Genre: YA Romance
Pages: Hardcover 272 pages
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (June 1, 2010)
Seventeen-year-old Bronwen Oliver doesn't just want a family. She has one of those, and there's nothing terribly wrong with them apart from bickering grandparents, an image-obsessed mother and a brother she describes simply as Jesus. But there's no natural sense of connection between Bronwen and her family, leaving her with the belief -- and the hope -- that she was switched at birth, that she was never supposed to be Bronwen Oliver but someone else entirely.
When she begins dating college senior Jared Sondervan, she finds herself thoroughly embraced by the loving family she has always wanted and does not hesitate to say yes when Jared proposes on her 18th birthday. Plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her junior year of college become plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her freshman year of college. And a wedding so soon isn't exactly what Bronwen wants. But Jared is. And his family is. Or so she thinks.
Before Bronwen can determine what she truly wants, she must first determine who she truly is, and the answer, she discovers, is only partially what she thought it was. She wasn't switched at birth, but she's also not Bronwen Oliver and hasn't been for a very long time.
I read this book in one day and immediately wanted to go back and read it again. Bronwen was completely sarcastic (which I relate to oh so well) and reminded me a lot of myself in some ways. She had this idea of what family was but couldn’t find it until Jared came along. It was when he did come along that she got the family that she wanted and realized that she had no clue who she was.
I remember those early days of being in love and thinking that you are ready to spend the rest of your life with the person only to look at them and think, “Really? FOREVER?!” Sometimes it does work out and other times it doesn’t. I love how McCahan wrote the characters of Bronwen and Jared and the relationship they share. They have the whirlwind romance and think they have so much in common, only to find out that maybe they really don’t. They are both at different points in their lives and believe that when they get married things will even out. (Those of us who are married are now laughing hysterically)
McCahan did a wonderful job writing believable characters in a believable situation. The plot was well developed and showed the growth of both characters all while keeping them true to who they are as individuals and as a couple. They exploration of family dynamics and exploration of self were also refreshing and very well written. Readers were able to see who Bronwen was and were not left wondering how everything turned out in the end. I get so perturbed when we read these “Find Yourself” novels and we never find out if they learned from it all… McCahan did a great job of letting the readers know.
Overall, I truly enjoyed this novel and am sure that so many others will. It was refreshing, enjoyable and a very fun read. I love that it took me back to first loves, exploring all that those relationships entailed and reminded me of what it was really like in the early stages of dating and making a relationship work. I do have one request.... sequel PLEASE?! :)
Check out my fellow Jenny's blog (Wonderous Reads) HERE with her Q&A with Erin!!
Visit Erin HERE to find out more about her and her books.
Happy reading all!!