Rating 4 stars (3.8)
Anna Parker’s life disintegrates with one phone call. Her dad’s selling their ritzy New York City condo because her Wall Street banker mom emptied their bank account and ran off with another man. Which means Anna has to drop out of her elite college and move with Dad back to their small Ohio hometown. Anna’s determined to reclaim her life ASAP, so she’ll use the next few months to save money, help Dad get back on his feet, and find and confront her mom.
But Anna doesn’t anticipate things going so wrong. The only job she can get is working as a lunch lady in an elementary school. Their money-pit duplex is falling apart around their feet. And her dad is depressed without her mom, who's proving hard to find.
We don't know Anna Parker before her bail out mom. We are told what type of person she was from her own self-reflection. She was the stereotypical rich kid. She spent money with little appreciation of how good she had it. Shopping sprees and $400 dollars dinners was just a thing her and friends just did.
Now she has gone from riches to rags. Forced to move from a condo in ritzy Manhattan to a rundown duplex in small town Ohio, Anna is determined to get back to her old life sooner rather than other. There's only one problem with the plan. How is she going to come up with enough money to set her dad up and pay for her way back to NYC when the only job she could get is as a part time lunch lady.
To make matters worse, she is the only person working. Anna father has fallen in to a depression that keeps him in his room most of the time. Then walks in Gavin, her old elementary school boyfriend. The attraction is instant. Unfortunately, she still has a boyfriend back in New York.
Through Anna we see how a person can find themselves in a bad spot in life but in a good spot in development. Anna has become a better person. She discovered an inner strength, work ethic, and money appreciation that she wouldn't have if her mom has stayed. She learned what real friendship is.
I think that many people need to go through something similar. Many people take things for granted. When you have never seen anyone around you struggle it easy to make assumptions. Life just some times knocks you down and some people just don't know how to get up. It's the reverse. When you have struggled and everyone around you have struggled it makes it easy to feel like you can't get out of the struggle.
At any rate, I really liked this story. I'm not sure if there is going to be a sequel. I am going to reach out to the author and see if I can find that out. If there is a second book, I'm reading it. Please don't break up my happy Anna and Gavin home. What I would want for book 2? I want them to be planning a wedding and a confrontation with Anna's mother.
So there you have it. A feel good new adult romance with a message. Happy Reading!
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Update: Book 2 is TWO LITTLE LIES, and it comes out in June (it's Natalie's book). Book 3 is THREE PERFECT NIGHTS, out in August (Bianca's book).