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- Publisher: Fiction Std
- Publication date: 3/6/2012
- Pages: 328
- Source: Copy sent from author for review
Apron Bramhall has come unmoored. It’s 1985 and her mom has passed away, her evil stepmother is pregnant, and her best friend has traded her in for a newer model. Fortunately, she’s about to be saved by Jesus. Not that Jesus—the actor who plays him in Jesus Christ, Superstar. Apron is desperate to avoid the look-alike Mike (no one should look that much like Jesus unless they can perform a miracle or two), but suddenly he’s everywhere. Until one day, she’s stuck in church with him—of all places. And then something happens; Apron’s broken teenage heart blinks on for the first time since she’s been adrift.
Mike and his grumpy boyfriend, Chad, offer her a summer job in their flower store and Apron’s world seems to calm. But when she uncovers Chad’s secret, coming of age becomes almost too much bear. She’s forced to see things the adults around her fail to—like what love really means and who is paying too much for it.
This book is not a book that I would have picked up on my own I don't think. The overview sounds good and it has a pretty cover, but it's nothing that really would grab my attention. That being said, I LOVED this book. It was beautiful and heartbreaking. It has some very serious issues in it, and a really great message. A few actually. I was immediately immersed in Apron's life and
Apron is such a great character. She is missing her mother who died, dealing with her new step mother who happens to be pregnant, and pretty much hates Apron and her father doesn't really help matters. He is forever siding with M as Apron calls her. She has lost her best friend to the popular girl and in general just feels so alone and sad. She ends up befriending Mike who owns a flower shop with his boyfriend Chad and after a while ends up helping them out there. This isn't without other complications though. Things at home aren't great, and the secret that Chad has is making things difficult at the flower shop too. If I was in Apron's situation there is no way I could have handled myself the way she does.
Apron's father is a Latin professor and tends to be really busy with school stuff even at home so he is more of an absent parent. It's not that he's not around, but he isn't there for Apron when she needs him mentally. He fails to see how horrible M is to her. He doesn't see how much Apron needs to know that he loves her and will be there for her. That he hasn't forgotten her for M and the new sibling that will be coming.
Mike and Chad are really great. I couldn't help but feel that if I were Apron's parent I wouldn't really feel comfortable with her hanging out with two grown men, gay or not, but I am really glad that she became friends with them and they became such a big part of her life. I loved how they were with her. They didn't treat her like a little girl. They would mention how she was a kid, but they respected her. Chad and Apron got a long great. They would spend hours together reading or telling jokes. Mike is a bit more serious, but he was still really great and if Apron needed something he was there for her.
Aside from them there are other really great characters and them some that I didn't care for much. I loved her grandmother. She was a riot. I didn't really like Rennie, Apron's ex BFF, but at that age that's just the way girls are. It was sad that Apron didn't really have any other friends, but if she did, I don't think that things would have developed the way the did with Mike and Chad. I also liked that the neighbors were brought into the story too.
This story was so touching and also heart shattering. As much as I knew what was coming it didn't stop me from bawling my eyes out. I literally had to put down the book and compose myself before I continued, only to start crying pages later. It was very emotional because of how invested I was in the story. I tend to be a very emotional reader so I expected that. What I didn't expect was that days later, even now, these characters are in my head. I just really loved this book. It is a beautiful and touching story that will stay with you. 5 out of 5 stars.