What It Is About: Kate and Gus are best friends. They have been their whole life. Kate, her sister Grace, and their mother lived next door to Gus and his mother. Kate and Gus shared many experiences throughout their lives together and are closer than most best friends typically are. Gus is a few years older than Kate and a musician. Kate also has a talent with music, but also wants to go to college. After graduating from high school in California, she decides to attend college in Minnesota. The only downfall of this decision is that she will be apart from her best friend Gus. She recently lost both her sister and mother and feels a fresh start is what she needs. They promise to talk, text, and Skype every day. Kate hasn't had an easy life, but has a great outlook on it and makes the best of every situation. When she arrives in Minnesota she makes a major impact on everyone she comes across. This includes her roommate, two guys that live in her dorm, a new friend at a flower shop, and most of all Keller Banks who works on "Grounds", the local coffee shop. Her freshman years begins with some ups and some downs, but behind the optimistic "face" that Kate portrays, she is keeping a major secret. As she and Keller become close, she learns that he is also keeping a secret from everyone around him in Minnesota. They both learn how to deal with these secrets and rely on new relationships that will bind them for life.
What I Thought Of It: What I thought was going to be a simple story about a girl going to college in Minnesota, became quite an emotional roller coaster. Kate was a character that I liked right from the beginning. It was such a joy to read about her friendship with Gus, the history they shared, and how they were to continue their intense friendship while separated by hundreds of miles. Just when I thought the plot was going to be about Gus and Kate, in walks Keller Banks and the entire focus not really changed, but was added to greatly. The first fourth of the book was pretty simple dealing with Kate starting at the college and meeting her new friends. There were actually a few minutes when I was wondering what all the "fuss" was about this story. Once I got past this first section of the book everything took a turn and I was completely hooked, absorbed, and obsessed by these three characters. The ending pretty much wrecked me and I was an emotional mess. I'm now getting ready to read Gus and see how the story continues.
Who Should Read It: I'm not sure if this novel is geared toward the young-adult reader and/or the adult reader. I could see both groups being perfect for this particular novel. Since it is about a young girl going to college and her experiences, I think high school readers would be able to relate to it. I also think they would enjoy the "love story" aspect of it. The book is definitely not for readers that aren't in high school yet. There are a few scenes that are "mature" in nature. Adults readers will love everything about this story and will be come emotionally invested like I did. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars