I wanted to like this book but at the end of the day I just found it just kind of annoying.
Our hero, Colin “Fitz” Fitzgerald is a hot college hockey player but his real passion is art and video game design. His whole personality felt very much like Jughead’s “I’m a Weirdo” speech from the CW’s Riverdale. He has some insecurities and they come through by him inadvertently insulting the heroine, Summer Di Laurentis, multiple times.
Summer is a sunny, extroverted sorority girl with a serious case of ADHD who comes into Briar as a junior after burning down a sorority house at Brown. She’s always had a thing for Fitz but when she overhears him calling her fluff she decides he’s not worth her time. Which is made all the more complicated by the fact that he is one of her new roommates.
I liked Summer as a character. She’s allowed to be flirty on-page and attracts attention from nearly all the guys she meets. It honestly didn’t make sense to me why she was so set on the stand-off-ish Fitz. After the third time he inadvertently insulted her I was like “ma’am pick another one.” This book is teeming with boys enamored by her.
The narrative is a mix of relationship drama, school drama and party drama as Summer and Fitz make their way to an HEA. There is also a #metoo plot and an unrelated incel storyline? I think the #metoo one rang true and was an interesting way for Summer to use her privilege for good.
Speaking of Summer’s privilege, I really disliked the whole “pretty, wealthy and blonde women have it the hardest” theme threaded throughout this book. The way Summer acts like she is in some marginalized group because she’s rich and pretty was so eye-rolly…and it’s not helped at all by her insistent admiration of Coco Chanel, a Nazi conspirator. Summer goes out of her way to defend Chanel and is very flippant whenever the Nazi stuff it bought up. It happens multiple times and I’m not sure what possessed Kennedy to lean so hard into this in a book in 2018
One of the main reasons I picked this book up is because the audiobook is narrated by Jacob Morgan. He has a great deep gravelly voice but is also versatile enough to voice female characters. He doesn’t exactly sound like an college art student but I enjoyed his performance. He is joined by CJ Bloom—who I have seen a lot
but never listened to scratch that, apparently CJ Bloom is also Carly Robins from The Kiss Quotient ??? She sounds so different here! Her voice is a little mature but she was great performing as the bubbly Summer. I’m glad I have a new female narrator to add to my list.