Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He’s mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.From the author of Pointe and Little & Lion, comes another heartfelt novel about the twists and turns that can show up on a path meant only for you.
Buy it – Amazon
I’m back from a tumultuous summer camp experience (all posts made this summer were posted ahead of time in June). I want to do so much more with this blog, and I know no one is reading this but I don’t care. I’m working on a new posting schedule, and the next review review I’ll post will be either next week or the first week of September. But I’m so excited for the second half of the year, and proud that I’ve been able to consistently stick it out every (kinda) week.
Quick Summary: Yvonne realizes that playing violin is no longer her future. She just doesn’t feel the passion necessary to dedicate her ENTIRE life to playing. Enter Warren, the guy she’s kinda-sorta dating, who is only two years older than her, and has already found his life’s passion. And Omar, the cute guy who plays music on Venice Beach. This is a bad summary, just read the book.
I don’t know what I expected this book to be, but it wasn’t that. And I still loved it. I assumed we’d know Yvonne was pregnant from the start, and this story would revolve around her dealing with it. Like Juno. In a way, I wish it would have been that, because I wanted to know more about how a pregnancy would have affected her life. How her dreams would be halted, and maybe how her pregnancy would push her to finally find her mom.
But this wasn’t that story.
The pregnancy was NOT a huge aspect of the plot, only a tiny part that showed up at the end.
This was a small slice of Yvonne’s life during a pivotal time. She’s a senior in high school, and figuring out what she’s going to do when she graduates. A lot of her previous interests aren’t hitting anymore, and now she’s trying to figure out what HER thing is. For over a decade, the violin has been her THING, but when she realizes it’s not her passion….what will her next move be?
This was something I could reallllly relate to. At the end of high school, and (kinda) now. I spent a lot of my high school years trying to figure out what my THING was. I was never amazing at something, and that always bothered me. I took dance. But I wasn’t the best dancer. I played violin, but I quit because it wasn’t fun. Sewing? Too much work that I wasn’t dedicated to.
I love that eventually Yvonne found a love of baking, something that connected her to both of her parents. And even though Yvonne’s interest in the violin wavered, I loved the connection she felt with her violin, and how she found a way to fit it in her life.
The relationships were odd. I definitely felt like Yvonne wasn’t as interested in Warren as he was in her, and that made me really hope for her relationship with “Omar” to work out. (When I tell you that I didn’t expect Omar to turn out to be a GRANT.) Warren just seemed so dependent on Yvonne, and I totally understand why she strayed.
Yvonne’s relationship with Warren seemed too perfect. Her father loved him, he had a good job, and strong ambitions. I didn’t like him. Honestly, he reminded me too much of her dad. Plus he was SO boring.
And Omar was a manipulative ass.
Warren and Omar both pissed me off. As I read, I found myself wishing that she’d cut them both off, or Sabina’s moms would step in and give her some tips. Because all the men in this story did was complicate EVERYTHING. Including her dad. Men suck.
My favorite two characters were Lou, and Sabina.
Lou was the father figure that Yvonne’s bio dad wasn’t. He recognized something in her, even when he wasn’t around her all the time, and encouraged Yvonne to start baking. Like…her dad lived with her (hardly) and he didn’t even notice that she liked to bake. Amazing.
Sabina and Yvonne had a GREEEEaaaat friendship. I loved how the author explored two sides of ~teendom~. Not all teens are having sex. It’s fine if you are, and fine if you aren’t. Yvonne felt judged by Sabina initially, but even as their little argument was happening…I felt like Sabina was more worried than judge-y. I mean she’s a teenager. When I was their age, I definitely didn’t know how to frame my words, and Sabina was legitimately concerned about the situations Yvonne was finding herself in. Literally the only person who seemed to care about Yvonne, was Sabina. And Lou, but mainly Sabina.
This book feels so unfinished. I want to know how her relationship with her father changes after her abortion. I want to see her mother come back into her life. I wish I knew more, but as I said, it was just a small sliver of Yvonne’s life.
I also wish that I would have learned more about her parent’s relationship. Since her father was quiet and to himself towards Yvonne, we got the same treatment as readers as well. The only hint of emotion that her dad let show was way at the end when he admits why her mother left. (Which was an excuse. There aren’t many legitimate reasons to completely leave a child, in my opinion. That storyline is not finished.)
A lot of people had problems with Yvonne cheating on Warren… I didn’t care about that. They weren’t dating, and Yvonne was not his girlfriend. Yeah, she felt guilt and knew that he would feel some type of way. It sucked, but I didn’t care. Plus, she’s a teenager. Teens make mistakes. My main issue was with Omar literally taking advantage of Yvonne and it never being resolved, or talked about. This whole adult, preyed on a high schooler, slept with her, lied to her, then attempted to disappear. And the girl he was “dating” knew this would happen and didn’t warn her. I…
Also, no one ever discussed why Yvonne found comfort in men, and seemed to trust them so easily? I assumed that was a common thing because her friend Sabina mentions it. Sabina constantly spoke up, and told Yvonne to be careful, and tread carefully around men she didn’t know well. Yvonne was offended, yeah, but sometimes the truth hurts. I feel like Sabina was kinda made out to be the villain at times, but I believe that her overall message was fine, the problem was the words she used.
This was my first Brandy Colbert book (I never finished Little and Lion) and I’m considering reading all of her books now. Four stars, and one of my fave books of the year.