Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-01-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Artistic 16-year-old Ella Marino is a scholarship student at an elite Philadelphia private school where she has two impossible crushes: one is Edward, the long-dead nephew of her school’s founder and a fellow artist; the other is Alex, a popular boy whose connection to Ella grows after he is assigned to be her French tutor. But Ella’s best friend does not trust the handsome rich boy, and even Ella fears she may be Alex’s “dirty little secret.” Jensen (Falling in Love with English Boys) gives readers a full sense of Ella’s life, from her loud, loving family that runs a local Italian restaurant to the honors thesis she is writing about Edward; in addition to her imagined conversations with Edward, Ella spends time searching through his archive, where she makes a surprising discovery. In contrast to all this vivid detail, side characters—including Ella’s quirky best friends—feel thinly drawn. Readers may grow impatient with the meandering story arc, but they will find Ella’s exchanges with Alex, Edward, and her warm family enough to propel them through. Ages 12–up. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Feb.)