Isabella Anders has always been the girl that never fit in. Most days she feels invisible, especially when she’s around her older sister, Hannah, who catches the eye of everyone, including Kai and Kyler, the boys who live next door.
Isabella has had a crush on Kyler for years, but knows he’ll never see her as anything more than Hannah’s little sister, unless she finds a way to standout.
When Isabella gets an offer from her grandmother to travel overseas for the summer, she seizes the opportunity, hoping she’ll discover more about herself. And she does, but not in the way that she expected.
Three months later, Isabella returns home an entirely new person. The change is enough to catch both Kyler and Kai’s attention. But Isabella is still struggling with what she discovered over the summer and until she deals with the truth, she’ll never truly be herself.
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author
The Year I Became Isabella Anders is a short, playful coming of age story mixed with the typical Jessica Sorensen-style drama that we know and love.
READ THIS BOOK IF:
- You’re looking for a cute contemporary
- You’re into girls who learn to love themselves and don’t apologize for it
- You’re into quirky characters with realistic problems
- One of the many things that makes Jessica Sorensen books a definite one-click must is her ability to craft characters that are real, gritty, and a little damaged (because hey, aren’t we all, especially as teenagers).
- Isabella is going through a transition. She’s sick of the verbal abuse in her home, it seems like every other comment is an insult and her confidence is in need of a serious makeover. The trip to Europe helps Isa embrace her wild side, to accept her weirdness as a part of what makes her awesome. Isa is relatable and lovable. Her snide comments, her fierce new confidence is all wildly addictive. You’ll want her to be happy. Some scenes were hard to read, especially the ones where Isa is being demeaned by her loved ones. I felt stabby. It gutted me way down deep in my soul that they could be so heartless to such a wonderful person. It is a show of her insane strength that she doesn’t cry herself to sleep every night. Isa is SO strong. She’s a survivor with a golden heart.
- Kai is a playful, adorable surprise. His constant teasing and flirty behavior is incredibly easy to swoon over. He’s got secrets and dangers in his life that add to the bad boy image he reps but the soft, squishy guy who cares for Isabella is even hotter. Kai’s abrupt change in clothes, friends, and activities, the acerbic comments he’ll make about his perfect brother and that one scene with his dad is enough to make you want to hug him just as tightly as Isabella.
- Some pieces of the story were atypical and predictable. The mean girl big sister, the popular vs non, the jocks and stoners…it all kind of blurred together and detracted from Isabella’s journey.
- The plot was loose and a bit boring. Predominantly a coming of age story, a large chunk of the story was spent on Isabella’s, at times summarized, adventures in Europe. When she gets back, scenes are short and clipped, cutting off at crucial moments and almost feel pieced together and random.
- The WHY isn’t answered. Why are Isabella’s immediate family members so cruel? Why does her dad go along with her torment? What is the big deal about revealing the truth? Why does it have to be kept hidden?