My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Author: Kaui Hart Hemmings
Format: eBook (borrowed)
Categories: Coming Of Age, Young Adult, Sexual Themes, Family Issues
Annie Tripp has everything she needs–Italian sweaters, vintage chandelier earrings, and elite ice skating lessons–but all that changes when her father is accused of scamming hundreds of people out of their investments. Even though Annie knows her dad wasn’t at fault, she and her brother are still exiled to their estranged aunt and uncle’s house in a run-down part of Breckenridge–at least until the trial blows over.
Life with her new family isn’t quite up to Annie’s usual standard of living, yet Annie soon gets used to pretending to be someone else. She makes friends, gets a crush (or two), and realizes that she has more in common with her aunt and uncle than she ever wanted to know. As the family’s lies begin to crumble and truths demand consequences, Annie must decide which secrets need to see the light of day . . . and which are worth keeping.
My TBR list is getting away from me ladies and gents! I didn’t even know I had borrowed this from my online library at Overdrive. When I saw it was about to expire in two days, I read it right away and finished it in a few hours.
I have never read anything from Kaui Hart Hemmings but I was a fan of the movie The Descendants mostly because I am from Hawaii, born and raised. I loved seeing Hawaii on the big screen and the story was so touching as it dealt with family issues and grief. I was going through some hard core grief at the time too.
So I borrowed this book not knowing much about it except the author’s name. I absolutely love how smooth the writing is in this book, it seems effortless and kind of just digs into somewhere nice in my head.
Annie Tripp, is a trip. She is spoiled, somewhat socially awkward and lives a very comfortable life that her wealthy parents provides for her and her older brother. She seems in control, a trait instilled by her mother. She is the perfect girl, the perfect daughter.
But a scandal rocks their lives when her father is on trial for scamming people out of their money in a real estate venture. Annie and her brother leave their wealthy town to hideout at their aunt and uncle’s house in Breckenridge, Colorado. Their perfect lives are ruined.
Annie and her brother Jay have a typical sibling relationship egging each other on. But they are close in the unique way siblings are close. Moving to their aunt’s house isn’t an experience I would say brings them closer but they learn to lean on each other in the only way they know how.
Annie learns a lot of things about herself: how fake she is, how she tries to fit in by trying to be someone she’s not, how rude and entitled she can be – and how a lot of her life is based on lies. And learning the truth about her dad, was a reality check – but if her dad loses his court case, they lose their lifestyle. Is it so wrong to want him to win?
I like how blunt she is though about her thoughts and feelings as she learns about her parents. I like that she experienced sexual situations that were awkward and not perfect. She’s a teenager making mistakes, wanting to escape her real life, thinking she knows what she is doing – I’ve definitely been there before! 😅 We watch Annie go from spoiled, blasé, rich girl to someone who has to strip away who she thinks she is and find out what kind of substance she’s really made of.
Seeing how the family navigates and deals with the “family secret” that gets exposed later in the book me made question what I would do in Annie’s place. I mean, it was a pretty heavy secret – I’m pretty impressed Annie didn’t go off the deep end. She dipped her toes in it for sure, but I liked how she faced things.
“The moment is caught. The people are revealed. They weren’t thinking of an audience. They were just being themselves.”Testimony From Your Perfect Girl by. Kaui Hart Hemmings
Nothing is black and white in this story, just like in reality and that made me feel comfortable reading this. I like books that remind me that even if life gets hard, it will be okay. And that the answers we are searching for aren’t always so simple, and it’s okay to feel conflicted about a lot of things in life. This book reminded me that no one has a perfect family or life 🙋🏻♀️, no matter how much money they have and seem perfect on the outside – especially in this day and age of social media.
I really enjoyed this book and it was a quick read. I look forward to reading more of this author’s work.
Get it here: Amazon
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