Kaliyah Simon just broke up with her cheating boyfriend, and now that summer break is here, all she wants is a quiet, boy-free summer. To focus on work, reading, and her tan. But then she meets up with her old high school nemesis, Isaiah Winters, on the way home, and he seems more interested in being friends than enemies. Can Kaliyah lower her walls and get over seven years of pushing Isaiah away and find out what it would be like to actually be with him?
Miss Riki’s Review:
This short novella has some promise, but ultimately wasn’t everything I had hoped it would be. Kaliyah is a likeable enough main character, although she is a bit on the surly side and seems to jump to the worst possibly conclusion about those around her. I get that she was hurt by her ex-boyfriend after he’d cheated on her and that she just wants revenge, but even in a summer where she’s sworn off boys altogether, she comes across at times as just mean.
Things look up whenever Kaliyah interacts with Isaiah, which is a good thing since it’s their romance that is the center of the book. A real strength of this story is the witty banter that goes on between the two lead characters. They’re funny and sweet and have this wonderful back-and-forth teasing that really held up the book for the most part. I was really into them as a budding couple, right up until the quick exchange of “I love you” that came all too abruptly and much too soon. Their romance was developing nicely without the heavy admissions flying near the end of the book.
A major weakness in the book is the author’s tendency to lay it on thick when it comes to pop culture references. There’s a ton of name-dropping and pop culture stuff that took me right out of the story and will ultimately date this book. Those songs she likes to talk about by name might be relevant this month, but give it some time and they’ll seem very out of place.
Overall, this was a decent read with a cute romance, but it lacks the polish to be an excellent novella.