After reading this, “the boy next door” will take on a whole new meaning.
This book is going to introduce us to Kensington (Kensi) and Owen and will be told through the POV of Kensi. This book is a journey and one that deserves the scenic route. So hang on tight because this poignant story is going to take you on a quest for love and discovery.
The book will start (prologue) with a 5 year old Owen and his father attending the annual Wilson Orchard Apple Fest. It’s Owen’s first year to experience this festival and he couldn’t be more excited, because the one thing that Owen is looking forward to the most is riding the ferris wheel. The prologue is told through little Owen’s POV and throughout this chapter, he mentions often how his dad talks to himself and “has arguments within his own mind” and as a 5 year old, Owen learned to ignore it and not pay it much attention, until it turned his world upside down and Owen Harper’s life would never be the same again.
We are now going to fast forward 13 years and meet Kensington Worth. It’s Kensi’s senior year and she finds herself having to start all over. She has moved to Woodstock with her parents and even though she is against the idea, her parents have sold the move as being a convenient halfway point between both of their jobs. I will go ahead and point out that there is more to the move than meets the eye, but remember, you are on a journey, and it would be a huge buzzkill if I told you all about the stops before you arrive at your destination.
Kensi is musically gifted. She is a whiz on the piano, mostly due to her father’s influence, and while she loves playing the piano, she really isn’t a fan of the classical stuff, even though that is her dad’s preference. Her passion lies more with jazz. She is someone who is moving from private school to public school and that alone is going to take time away from her practice. She isn’t really a kid who goes out of her way to please her dad, in fact, I think that it is quite the opposite. And since she is a musician attending a public school, marching band it is, which brings a small smile to her face, because she knows this is not going to please her dad. Even though I’m somewhat brushing over the music storyline here, it does play a pretty big role, but again, discovery.
Owen is Kensi’s neighbor and to anyone on the outside looking in, would assume that Owen is also bad news. In fact, not only Owen, but the entire Harper clan would be bad seeds. Owen is very talented with the basketball and is on the school team, but his responsibilities to his family require him to split his time between school and work. Upon their first meeting, Kensi is somewhat intimidated by Owen. His driveway lacks a basketball hoop, but Kensi’s has one and that is where he practices, it’s also the place where Kensi can admire from afar.
Now, since this story is told through the POV of Kensi, you don’t really know how Owen feels upon first meeting her. You know that she is captivated by him, mainly because she has never come across someone like him. She may be middle class, but the environment of her last school is anything but middle class and the boys she encountered there were privileged. As the reader, you get the impression that Owen feels some sort of attraction towards Kensi, because he taunts her. Kensi is certainly curious about Owen, but her group of friends are part of the “outside looking in” and are quick to inform Kensi about all of Owen’s faults. The only exception to this is Ryan, he makes sure to come to Owen’s defense anytime someone speaks poorly of him. There are so many stops on this wonderful journey, and unfortunately, I’ve only given you a tiny preview of what’s to come.
Ahhh, Owen. He was so beautifully written, that even if he fulfilled a lot of the bad boy requirements, you are going to love him. Of course this book is about the relationship between Owen and Kensi, so it’s doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that they in fact, do become a couple, so I can at least comment further on that, without ruin. When we first meet Owen, he appears to be somewhat of a pro when it came to the ladies, so I was expecting his past to dictate his future a litte bit at least, but he never went down that road, he was all in and the intensity in which he opened himself up to Kensi was exquisite. You could almost feel his pain, which cannot be easy to write, so kudos to Ms. Scott for translating that to the page so well.
Kensi, for me, was pure strength. She goes through some sh*t in this book, but always pushes forward, even when it’s uncomfortable for her and given her age, most girls would’ve crumbled. While they may appear to be total opposites, Owen and Kensi are just what the other needs.
I adored the supporting characters (well, for the most part). They were very well structured and so well written, that you know they were never an afterthought. They are a part of the totality of this book.
Usually, I devote a little space for the sex, but when it involves characters that have “teen” in their age, it makes me a bit uncomfortable. However, I will say this. It is written so well, that I would allow my 15 year old to read this book without worry.
Please don’t think that this book is just for teens, it is so not. The thing that she does with this book, is she shows you that love does not ever fit perfectly in a box. Love is messy, love hurts, love may break you before it puts you back together, but it will enrapture you and give you hope. And then you learn in the long run, the pain is worth it.
Do you have a favorite singer/band, that when they release a new album, you buy it without even listening to it, because you already know before hand that it is going to be a killer album? That is how I feel about Ginger Scott. I don’t have to sample her book, I just buy it, because I know that in some capacity, the words that she has put on the page are going to move me somehow. My only bone to pick is, I was all “Team Reed” until this book found it’s way onto my iPad and now I am almost 100% positive I’m “Team Owen”. Ginger Scott, you’re making book boyfriends very difficult for me.
I read a lot of extraordinary books and to use that word as an identifier for a book, is something that I do not take lightly. I enjoy a lot of books as well, but that doesn’t make them all extraordinary. So if I read a book and while reading, I can literally see the movie playing out in my imagination, it’s pretty damn good. This is Ginger Scott. She is going to grab a hold of you and pull you into her book and not let go until she’s ready for you to go. It doesn’t matter what your plans are, if you start a Ginger Scott book, you better be prepared to have it on you at all times, because it will eat at you until you open it back up and continue on. That is an extraordinary book and Ginger Scott is an extraordinary writer.