for Gemma. But it’s not all summer ease, parties, and rich kids at the Hamptons – though there is a laziness involved that only teenagers get in the summertime with no real responsibilities. For Gemma, her summer plans quickly changed from doing volunteer work abroad with her boyfriend when he dumps her and her mother ships her off to the Hamptons to stay with her dad. It has been five years since Gemma has been there and when she was last there, at age 11, she “ruined” the life of her former best friend.
No surprise then that when she returns at 16, she comes across Hallie again. Only now she has a new hairstyle (a post-break up needed change insisted upon by her best friend Sophie), but an “S” necklace from her friend means that when Hallie sees Gemma, she doesn’t recognize her, and Gemma introduces herself as Sophie Tucker – her best friend’s name. So – a new name, a new look….. a new girl, right? Well that’s Gemma’s plan at least – to make right what she did the the past by befriending Hallie again and later revealing her true identity and apology. Soon the added variable of having a crush on Hallie’s brother enters, as does an awkward near naked experience at a party.
Getting sucked into the teenage plan of new friendship took a while for me to get into, but once the back story of how Gemma “ruined” Hallie’s life comes out, it gets a bit more entertaining. As the days pass, Gemma becomes accident prone, but she does not find deeper meaning in this unfortunate events like the reader will. Soon she and Hallie become friends, and, of course, soon Gemma’s real life invades her “Sophie” life. Waiting for it all to come out gets entertaining and was worth the read. Silly and light – much like I imagine a summer in the Hamptons would be like.
More juvenile than YA. Fine for various ages.