Author: Lauren Morrill
Source: Publisher (NetGalley)
Publication Date: 2015
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Genre: Fiction; Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5
REVIEW: Some of the best stories can go full out “whimsy” and it’s a strategy that will serve them well. This is one of them. The darling premise and fabulous characters makes this recently released novel an easy-going piece of charm anyone can thoroughly enjoy. It all begins with a luxury cruise on which high school senior Liza travels for one purpose only – never mind all the fun that comes with the luxury cruise, Destiny. Liza has arrived on board with a purpose that includes ensuring her school band continues to receive funding by winning the $25,000 talent show prize. Only trouble is, Liza is keeping this pressure from her band mates turning her into a crazed director and to complicate matters more, Liza’s camp crush Lenny appears on the scene. Destiny has more than a few pranks in store for Liza.
It took my longer than I intended to finally read this novel though once I did begin swiping the pages I was hooked. The cast of characters grew beyond my expectations as a host of new characters continued to walk onto the page. This I’ll confess was a pleasant use of space that not only offered much personality to sprinkle the story with sass, it also kept things interesting as well as a reader engaged. Liza’s OCD personality (in terms of the “control” she exercises over this plan) is a bit “much” sometimes, but it didn’t ruin the enjoyment of the novel in the least. In fact, this made for some rather comedic situations to take place and I loved the surprises thrown at us over who was to end up being Liza’s “love.”
Because of my past experience with stories like this, there was always a possibility someone who didn’t seem like the ideal candidate could wind up being the perfect candidate (he wasn’t). But it’s the ways Lauren doesn’t address the perfect someone that makes the story such fun. (Yeah, I realize that is vague. But spoilers and all that jazz prevents this reader from saying more.)
In short, this novel is 100% worth picking up when you want a happy-go-lucky read. Beyond that, there’s not much to say. The story has a great sense of timing and the humor is fantastic. Having never read any of Lauren’s novels I didn’t know what this invitation would result in, fortunately it’s a pleasant one that will see me R.S.V.P-ing to former and future novels with Morrill’s name. Liza and Co. were far too much fun to hang out with for 200-some pages. The promise of more such fun to be had in Lauren’s prior novels is exciting and means I’ve found another new-to-me 2015 author, and for a book nerd, that’s always a plus.
Synopsis: With her trusty baton and six insanely organized clipboards, drum major Liza Sanders is about to take Destiny by storm—the boat, that is. When Liza discovered that her beloved band was losing funding, she found Destiny, a luxury cruise ship complete with pools, midnight chocolate buffets, and a $25,000 spring break talent show prize.
Liza can’t imagine senior year without the band, and nothing will distract her from achieving victory. She’s therefore not interested when her old camp crush, Lenny, shows up on board, looking shockingly hipster-hot. And she’s especially not interested in Russ, the probably-as-dumb-as-he-is-cute prankster jock whose ex, Demi, happens be Liza’s ex–best friend and leader of the Athenas, a show choir that’s the band’s greatest competition.
But it’s not going to be smooth sailing. After the Destiny breaks down, all of Liza’s best-laid plans start to go awry. Liza likes to think of herself as an expert at almost everything, but when it comes to love, she’s about to find herself lost at sea. – Goodreads
Sincere thanks to the publisher for an e-ARC copy of this novel for the purpose of reviewing it.