ARC Review The Art of Blending In: The Proud Wallflower and the Majors-Courtney Jackson


unnamedGoodreads/Amazon

cooltext1804448395 copyIn The Proud Wallflower, Sawyer Rossi is trying to navigate her new life in Redington Cove. Always the loner, she hates that her mother’s new marriage has taken her from her hometown in Seattle to a small beach town in Florida. However, Sawyer is trying to make the best of her time in Redington Cove. She’s hoping to coast through until graduation, stay out of the spotlight and the drama. The one bright spot in Redington Cove is her new relationship with fellow artist Kellen. The quiet and brooding artist seems like her perfect match, but Sawyer soon finds that she and Kellen have a lot more in common than just art. It’s this secret connection that is going to do exactly what Sawyer doesn’t want—put her right in the middle of the drama.

Lexi Stein is excited to have Sawyer as her new friend. She loves her best friend, Elliot, but he didn’t understand what it’s like to be the unpopular shy girl in school. He also didn’t understand her crush on the school quarterback, Tucker Parish. For years, it was a love that Lexi had from a far. She soon learns, and is surprised, when she finds out that her crush may not be so one-sided. There’s only one problem looming between Lexi and Tuckers potential relationship. Tucker is far from single, and his girlfriend has the ability to make her life a living hell. Even with the fear of social death, Lexi can’t resist pushing the limits with the guy she’s always dreamed of being with.

In The Majors, Ashley Glover and her fellow queen bee’s are finishing up the summer before heading into an exciting junior year at Oakhurst Academy. Ashley’s extremely excited about the changes in her life. She has a great new boyfriend who is crazy about her. Then there is the fact that she is finally going to have the family she’s always wanted. It was just too bad that her dream family had to include her stepsister, Sawyer. Ashley has no intentions of letting Sawyer’s less than chipper attitude ruin things. She is determined to create the perfect family with or without Sawyer— preferably without her. However, Ashley’s need to control everything thing just may be what takes away her chances of having the family she’s always wanted.

KJ Jacobs had it all. She was popular, her father was the mayor of the town, and she was dating the hottest guy in school. To go along with her perfect life, she also had the perfect plan for the new school year. Remain queen of the school, become team captain of her drill team, and lose her virginity. Little does she know that her perfect plan is slowly unraveling before it begins, along with her relationship.

The Proud Wallflower and The Majors is the first book in The Art of Blending In series. Follow the many stories of love, friendship, and drama in the small town of Redington Cove.

-via Amazon

cooltext1804472332 copy3/5 Stars

***I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author

Courtney Jackson’s The Art of Blending In: The Proud Wallflower and the Majors is a multidimensional exploration into the various lives of the average teenager in a small Florida town. Encompassing several races, social classes, and the standard high school drama, it has a little bit of everything-romance, diversity, and it poses questions that are ignored or glossed over, specifically, how to address race in a new marriage. 

PROS:

  • The Proud Wallflower and the Majors is told from several perspectives and social standings. Each character is unique and has a powerful voice. They all have their own set of problems and struggles that create a beautiful sense of unity in that despite their differences, whether it be race or class, they’re all going through something and big or small, they all suffer and feel. 
  • This is the first book I’ve read in YA that goes into racial tensions and the issues that arise when trying to merge two families of not only different races but different social classes as well. Race is not the elephant in the room, it’s not something to be ignored and while the parents don’t constantly bring it up, it’s there. I appreciated how Courtney Jackson presented many viewpoints, some that were very forward, that claimed that race was invisible and others that were realistic as well, stating that race, despite how much we would love to blur the lines is present and does need to be considered. The main message is that though Andrew (the white stepfather) may never understand the race-centered trials of a young black woman, that love and understanding can be enough.
  • Lexi is a nerdy girl who embraces her heritage as both Indian and white. Lexi has a bubbly, genuine, sweet personality and though she’s crazy smart, she makes mistakes when it comes to matters of the heart. I loved that so many of these characters were flawed and so real. Lexi and surprising Mariah were the most interesting characters but because of the way the story is written, readers will definitely have their favorites and there are plenty of choose from. Mariah’s parts, though few, were full of life and dispel the general consensus by the other characters that she’s vapid. Yes, the girl runs out of gas because she can never remember to refill her car but there’s something vulnerable, flirty, and cute about her.
  • Kellan, Tucker, and Brighton are likable, attractive, and each have many things going for them. An in depth journey into the male consciousness and how they view girls and relationships was intriguing and surprisingly insightful. There are two sides to every story and what’s on the surface is almost never the be all end all of a person. We’re complex, emotional, thoughtful people whose preferences vary and change and that’s the true story of The Art of Blending In.

CONS:

  • Despite the many perspectives, Sawyer was the main character. Everything began and ended with Sawyer and her presence was the web that linked everyone else. While this was intricate and flowed well, Sawyer was hard to like. As much as I tried to sympathize with her, the challenges of moving to a new town, of adjusting, of inserting herself into a family, her anger is overwhelming and a little too much. She’s constantly whining like the world revolves around her pain and then she has the nerve to call other people selfish and accuse them of causing problems when she refuses to try or give any leeway. Her constant storming off and blatantly rude behavior is off-putting.
  • Some of the subplots seemed crucial to understanding the characters and why they reacted the way they did but they fell into the background for a substantial amount of time only to come crashing back into the story full force. 
  • Parts were predictable and a tad cliché. 
  • Some spelling and grammatical errors. 

cooltext1804451952 copyFacebook/Twitter

My name is Courtney Jackson. I graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in English. I live in the sunshine state with my beautiful daughter, husband, and a fat lazy cat. When I’m not writing I like to read and do DYI projects found on Pinterest. I also enjoy photography and music, and find myself making soundtracks on Spotify for every book I write. I love romance and enjoy being able to write stories about finding love, losing love, and all the feelings in between.

Pleasant reading,

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