If I had to describe this book in a word or two, it would be roller coaster. What is going on in these characters heads and lives are really getting a good beating from start to finish in this one. Claire has always felt like she was the odd duck in her family and maybe she truly is, but her decision to break up with her then-boyfriend Jared because her mother thought he wasn't good enough for her seems pretty harsh. That is until I tell you that her mother was dieing of cancer and Claire thought she was taking some of that stress away. Understandably heart broken Jared channels his emotions into his music, fueling his career to jump to all sorts of success. Hearing someone sing about you on the radio, especially when it's a lie, can really hurt when you only did it as a teenager trying to help her own mother. A few years later when things seem to getting worse in her own life, running into Jared at the beach isn't exactly helping Claire and it certainly isn't making her feelings any better.
The reason I use the word roller coaster to describe this book is because of the situations these characters find themselves. I think everyone can relate to Claire in some way, whether it be the misfit feelings, the passion for music or the need to make the people you care about most happy. I understood why she broke up Jared, I really did, but at the same time I understood why he was so upset. The line was drawn for me, however, when he wrote the song.Not returning her phone calls? Alright, fine. Feeling angry and saying some of things he said to her at the beach? Get it. Making up a lie like that? NOT COOL JARED. The only saving grace for him was the fact that he didn't understand why she dumped him. He made assumptions and let his own insecurities bite him. These two were clearly gaga over each other from day one and that heart break didn't end those feelings. Their passion for both music and each other are what took this story from cute to boiling hot over the course of the entire book.
That passion for music was what made this story worth reading. The romance and all the heart wrenching emotions it pulls out of you are one thing, but Claire is so rock and roll it really makes you smile throughout, even during her internal struggles the way she clears it all out through her guitar and music was really awesome to read about. I know this was sort of a play on Jane Austen but she has nothing on rock and roll music. What also made this really cool for me, and really this might just be too personal, was that it was set near where I live. I'm from Massachusetts, the northeast section of MA and I'm pretty sure the beach house they go to is in Rye, NH (could be completely off, but not the point!) It made it so approachable to read something that not only can I relate to the characters but have a sense of where they are too! Claire was the perfect protagonist matched with a rocky love story but every Cinderella gets her happy ending, even if that Cinderella has orange hair :)