Author: Rebecca Maizel
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss
A story of second chances from the author of Between Us and the Moon, which Kirkus Reviews called “what first love is meant to be.”Review by Nara
A year ago, Penny Berne was the star of her high school’s theater department, surrounded by a group of misfit friends and falling in love for the first time. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, her new best friend is the most popular girl in school, and her first love, Wes, ignores her. Penny is revered and hated. Then, in a flash, a near-fatal lightning strike leaves Penny with no memory of the past year—or how she went from drama nerd to queen bee.
As a record number of fireflies light up her town and her life, Penny realizes she may be able to make things right again—and that even if she can’t change the past, she can learn to see the magic where she never could before.
This captivating new novel about first love, second chances, and the power of memory is perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and Katie Cotugno’s How to Love.
So I read this book in May of 2016, and I must admit, in the current month of October 2016, I am really struggling to remember the major plot points in this book. I kind of remember bits and pieces which are mentioned in the blurb, but I can't really remember much of what happens in the middle or end of the novel, which makes reviewing it a bit difficult...
I think the main problem I had with the book was that it was difficult to empathise with the main character Penny. While this is somewhat understandable with the whole memory loss side of things, I probably would have liked to have seen much more of her life before the time skip/lightning strike (I seem to recall there was only a chapter or two at the start where the pre-queen bee timeline was explored).
I remember slightly that there was something to do with Penny's mother being an alcoholic, and her therefore avoiding all her friends because she didn't want to talk about it with them (or something). I'm assuming that this aspect of the novel wasn't particularly well explored, or I likely would have remembered more about it (although maybe not, #bookamnesia).
While unfortunately a tad unmemorable, overall, the book was a standard contemporary romance/coming-of-age story that is suitable for anyone looking for a nice, quick read.