Written by: Kieran Scott
Released: May 25, 2010 by Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing
Summary: When having money is all that matters, what happens when you lose it all?
Perfect, picturesque Orchard Hill. It was the last thing Ally Ryan saw in the rear-view mirror as her mother drove them out of town and away from the shame of the scandal her father caused when his hedge fund went south and practically bankrupted all their friends -- friends that liked having trust funds and new cars, and that didn't like constant reminders that they had been swindled. So it was adios, Orchard Hill. Thanks for nothing.
Now, two years later, Ally's mother has landed a job back at the site of their downfall. So instead of Ally's new low-key, happy life, it'll be back into the snake pit with the likes of Shannen Moore and Hammond Ross.
But then there's Jake Graydon. Handsome, wealthy, bored Jake Graydon. He moved to town after Ally left and knows nothing of her scandal, but does know that he likes her. And she likes him. So off into the sunset they can go, right? Too bad Jake's friends have a problem with his new crush since it would make Ally happy. And if anyone deserves to be unhappy, it's Ally Ryan.
Ally was hoping to have left all the drama in the past, but some things just can't be forgotten. Isn't there more to life than money?
Well, I expected this book to be good, but I never anticipated it to be great. Of course, I should have known seeing as Kieran Scott is also Kate Brian, so I’m not surprised. Honestly, this was such a great read that I finished it in one sitting while I should have been sleeping. Its high rating on Goodreads is well deserved, that’s for sure.
After reading the description, I knew that I wanted to buy it (several months ago; it took me forever to get around to reading it) but I also figured that it would just be a nice read and that was that. I also wasn’t expecting it to be the first in a trilogy; a fact that pleases me greatly and yet makes me want to scream. But, nope, this was one of those surprise books that kept me engaged with the characters and wanting more.
It’s simple, really, in the content and it contains a lot of high school drama that I never personally experienced but I could completely picture things like what happen in this book happen in real life. Plus, the events are just so well written that you really can picture them anyways, so there’s half the battle won right there.
The characters were ones that I liked reading about immediately. I think that that may have been because Jake and Ally alternate chapters (with every so often there being two or three chapters in a row of the same person), and usually I’m not one for the multiple perspectives. Of course, like all of her writing, this book was flawless in its transitions from person to person and the writing was beautifully done.
But let’s talk about what I hated about this book. I absolutely detested the ending. That being said, it was written as well as the rest of the book but it ended so abruptly that I was left wanting more than was available. Really, it just ends. It was almost as bad as the ending for The Stone Angel... but nothing trumps that book. Point is, it left the continuing story wide open for the next book and May cannot come soon enough because I need to find out what happens during Ally’s summer and with her family and friends. Everything was just left wide open and ties were undone which you may have through to be tied up.
In all, this was great. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a book that goes beyond what you were hoping to have happen. However, I might recommend that you hold off and wait to read it until shortly before or just after the second book comes out. If it’s one thing that I hate about reading books, is that when you’ve read a particularly good one that’s the start to a series/trilogy, you have to wait for the remaining books to come out and you’re almost always left wanting. I’m giving this a 9/10.