Summary: After a car accident, teen Zoey struggles to control a life that is spinning radically our of control after her parents' divorce and her mother's suicide attempt.
It’s been a hell of a week.
Zoey finds her mom in the middle of her suicide attempt. The cop who picks up her mom in time to save her life just happened to be the older brother of Doug Fox, a member of her swim team and the smoldering, brooding (and gorgeous) teen who also spent time in juvie. Zoey is terrified that Doug will tell people, her classmates, her Coach, since Doug also seems to hate her.
That same night, her father insists that she move in with him and Ashley, the 24-year-old pregnant HR employee he knocked up.
“Whether you got any or not, Slide with Clyde sold sex.”And everybody hooked up this past summer, including her father Clyde. Since the divorce, Zoey and her mom have been living by themselves and Zoey is helpless in the face of her dad’s anger. He’s angry that he now has his privacy impeded and that something might happen to prevent his honeymoon trip to marry his pregnant employee.
Zoey can’t go back to her house and she’s going crazy in her father’s house. She tells him that if he wants her to act normal, she has to go to this party at the beach. Far more concerned about what other people think, he encourages her to attend. That night, Zoey needs to escape her life, her stress, the expectation. She drags her friend Brandon, who has been sharing his romantic sexual exploits with her all summer and asking for her advice on juggling women, to his car. Zoey grabs a condom and asks Brandon to have sex with her. She expects something good, since Brandon has been having sex with girls all summer. In fact, Zoey needs to escape and hope that Brandon will give her an transcendental experience. Just before they have sex, Zoey is convinced of the rightness of her decision, but in the middle of sex and afterwards, it feels wrong, strange, not like she expected.
Perfectionist, anal Zoey is convinced she can make everything right by just willing it so, killing herself at school and trying to be the perfect girlfriend. That whole next week, everyone is shocked that Brandon and Zoey are a couple but Zoey is too worried about everybody finding out about her mom that she is micromanaging all she can.
'Since my mom tried to kill herself, routine reassured me that my life was still perfectly normal.'A week later, Doug is shaking her awake. Zoey’s trapped behind the wheel of her Bug and Doug drags her free with his broken leg. Zoey must have fallen asleep waiting for the ambulance because she wakes up cuddled next to Doug and his smell – the ocean and warmth. Zoey falls back asleep because, for the first time in weeks, she can relax. I love this book because I found the writing extremely sexy.
But Zoey wakes up the next morning and can’t remember the crash, even though she looks and feels like she was in a bad car accident. Who was driving which direction? How did it happen? What was going on? Why does Doug act like they’re a couple now?
"No wonder Doug thought we were together now and I would break up with Brandon for him. What had I done? Had I freaking humped Doug Fox in the ER?"And why is Brandon avoiding her? I loved that the mystery of what happened the night of the crash is unknown to us, the reader, and also unknown to Zoey.
As Zoey struggles to regain her memory and physically recover from the crash, Brandon is unavailable and Doug is always there. And Brandon doesn’t even want to have sex.
"It crossed my mind that he was lying about something. I knew he lied. He’d lied to every single girl he’d had sex with over the summer. But I was the one he told about the lies. I wasn’t the one he lied to."Doug’s story unfolds too and you can’t help falling for this responsible, charming, teasing hunk. I couldn’t resist him but Zoey fights her feelings and Doug every step of the way. Instead of me being angry about Zoey being so clueless about the wrong and right guy for her, I enjoyed this Young Adult mystery romance. And did I mention the writing is HOT?
“His mouth took the back of my neck, kissed it like it was my mouth or my ear or my breast. I wasn’t sure where these ideas came from. A boy had never put his mouth on my breast before. The thought frightened me and I loved it.”Zoey’s transformation from spoiled brat and queen bee to someone I want to be friends with unfolds delightfully in this novel. I am off to read Jennifer Echols' latest.