- Page Count: 304
- Release Date: December 19, 2017
- Publisher: HarperTeen
- My Rating: 3 stars
Zeus would rather be anywhere than here—Buffalo Falls—the tiny town his family moved to at the end of the school year. Having left all his friends back in Chicago and with nothing to look forward to except helping out at his mother’s café and biking around town with his weird little brother, Zeus is pretty sure this is destined to be the worst summer of his life.
But then he meets Rose—funny, beautiful, smart, and an incredible musician.
Zeus can hardly believe that someone like her exists, let alone seems interested in being with him. However, while Zeus is counting down the minutes until he can see her next, Rose is counting down the days until she finds out whether she will be able to leave their small town to pursue her dreams. As the afternoons spent going on local adventures pass into nights discussing their deepest hopes, Zeus knows that he doesn’t have long to convince Rose that what they have is more than a summer fling…if only he’s brave enough to seize the chance.
I absolutely adored the first half of this book! It was hilariously endearing and I was laughing so much.
Jesus Bjorn Gunderson (Zeus) is a “Mexiwegian” teen who gets uprooted from Chicago and stuck in a small town where he works at his mother’s cafe for nothing but tip money. He meets Rose, a Filipina piano prodigy around his age, and starts volunteering with her at the local nursing home. His “Puertowegian” brother Grub is super obsessed with army stuff and has an adorable friendship with an elderly soldier with Alzheimer’s.
The characters are definitely what made this book for me! All of the senior citizens are so wonderful. I really loved how much humanity was visible with how the teens saw that the nursing home residents aren’t “kooky old people” and “couldn’t help the circumstances of their age any more than [Zeus] could.”
So the writing was good and Zeus had a really strong personality that totally came through. But not much happened in terms of the actual plot… halfway through it was still just plodding along without much direction and I started to lose some interest. I also never really got a strong sense of Rose. I wish there had been something more at stake or better pacing so I could have gotten into some story because I really did love the setup!!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.