From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance. While Darcy is struggling to survive beneath the weight of her mother’s compulsive shopping, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink-and-paper bomb shelter. Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.
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Besides the emotional draw I had to the book, it is also just very well written. It has the fluffy, adorable romance I love in YA. It has a strong message about family and friendship as well. The characters were fun, and I loved seeing Darcy and Asher open up with one another.
I absolutely recommend this book!
- Realistic characters and struggles
- Faces mental health in an appropriate way
- Cute romance
Darcy and Marisol will soon be turning 18, and things are changing. The new property manager could refuse to renew her and her mother's lease, and Darcy is worried about keeping him out. Darcy works at a bookstore, and she has started running in to Asher, who recently graduated from high school and who had a terrible car accident that changed his entire future. Asher brings up new feelings, but connecting to him would mean letting him in to her messy life.
Darcy's talent is remembering the books she has read, but her life has also been lived a lot within the pages of books. As she starts to branch out, she must figure out herself and what she wants her own story to be.
What I loved: Darcy is a beautifully crafted character, and it is easy to slip into her life. Her worries and fears are easily translated off the page into a three-dimensional character and world. The places where she works- the bookstore and wigshop next door- are amazingly well described, and places most readers would love to visit. In terms of her development, it was fantastic to watch, as Darcy navigates her delicate world and comes into her own through the book. The romance was also nicely, slowly built and easy to cheer for. I loved it all- the characters, the friendships, the romance, and the literature references.
Final verdict: Gorgeously written, Darcy's story is a beautiful coming-of-age story with Shakespeare, romance, and amazing friendships. Highly recommend for anyone looking for something unique in YA contemporary romance.