Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Rating: YA 13+
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Chick-Lit
**This review is based on an Advance Readers Copy (thank you S&S!)**
Hilary Weisman Graham's debut is a fun, bubbly and heartwarming coming-of-age story of friendship, love, and ultimately, finding yourself and being true to who you are --- no matter what. It's one of those books that has a little bit of everything, for everyone... one of my favorite YA Contemporary reads of 2012 so far!
Reunited was one of those books that I just loved from the very beginning, mostly because of the characters. There's Alice, the overachiever and nostalgic and sensitive kinda, lives in the past type of person, Summer, the misunderstood cheerleader/queen bee, who actually doesn't want to be popular, and Tiernan, funky, needle in a haystack, doesn't care what anyone thinks, kinda gal. I honestly loved every single one of them! Towards the end of the novel, I started feeling like I knew them personally... they became my three best friends for the four hours I was reading this book! And while they are a little cliche, sometimes, cliche works! It's only when it's too overdone that it starts becoming boring, and ordinary, and what-not.
A long time ago, in Middle School, Alice, Tiernan, and Summer used to be BFFs and Pop band Level3 worshippers. They considered themselves to be the band's biggest fans, and let me tell you, you will not know the whole meaning of 'obsession', and 'devotion', until you read this book. I mean, seriously! I have friends who are crazy IN LOVE and so infatuated with Justin Bieber, and, more lately, One Direction, but oh my gosh Alice, Summer and Tiernan make them look almost normal! It's scary (but in a good way!).
Anways, so it starts out with Alice, and things aren't really going well for her. It's almost graduation time, and she hasn't got everything worked out and as planned as she would have liked. Her summer trip with her friend was cancelled, her acceptance letter for the University she is dying to get in hasn't arrived yet, and she just feels pretty bummed. I don't blame her! I would too. And then, a bombshell. Level3, Alice's (and Summer and Tiernan's) old-time favorite band who broke up over three years ago (when that awful fight between Alice and Summer and Tiernan happened), are getting back together for ONE CONCERT. The only problem, is that it is over 2000 miles away. But still, she has the Pea Pod (basically the Level3 fan worship van), and she is sure that, as big as the fight was, and even though they barely even talk anymore, she is sure Summer and Tiernan would not be able to say no to the awesomeness of Level3.
And, it takes a lot of time, but Summer and Tiernan finally come around-- both for their own personal reasons, though, and Alice feels something she hasn't felt for a long time start to blossom inside her---hope. If Level3 can get back together, even for only one night, can't they? And so, they set out on the long road trip, with one question looming above all of them: will they come out of this friends, or enemies?
Reunited was the perfect break from all the heavy Paranormal books I've been reading (and admittedly, enjoying), and I'm so happy I got the chance to read it. Graham really WOW'd me with this touching debut, and I look forward to reading more of her books! A strong, powerful new voice in YA Contemporary!
5 Muffins - Positively Enticing!
If you like this, try:
Belles by Jen Calonita
The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
Just As Long As We're Together by Judy Blume