Title: Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance
Author: Danielle Younge-Ullman
Pub. Date: May 5, 2015
Source: Entangled Teen & Netgalley
Book Description via Goodreads:
If we're being completely honest, I didn't think that I was going to like this book. I have had friends go to rehab to deal with drug abuse, and I was really concerned about reading a book where the initial plot is a girl faking her way in to save a boy from himself. But no matter how much I concerned myself, I couldn't resist giving it a read. I'm so glad I did: there is way more to this book than meets the eye.
I would still categorize this novel as a young adult romance. Lola fakes her way into an amazing "spa like" rehab center to get the scoop on a boy she's had a crush on for forever. But she gets tangled up in a complicated string of emotions concerning him as well as the young man who is supposed to be in charge of her case. I loved watching their feelings get explored in their love/hate relationship.
I didn't initially care for Lola too much. She's shallow and moody and concerned with trivial things like designer sunglasses. But the more I got to learn about her, her experiences, and her bizarre family situations, the more I grew to like her and as cheesy as it sounds, the more she liked herself too. She ends up having a road to self-discovery even though she fights it every step of the way. Some things come into perspective for her and it shapes her in ways I didn't anticipate. She easily became my favorite character by the end of the book (though Adam is a very dreamy second place).
I also really enjoyed the unique cast of characters that to me each had a distinct function and personality. From Adam, the counselor of sorts who is driving Lola insane, to her possibly actually insane roommate who may want to injure Lola, to the little-too-charming owner of the facility, and even to Lola's paparazzi and image obsessed mother, there was never really a dull moment for me. Even though some of the side characters irritated me, I'm fairly certain they were written that way on purpose- and it worked.
There were also quite a few moments that made me snicker aloud, which I always appreciate in a book, especially in one that takes place in such a serious place.
This book is a good blend of young adult, contemporary, and romance. It touches on some tough stuff from the other clients (who are actually admitted for real addictions), such as sex, alcohol, and drugs, but the story never becomes graphic. All in all, I think that if you're a fan of all three of those genres that you should give this book a shot. Because of the romance and the warm California settings that are described in the book, I think this will make a great poolside or beachy read for the summer of 2015.
Thanks to Entangled Teen for my copy in exchange for my honest review.