This is a cute, modern day retelling of the Jane Austen story Persuasion set in High school. I love Jane Austen books and this retelling is particularly cute. Anna Elliot is in the 9th grade and having a sweet romance with Finn Westbrook but doesn’t really want her friends to know about it because Finn is kind of geeky. She struggles with what to do and in the end winds up making a huge mistake and humiliates Finn in front of a lot of people. Finn moves away and Anna regrets this mistake for the next 3 years…until he moves back. And he is greatly changed, and hot. All of her friends are talking about him and all Anna can do is try to figure out how to make it up to him.
This book definitely reminded me of the tough times during high school when it’s hard to know what to do. Freshman Anna struggled between what she wanted to do – follow her heart and be with Finn openly- and what she thought her friends wanted her to do – be with guys way more popular. It’s easy to judge this character initially but she feels such guilt immediately that it’s hard to judge her harshly.
What I really liked about this book was the character growth that it showed. Senior Anna felt a lot of guilt over Finn and everything that happened. When Finn showed up Anna was genuinely excited to see him and then horrified at what she did in the past. Her emotions are all over the place because she doesn’t know how to fix her mistakes or how Finn will react to her.
Everyone makes mistakes and everyone feels guilt so this book seemed really relevant to me and one that most teens could relate to, and most people in general. The plot was cute and well done and very realistic, which I loved. Anna owned up to her past mistakes and felt guilty, which I appreciated and loved that she tried to make things right. Finn was a great character as well. While he was hurt and felt like he couldn’t get past what Anna had done to him, he also had great character growth.
Overall, this is a cute retelling of a classic and I would recommend.
ARC received via Edelweiss on behalf of the Publisher in return for an honest review.