Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor's always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that's what is expected of a senator's daughter. But one impulsive decision-one lie to cover for her boyfriend-and Taylor's kicked out of private school. Everything she's worked so hard for is gone, and now she's starting over at Hundred Oaks High. Soccer has always been Taylor's escape from the pressures of school and family, but it's hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she's going through is her older brother's best friend, Ezra. Taylor's had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it's hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?
I am typically a huge fan of Miranda Kenneally's work. I have read most of this series and I have adored just about all of them. I still can't quite put my finger on what bothered me about this one, but I just felt it was missing something. Taylor was a great character and I could relate to her in so many ways. Granted, I was NOT born to a wealthy family but I could relate to her need for perfection. Taylor put so much pressure on herself and felt like she had to work herself to death to get into Yale and fulfill her parents' expectations. Been there, done that. (Not the Yale part, but the trying to fulfill other's expectations part.)
Taylor does something to get herself expelled from boarding school and so she is back to regular old high school at Hundred Oaks. I think part of my problem was how much she whined about the consequences of her actions. Even though part of what people thought about her was wrong, there was still an element of truth to it. But Taylor just blamed everyone else. She took the blame for something her boyfriend did. She wrongly assumed that her dad would bail her out. When he didn't, she got pissed at her boyfriend for not coming forward, even though it would mean him losing his scholarship. She kept mentioning that fact over and over and over. Honestly, I thought she was a bit of a martyr about it.
Taylor's family just drove me crazy. She makes ONE mistake and everyone turns on her and acts like they are embarrassed of her. Annoying. He did seem to care at points though and I liked the resolution between them. The romance was just kind of meh for me. I don't really understand why she was so heartbroken over Ezra standing her up years before. They had never gone out before and it just didn't seem like that big of a deal, especially since it wasn't really a date. Then their relationship just moved too fast and there was a lie Taylor was keeping from him and I knew how that was going to turn out Maybe that's part of the reason I wasn't super impressed with this one. Aside from Taylor's whining, it was kind of predictable and the romance was boring. One thing I do appreciate with Kenneally's books is that she isn't afraid to talk about a teenage girl's sexuality. Yes, girls want sex too and no, they don't always have to be in love to have sex and that's okay. And of course, it's always appreciated when they use condoms. In my opinion, this wasn't one of my favorites of the Hundred Oaks series but I can see why others probably enjoy it.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Borrow this one.