Synopsis: When Ivy is forced to move to the “wrong side of the tracks” due to economic hard times, she discovers that not everything—or everyone—is what they seem, even herself. Fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen will love this funny, poignant, and relatable story.
When Ivy Emerson’s family loses their house—complete with her beloved piano—the fear of what’s to come seizes her like a bad case of stage fright. Forced to give up her allowance, cell phone, and the window seat in her lilac-colored bedroom, Ivy moves with her family from her affluent neighborhood to Lakeside, aka “the wrong side of the tracks.” Hiding the truth from her friends—and the cute new guy in school, who may have secrets of his own—seems like a good idea at first. But when a bad-boy-next-door threatens to ruin everything, Ivy’s carefully crafted lies begin to unravel…and there is no way to stop them.
Once things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some surprising new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother. And she may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were…including herself.
Yes, I’m giving this one five stars!
I loved every single thing about this book, from the characters, the settings, the story…just everything about this book was utterly fantastic.
We start off with Ivy, a teenage girl who lives in the wealthy part of town next door to her very best friend, Reesa. Ivy has a sister and a brother (who has a disability and needs various different types of therapy), and lives with both of her parents, who pretty much give them everything they could possibly want. Ivy has her own piano, and playing that piano is her favorite thing in the world. She loves to play piano and sing for her younger siblings, as well as for herself. She is part of the “popular clique” at school, and her friends are very judgmental of those who are not.
Well, with Ivy’s brother’s therapy costs and other bills, they can no longer afford to keep their big house, cell phones, and they have to cut down on all of their expenses…which means Ivy’s parents move the family to the more run down and (as Ivy’s judgmental friends refer to it) the poor part of town. Ivy is absolutely mortified at the thought of anyone from her school (including her crush, the new boy, James) finding out that she lives there, so she tries her hardest to keep it a secret (such as riding a bike several miles to school instead of taking the bus). She also tries her hardest to avoid Lennie, the boy next door, because she worries about what will happen to her social status if anyone sees them together.
Eventually, Ivy starts to really fall for James, who she believes is rich, but at the same time, are the feelings she has for Lennie really just feelings of friendship, or are they something more?
I really can’t even begin to explain how amazing this book was. I couldn’t put it down. It was such a great story (I even loved the romance in the story, and that usually isn’t my thing). Also, yes, this book is one of those books that have a message (such as don’t be afraid to be yourself and let everyone know who you really are), and while sometimes these can end up feeling like a bad after school special, the author really does a great job making this message meaningful and thoroughly enjoyable. This book is definitely going on my favorites shelf!
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.