For Sophie, small town life has never felt small. With her four best friends—loving, infuriating, and all she could ever ask for—she can weather any storm. But when Sophie’s beloved Acadia High School marching band is selected to march in the upcoming Rose Parade, it’s her job to get them all the way to LA. Her plan? To persuade country singer Megan Pleasant, their Midwestern town’s only claim to fame, to come back to Acadia to headline a fundraising festival.
The only problem is that Megan has very publicly sworn never to return.
What ensues is a journey filled with long-kept secrets, hidden heartbreaks, and revelations that could change everything—along with a possible fifth best friend: a new guy with a magnetic smile and secrets of his own.
Emma Mills does it again! Books like this are what gets me returning to YA every time.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t drawn to the book right away. It took me some time to get invested. In fact, I took a break from the book after about finishing 5% of it, because I just wasn’t feeling it at the time. But thankfully I picked it up soon enough and ended up loving it.
This one focuses on a group of friends in the small town of Arcadia. And Sophie is at the center of it. There’s Brit – the free-spirited, badass and extremely protective, Dash – the reliable assigned driver who also happens to be gay, Flora – the softest in the gang, and Terrance – Dash’s younger brother and the dependable guy. And then there’s Sophia, the inherently good and honest girl who always sees the best in people. August is the new kid in the block who just moved in with Sophia’s neighbors – Kyle and Healther, whose daughters she babysits. Sophia has an immediate crush on him even though August claims that he’s only visiting the town.
I can’t explain how much I love Sophia. She’s just so NICE. And even though it’s grown to be an overused and under-apprecated word, it is still the perfect adjective to describe her. She feels too much but does not let it show. And kudos to Emma Mills for creating a nice character who is not boring but rather adorable in all the best ways. Her crush on Ethan was just so cute! And her mission to get the attention of the country singer Megan was also endearing. Her friendship with Brit was my favorite part of the book. They’re totally opposite, have fights, say hurtful things and yet come back to each other. The friendship between the whole gang is like that!
My only complaint with the book is that the ending felt a little stretched. But the themes of family, friendship, forgiveness and home explored in the book really got to me. This is a heartwarming YA that I loved.