Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Year Published: 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Price: Rp. 120.000 (Aksara)
"Yes," he says, looking me right in the eye. "We're friends. Right?"
"Right," I say, hoping my voice sounds stronger than I feel. Because the truth is, Noah and I aren't friends. You can't be friends with someone who makes you feel the way Noah makes me feel, you can't be friends with someone who makes your head all cloudy when he gives you his sweatshirt, you can't be friends with someone who shows up at your house at one a.m. for a mysterious reason, and you can't be friends with someone who tells you about their screenplay which nobody else knows about. But you also can't be more than friends with your best friend's boyfriend.
After breaking up with her boyfriend, Sebastian, Hannah spent her summer mostly with her best friend's boyfriend, Noah, while her best friend, Ava, went away for a summer camp. And that was when she fell in love with him. Nothing really bad actually happened during that summer until the last day of the holiday, right before the first day of Hannah's, Noah's and Ava's Senior Year. And now, on her first day being a Senior, Hannah was so scared to face the future of her relationship with Ava and Noah. She loved Ava. She loved Noah. But she couldn't choose both, and losing one of them surely would break Hannah's heart to pieces.
Who would Hannah choose? Her best friend? Or her best friend's boyfriend?
This book hooks you from the beginning as the story is opened by Hannah's anxiety on her first day of Senior Year. The readers will be led to questioning what really happened during the summer holiday that makes Hannah that scared. Told from 2 plots like now and then style, but in this story they are "The Summer" and "The First Day of Senior Year", the story then flows and becomes more closer to the answer. This is actually a smart way to make this book such a page turner as the readers will be very intrigued to find out more and more about Hannah and Noah and the rest of the characters. And Lauren Barnholdt's writing is easy to follow too.
The problem is, the story turned out to be not so special as I reached about 3/4 of the book. I mean, when I first read the blurb and found out that this story was about a girl (Hannah) betraying her best friend (Ava) by hooking up with her best friend's boyfriend (Noah), I expected more of the chemistry between Hannah and Noah. That irresistible chemisty that made Hannah finally cheated on her best friend. I want the right reason for Hannah to do that. But all that I expected before weren't there. I didn't get the reason why Noah would attract Hannah that much and vice versa. And what's wrong with Ava? Did she really deserve this? And what about Sebastian? Hannah never really gave Sebastian a chance to explain what went wrong about their relationship. And the ending.. Well, I'm not gonna tell you, but... Ugh!
About the characters, there is no one I can relate to actually. I don't know. I think the characters' characteristic and relationships one with another weren't explored properly so that all I could see was only their surface. For example, about Hannah and Sebastian. Okay, he cheated on her right in front of her eyes but then he said sorry and wanted to explain, why wouldn't Hannah give him a chance? How did he feel about Hannah actually? And also how about Noah's and Ava's relationship? What was the problem exactly? I also didn't really get what made Noah attracted to Hannah actually, since this girl for me had nothing interesting that made her stand out and unique, well.. maybe except her "Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod" and "Shit, shit, shit" that constantly came out from her mouth. ^_^
Overall, this book is so below my expectation. However, I still think that some of you will enjoy this book. As I've said earlier, this book is actually quite well written and I enjoyed my time reading it. It's just the ending that I find as a problem. If only Lauren Barnholdt gave extra pages to this book so that she could dig the story deeper...
Recommended for teenlit lovers and people who are looking for self-justification after cheating on her/his bf/gf. Hehehe...