Author: Jenny O’Connell
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 24th, 2008
For seventeen-year-old Winnie, summer can’t arrive fast enough — anything to get out of the house and escape the cold war brewing between her parents. With her older sister, Shelby, spending the summer in Boston, Winnie’s left to deal with the situation all by herself. Which is why she’s happy to spend all day away from home at a cushy job — camp counselor at the prestigious Oceanview Inn.
And when the Barclays, a wealthy summer family, offer Winnie an additional babysitting job in the evenings after work, she jumps at the opportunity. Little Cassie Barclay is fun to take care of, and hanging out in the gorgeous Barclay summer house overlooking the harbor is far more pleasant than being on the front lines of the battle between her parents.
Then Cassie’s older and devastatingly attractive stepbrother Jay arrives on the island after a disastrous first year at college, and he seems to want nothing more than to wreak havoc for his stepmother and the rest of his family. Winnie soon discovers that life in the Barclay summer house isn’t so perfect after all, and what was supposed to be a carefree summer escapade is quickly becoming more complicated than she ever thought possible….
I liked this story. It was cute and simple, and in true O’Connell fashion, you tend to know he characters very well. Winnie is such an akward teenager. She feels uncomfortable in her family, doesn’t really know where she fits in with the rest of her life. She takes a summer job babysitting, and meets Jay. Jay is just as messed up as anybody, but Winnie doesn’t feel sorry for him. She wants him to stop feeling sorry for himself, and realize that he has a family that loves him.
Winnie believes in the goodness of Jay’s heart. She wants him to succeed and be a better person. He is there for her all the time. When she experiences heart ache over her parents impending divorce, when her best friend gets pregnant and decided on an abortion, when she simply needs a shoulder to cry on. They both learn, that in the moments of darkness, the person that they needed all along is there for them.
Thoughts: In all honesty I think that this is the best of O’Connells books. She captures the heart of young love and reminds us all to be appreciative of what we have.