on May 8, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, Fiction
Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review*
To be honest, I’m nothing like Clara the main character. I’m more like Rose her enemy. I’m studious and don’t like pranks to be pulled. This gave me an interesting perspective on Clara’s actions. I sympathized with her but also with Rose. It seems unfair for them to work on the KoBra after the prom incident. I can’t imagine reenacting ‘Carrie’ is a good idea, and Rose’s reaction is understandable, but Clara is a troublemaker and will do anything to get someone riled up.
The fact that Rose is Clara’s foil helps me better understand her personality. I appreciate the two characters.
Early on in the book, Clara is someone who pulls pranks. She campaigns to be junior prom queen because it makes Rose mad. At the end, she is best friends with Rose and someone who considers other people’s opinions. It is one of the most extreme changes I’ve seen in a character for a long time. She is not at all who is she when the book starts.
I loved seeing Clara change because of the KoBra, the responsibility of having a job, and her new friends. I admired her change. Even though she made some bad mistakes, the people around her loved her. Her father loved her. Her friends loved her. This book’s central idea is forgiveness. It’s a great idea that readers should learn about. Clara made mistakes, but she has to face the consequences.
But she is too rude at sometimes. Again, I’m like Rose, so some of the things Clara does or says gets on my nerves. When she is snarky or ignores her friends, I can’t help but cringe and hate her a little bit.
The relationships in the book are refreshing, both the romantic and parental relationships. Hamlet is honest with his feelings. While I might be iffy on how the romance formed, I appreciated how much he cared for Clara and how he brought out a new side of her. The two of them had an innocent relationship. They wanted to be with each other because they liked each other. It was different than the imposing relationships I’ve read about in the past.
I adored Clara and her father’s relationship. Those two were so cute. He was the cool dad, but he could still implement punishment. He was a good dad. Even though she acted out against him, Clara respected him. He raised her on his own. And when she discovered what he told her mom, Clara gained more respect for her dad. They love each other unconditionally. It’s a relationship I admire and aspire to have in the future.
Even though the characters are great, the plot is lackluster. The part when Clara goes to Tulum isn’t the best. It’s kinda boring. It’s supposed to be an emotional epiphany, but it’s nothing especially interesting. I wanted to read more about her time in the truck and how she got attached to it and the people working it. I wanted more about her time with Hamlet and with her dad.
I wanted to see more depth added to her character through her interactions. Sure, Clara is an interesting character, and she grows into a respectable young woman, but I wanted to see more of of what changed her.
Overall, this is a book with amazing characters and character development, with a meh plot.