Under normal circumstances, Clementine wouldn’t want to spend all summer on a boat with her parents and younger sister. She’s just gotten her license, after all! But these are not normal circumstances. Her best friend Amanda hates her, and she’s kind of right to. Clem’s fallen in smit with Amanda’s boyfriend, Ethan. And now Amanda knows. So maybe a summer in exile is just what the doctor ordered. But almost immediately, Clem meets James, who’s also spending the summer at sea. And…well, sparks.
I love this book beyond all measure or reason. I love Clem and her parents and especially her sister, Olive. And oh, do I love James. He has his own reasons for wanting to hide, and the two of them together are magic.
Clem’s not perfect. It’s an awful thing, what she did to Amanda. And to her credit, she gets that. She doesn’t try to rationalize it or make Amanda the bad one. Nope, it’s all on Clem and she plans to spend the summer punishing herself for it. Except James won’t let her do that. And again, sweetest couple since Etienne and Anna.
This is only the second book of Melissa Walker’s that I’ve read (after Small Town Sinners) and I think it’s now safe to say that she’s one of my must-read authors. I’m excited to read her backlist, and all future books. While on Twitter, she said that her books are different, there’s also a common thread (well, at least of the two I’ve read so far) of trying to figure out who you are. In STS, it’s about challenging your belief system and growing. In this, it’s about figuring out how to go on after betraying who you thought you were. Because I don’t think anyone would consider themselves the kind of girl who would go after her best friend’s boyfriend, right? But Clem did. And in her eyes, that makes her a horrible, horrible person.
This book is sweet and laugh-out-loud funny. You’ll definitely want to bring it along on vacation, preferably someplace near water. Highly recommended.