I’m a huge Kenneally fan. I’ve read all of her novels. They’re usually about strong, independent young girls who are struggling to overcome and compete in male dominated sports. Keneally’s last novel, Breathe, Annie, Breathe, was poignant and heart-felt and full-on amazing. To be honest, the latest installment in the Hundred Oaks series seems a little beneath this author. It’s by far her weakest novel.
From the beginning, I hated Maya. She was unbelievably cliche. Kenneally seemed to struggle with the idea of creating a realistic “rebel.” Maya plays guitar in a metal band, wears a duct tape belt and ironic bracelets, she built and drives a motorcycle… It’s all a little much. Pair it with the fact that she has a bad attitude and isn’t into the super famous country star (obviously) because she’s too cool for school and I was over her by page 20. It was as if Keneally was trying to write the cool “guys’ girl.” This is the most annoying trope ever. It never seems genuine.
The two main characters seemed to almost instantly fall in love despite the authors attempts to make it seem like they were opposites with a ton of stuff in common. Almost nothing about this novel read true to life. Jordan and Sam were disgustingly saccharine and intolerable. Jesse’s family drama and his decision to quit the music business was stupid. I didn’t for one second feel sorry for him.
I think the bottom line is that I’ve read this story (normal girl falls for rockstar) too many times to be impressed with this sub-par version of it. I hope in her next novel she sticks with what she’s good at and writes about a girl who wants to play on the boy’s rugby team or something. This book was a quick read, but really a waste of time if you’ve read any of Kenneally’s previous work and expect a certain degree of quality from her.