How Willa Got Her Groove Back
By Emily McKay
The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: February 22, 2016Publisher: Entangled Teen
When your life feels like a bad movie, rewrite the script.
When Willa Schofer’s father comes home from a business trip with an über-famous new fiancée, Willa’s senior year blows up in paparazzi-fueled flames. Overnight, she has a new house, a new car, and a new soon-to-be stepbrother—the unbelievably hot, unbelievably arrogant, Finn McCain. Thank god he’s constantly pushing her buttons, or she might do something irresponsible. Like fall for the jerk.
Just when Willa’s decided to avoid him for, oh, ever, Finn lands in the center of her senior project team. Seriously—how hard is it to shake a guy? At least her work on the project snagged the attention of the (second) hottest guy in school. He might only be into her because of her famous stepmom, and he’s not quite as exciting as a certain annoying housemate, but at least she’s allowed to crush on the guy.
Because crushing on your annoying stepbrother? So not cool.
This Entangled Teen Crush book contains an unbelievably hot bad boy, an unbelievably famous actress, and all the drama that comes with adding both to your family. Oh, and a forbidden flirtation with a soon-to-be stepbrother.
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What I liked about the book was the real feelings behind a broken home merging with another. While Willa is content in her life with just her father, she never really thought about what he wanted until suddenly it was everywhere. McKay showcases the confusion that comes with change like this well, and while Willa acts like a spoiled brat sometimes, you can understand why and not really fault her for it.
I also enjoyed the character of Finn, the future stepbrother, and learning how he viewed the world. Finn and Willa grew up completely different - one with a parent in front of the camera, one behind it. As Finn tries to help Willa navigate this new world, we also got to see how lonely it can be and how trust is something that has to be earned, not just willingly given.
My issues with the story are mostly character based. The father, for one. How he handled everything and treated Willa (or ignored, depending on how you look at it) was very inconsiderate. I get that new love is exciting and can be all consuming, but you're a grown man with a daughter. You have responsibilities and a duty to your daughter that should come first. The there's Willa herself. The immaturity and self-pity that came page after page was tiring. For a father and daughter who seemed to have good communication skills, they really sucked at communicating. There wasn't really growth in the characters.
Another small annoyance was not knowing this book was not going to have a definitive end. This one may be on me though. I went into it thinking that this was a standalone book only to have the ending come and nothing get resolved. I will be reading the next book only I hope to see a bit more growth in the characters and not just the "moral of the episode" moment that came here.
All in all, a quick enjoyable read set against the exciting background of Austin.