Fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick will enjoy this smart debut young adult novel, equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries—plus a dash of Aaron Sorkin.
Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?
Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.
Warning: this is going to be a bit of a fan girl review.
Because I freaking loved this book.
I know, I hardly ever say that on this blog unless it’s opposite day and the author bribes me with lots and lots of Belgium chocolate.
There was no Belgium chocolate bribing here, this was just a really well executed book that hit a lot of the MJ book squeal options.
Let’s talk about the plot. It’s a bit like The Princess Diaries meets What a Girl Wants with maybe a little bit of All American Girl thrown in there for pleasure. You can’t go wrong with two Meg Cabot books and a Colin Firth movie.
You really can’t.
Unless the characterization is crap.
But it’s not here. I think the characterization was what made this book. I really felt for Kate and her struggle to be herself and deal with the campaign. I loved Andy. I thought her father was fairly realistic. I liked her mom. The campaign staff was realistic. And the best friend was NOT a cliche.
So, props there.
I also liked how it depicted the Republican party.
Full disclosure, I’m not a Republican. More than likely I’ll vote blue, but I always hate how the GOP is depicted in YA. Generally speaking, they’re betrayed as being weirdo religious extremists who sane people would run away from.
Why the GOP reared some of its ugly head in this installment, at the same time it was much more humanized, and while I didn’t necessarily agree with all the choices that were made, it was at least realistic.
And at least Kate’s dad was a moderate republican.
I really don’t know if I could handle if he was a tea partier.
Just saying. I used to live and Texas and had to deal with Ted Cruz’s sound bites on the local news like every day (those were scary things).
Okay, I probably could’ve handled it because this book really did depict the characters as real people. Politics included.
And I really liked how Thorne depicted Kate’s father. Because his reaction did seem fairly normal given the situation. It actually reminded me a lot of how Colin Firth reacted in What a Girl Wants to be honest. Which was good, because having Colin in my head eliminated the sleazy politician image I might’ve otherwise had.
The romance also really worked. It’s not instant and there’s some definite banter. This is where the All American Girl similarities come in. That’s how good the romance was. It was Cabot caliber. Kate and Andy aren’t Sam and David though. There’s lots of differences there, and I like how we get to see a different perspective of a first kid relationship.
I am highly recommending this book. It is probably the best contemporary I’ve read so far in 2015. If not one of the best books. A lovely debut that fully explores the emotions and turbulence of being a politician’s daughter The Right Side of Wrong is a must read.
Overall Rating: A freaking plus (doesn’t happen very often).