I loved a lot of this book. It was a cute rom-com story based on the fabulous The Shop Around the Corner (which is also the basis for the very good, You’ve Got Mail). Strangers who start up an anonymous pen pal relationship and fall for each other suddenly meet in real life, where things aren’t as perfect.
Here, we have Bailey Rydell, moving across the country to live with her dad for her senior year of high school. Her parents are divorced, and she was living with her mom and step father…but that was complicated. So, off to Northern California she goes.
Bailey is obsessed with classic films. She dresses with 50’s retro style and wears her hair like Lana Turner. And she belongs to a classic film chat forum under the name of Mink, where she has a very flirtatious relationship with another film fan named Alex.
Oh. And Alex just happens to live in the same town as Bailey’s dad.
But instead of telling Alex she’s moving to his town, she keeps quiet and tries to keep to herself. She’s had some very traumatic experiences in her life, and tends to be awkward at socializing. She would rather get comfortable in her new town, while she tries to figure out just who Alex might be in real life. If they’re meant to be, then nothing can in the way of their relationship. She just wants it to be on her terms.
When Bailey meets the very annoying and very handsome surfer boy Porter at her new summer job, we all know what will happen. Of course the annoying boy will turn out to be secretly sweet and sensitive and they’ll fall head over heels in love with each other. Fine.
All of that part of the story was super cute and fun. I really enjoyed it. I liked that these kids made some serious mistakes and owned up to them. I liked that none of the characters were perfect. And I liked that these two had both been through something terrible and helped each other deal with it.
But there were are few things that I didn’t love. And these stop me from giving this book 5 stars.
- Bailey’s mom going completely offline. WTF?
- Porter wasn’t really that annoying. Bailey was equally, if not more, annoying in their first conversations.
- Why would anyone be mad that Patrick didn’t out himself the minute he met Bailey? Why should he have to do that? Why couldn’t they simply be friends with a mutual interest in film?????????
- And most of all…SPOILER…I hated how Porter managed the relationship when he realized who Bailey was. And I hated how she allowed him to dictate the terms of their relationship. He was a dick. And she was stupid.
But all in all, this was cute and fun and I enjoyed it. Thanks to all who recommended it. It was perfect for being locked up at home during the freezing cold weather on the east coast.