Published: August 1, 2008 by Poppy
Best friends Harper Waddle, Sophie Bushell, and Kate Foster committed the ultimate suburban sin: bailing on college to pursue their dreams. Middlebury-bound Becca Winsberg was convinced her friends had gone insane until they reminded her she just might have a dream of her own.
Now the year is half-way through and their dreams seem within reach. Well, almost. Harper has managed to gain the freshman fifteen without ever being a freshman, though locked in her basement bathroom she finds inspiration and finally seems to be writing from the heart. Sophie is forced to leave her cushy Beverly Hills quarters and crashes on Sam's couch while looking for her big Hollywood break. Kate is doing aid work in Ethiopia, where she encounters family ghosts - along with Darby, the handsome but antagonistic Princeton student who thinks she's a dumb blonde who couldn't possibly care about Ethiopia "since there are no celebrities here." And when Becca finally emerges from her lovers' nest, it seems her relationship with Stuart isn't as perfect as she thought.
Even if "the year that changed everything" has sometimes been less than dreamy, these four best friends will always have each other.
So I recently read and reviewed the 1st book in this series, Bass Ackwards and Belly Up. It was an alright read, but nothing new. This book was not as enjoyable as the first for me because I lost interest in Harper's story and I didn't suddenly care about Becca and Sophie's stories. That left me with Kate's story - the only one that I thought was better in this book than the 1st. Things are predictable and again, there are 2 authors here...why isn't this book better than the 1st?
- Kate - I love that Kate followed up her European trip, which was full of her trying to do things for herself, with a trip to Africa to help others. Even though her story felt so different from everyone else's, it was different in a good way. She still dealt with some drama, but she handled it while doing something worthwhile.
- awkward sex - Whaaaat? Yeah. Awkward sex. I liked that the physical relationships in the book weren't fantasy-perfect. They were awkward and uncomfortable, less than ideal. Which obviously isn't great, but is probably much more realistic for the vast majority of readers.
- friends with benefits - It's probably safe to say that we all know how these situations end up - they don't work and things get awkward. I wish Harper could have worked up some courage to begin an actual relationship, instead of dragging us through this predictable situation.
- Sophie - I can't stand Sophie's storyline. She's so self-absorbed and she hasn't grown any since the 1st book. Plus she and Sam are in the same place they were in before - not together.
- Becca - Becca's story was so dull and forgettable. She freaked out and ruined her fairytale ending from the 1st book. I don't even remember why Stuart was a good pick for her, and nothing stands out from her plot at all.
- Whoa. Kate stopped in the middle of the road and gave herself a mental shake. Clearly, the lack of rich, comforting, familiar American food was getting to her. If she'd had mac and cheese at any time in the last three months, she would never have had such a thought. - pg. 196 (ARC version)
- "Truth is, if George and I had just started dating like normal people, we'd be snuggling up watching skateboard videos right now. Instead, I'm stuck playing a never-ending game of darts with a guy wearing a giant moose head." - Harper + Poppy pg. 355 (ARC version)
Disappointingly similar to the 1st book, but I was desperate for a college age character.
Acquired: swapped for on swap.com