Bloom -- Elizabeth Scott
Whoa. So, as I said yesterday, I liked Perfect You quite a lot. So much that I picked this one up.
Well, I loved Bloom. LOOOOOOVED it.
On the outside, Lauren's life looks pretty darn good. She's very well-off, lives with her dad in a big house with a pool, gets pretty good grades and is dating Dave, who is gorgeous, sweet, smart, faithful and basically the personification of perfect.
On the inside, things are different. She doesn't really connect with anyone, including her best friend:
I even bought a ton of books with covers that promised stories about girls who seemed to be just like me. I figured maybe there'd be something in them to make me feel better. But they were all about so-called ugly losers who were actually really smart and funny (and quirky cute or even gorgeous to boot) and how the football star or mysterious new boy everybody wants or the best-friend-who-seems-kind-of-ugly-but-actually-really-isn't totally falls in love with them, and they go to the big dance or whatever and learn that it's what's on the inside that counts and crap like that.
I felt a lot worse after reading all those books because I'm not all that smart, and I'm not funny, and I'm not quirky cute or gorgeous. I'm average. Totally average. And worse, I got the football star and look where I am. Still not popular but yet somehow popular enough to be hated, and there was nothing in the books about that, about what to do if your absolute dream came true and yet you stayed you.
When Evan Kirkland comes back into town (and Lauren's life), suddenly everything is different. Around him, she feels like she's herself, rather than whoever Dave thinks she is, who her father thinks she is, or who her best friend thinks she is. Around Evan, Lauren is suddenly Lauren. And it's scary.
This is definitely one for the Sarah Dessen fans. People, I'm telling you: Read it ASAP. It's smart and layered and real, it feels honest and, yes, it's a swoonfest-o-rama. I loved it.