Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description, my take:
Skylar's family is a mess. She's afraid her parents are going to divorce, and her 15-year-old younger sister has a 3-month-old baby. Skylar's not doing much better. She's trying to avoid an ex-boyfriend she still really likes but who betrayed her. She's been a Christian for a year, but somehow she keeps slipping back into her old, partying habits. And she's haunted by the fact she can't fully remember what happened at the party where her current kinda-boyfriend says he saved her from being raped by a cute stranger who must have drugged her beer.
She just wants to get away and make a fresh start, so she jumps at the chance to spend the summer with her grandparents in Hawaii and is considering going to college there as well. After a promising start, she realizes how much she'll miss out on by totally cutting off those back home. And it's like she's brought the past along with her. Is she doomed to stay stuck in the past or can she face her fears and truly forgive herself for her mistakes?
So Over It is a young adult Christian general fiction novel with some romance. It's the third book in the series, but I haven't read the previous books. While I could follow without confusion what was going on without reading the others, reading this one first spoils some things that happen in the first two books. Since this book was very good, I'd recommend starting with with the first book, Me, Just Different.
The characters were complex, realistic, and likable. I cared what happened to them. Skylar dealt with realistic problems, like worries about parent's arguing, a grumpy younger sister, and forgiving friends' betrayals. Skylar didn't always make decisions I thought were good ones, but they fit her character and her age. They also carried the natural consequences, so she learned from them.
The world-building was very good (though note that this wasn't an "all-about-Hawaii" novel), and the pacing was excellent. The tension was mainly from the relationship problems rather than actual physical danger. (The party that was dangerous happened before the start of this book.)
Skylar and some of her friends were Christians, and I felt that they were portrayed in a realistic way. Skylar's main struggle was getting rid of the "old Skylar" habits that she really doesn't want but can't seem to shake. The novel never got "preachy" since Skylar kinda figured things out by trial-and-error or by realizing she was doing the same things she condemned others for.
There was no bad language. There was no sex, though it was implied in the girls' gossip. Overall, I'd highly recommend this novel as well-written, clean reading.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt from Chapter One
My eyes, innocently grazing the new releases at Blockbuster, locked on Connor Ross.
I would've avoided him, especially since he stood there with Jodi, but we held eye contact too long to pretend we hadn't noticed each other.
We exchanged awkward smiles--what else could we do?--and moved closer.
"Hey," I said, being my usual creative self.
"Hi." His smile hung crooked. It didn't always. Just when he felt uncomfortable. Connor hadn't flashed me a straight smile since March. Three months and six days ago.
"Hi, Skylar." Jodi infused her voice with warmth. I couldn't trust myself to speak actual words to her. Even when I said simple things like, "Hi," it always sounded angry and bitter. Two things I felt, but had no intention of her knowing.
"What are you guys doing here?" I asked, then nearly cringed. Hello--what else would they be doing at Blockbuster?
Connor acted nice about it. "Trying to find a movie that'll make everyone happy."
"Not an easy task."
"Cevin's the real toughie," Connor said with a grin.
Both Jodi and I laughed--Cevin's the Ross family's dog--then stopped and looked at each other. So awkward.