Book Review: Trouble From the Start
By: Rachel Hawthorne
Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Page Count: 400
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary
Avery is your typical good girl character. She makes good grades, makes decisions that would make any parent proud, and has plans to become a doctor. Avery is a wonderful daughter and the sort of friend all of us deserve. In spite of all of her amazing qualities, Avery is also a unsure of herself and she allows what others want to drive her decisions. In many ways, I saw a lot of my high school self reflected in Avery.
The one high school experience that seems to be beyond Avery's reach is romance. She craves the experience of having a boyfriend, but she doesn't want to settle for someone who isn't worthy of her affection. Avery wants what most teen girls want - the fairy tale romance - but it seems to evade her. Everything begins to change when Avery shakes free of the rules and attends a party towards the end of her Senior year. Too much drinking leads her to accept a ride home with bad boy, Fletcher. This moment will send Avery's life down a course she never could have planned for herself.
On the surface, Fletcher is the typical bad boy character. He has a reputation for being a lover and a fighter. Avery knows that Fletcher isn't boyfriend material and that he's the sort who leaves a trail of broken hearts in his wake, but she can't help being attracted to him. Despite all odds, Fletcher may be interested in Avery too. Things get complicated when Fletcher starts living in a spare room over Avery's garage. As the two become closer friends, they both find that reputations are not always accurate or warranted.
I loved the relationship between Avery and Fletcher. It was sweet and endearing. I always find stories with Romeo and Juliet elements appealing. I love when two characters from seemingly different worlds find some common ground. This one has all the components of a feel good story, a romance that made me sigh with containment, and enough drama to keep things interesting.
In addition, I also loved the emphasis on family. Avery's parents are some of the best I have seen in YA literature. They are supportive and provide a strong model of a loving relationship. They have huge hearts and often take in foster kids to help them see that life doesn't always have to be negative. Their devotion to Avery and Tyler made my heart happy. Their relationship with Fletcher is also one of my favorite aspects of the novel. So often parents in YA novels are uninvolved or a source of conflict. It was nice to finally see parents who are integral to their teen's life.
Trouble From the Start is one of those novels that just leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling. I highly recommend it to all fans of contemporaries with a strong romance. It would be the perfect novel to accompany you for a day at the pool or beach.
One Last Gripe: My only complaint with this one was some of the decisions that Avery and Fletcher made. This factor kept this from being a 5 for me.
Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved the relationship between Avery and Fletcher.
First Sentence: "You can't just stand there, Avery."
Favorite Character: Avery
Least Favorite Character: Kendall - that makes me nervous to read the companion novel as it focuses on her story, but I'll probably give it a chance in the hopes that Avery and Fletcher will make an appearance
One of two companion novels from beach-read favorite Rachel Hawthorne, this cute, romantic paperback original is about a good girl who falls for a bad guy.
Avery knows better than to fall for Fletcher, the local bad boy who can’t seem to outrun his reputation. Fletcher knows he shouldn’t bother with college-bound, daughter-of-a-cop Avery. But when their paths cross, neither can deny the spark. Are they willing to go against everything and let their hearts lead the way? Or are they just flirting with disaster?
Trouble from the Start releases simultaneously with companion novel The Boyfriend Project. These heartwarming paperback originals are the perfect summer reads, great for fans of Jennifer Echols, Lauren Barnholdt, and Susane Colasanti.