Release Date: May 25, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Young Adult - Series
Source: Around the World Tours
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?
I normally steer clear of any book that deals with rich kids and their sophisticated life. It's just not my thing. I could care less about social status and fashion. But for one, that cover drew me in, and I thought hhmmm this might be half way decent.
I really liked how this book was presented. Each chapter is a month and the book takes place over a full school year. Before you dive into each month, you get to read a bit of gossip. It was fun to see what was floating around. It made me feel like I was back in high school.
To add to the book, it's told in two different perspectives. Ally and Jake's and it was pulled off wonderfully. Through the book you could see the change in each of them and it was never rushed. I was a bit nervous for Ally, not knowing what her old friends were going to do to her when they found out she moved back into town. Once upon a time the group of people she hung out with were like her second family. I think a lot of people can relate to that group of friends in high school that were exactly that. But when her dad lost a big chunk of their parents money in a bad investment she's shunned. I liked Ally from the beginning. She didn't come off as a snob, and not just because she was an outcast either.
Then there is Jake. Oh, Jake.
My first impression of him was simple: Jackass! But the more I read, the more charming he became and the more I ended up loving him. Jake understands that there is a certain social status in the community he lives in. He wasn't around when everything went down with Ally and the reasons behind why she moved. A part of him doesn't care what people think of her. He likes her. Sometimes I got a bit frustrated with him, but I understood that part of him that was still concerned with what his friends might think. Especially his best friend, Shannon. I won't even touch the subject of her. That'd make this review a heck of lot longer than it already is.
Even the secondary characters, such as Ally's old friends weren't just there for the background. You got the old life she use to have with these people. And some of her old friends, well, let's just say she's way better off without them. I probably should mention Ally wasn't exactly an angel either, but some of those girls I wanted to deck. It really made the book so much more interesting to see how easily teen and adults can turn on one another.
Basically I loved this. I think it was a fantastic started to a very promising series. Ally and Jake are probably one of my favorite couples, and I'm pretty much dying to know what's going to happen in the second book! Even though this one doesn't come out for a few months, it's one you need to keep an eye out for.