Title: One True Loves (#2)
Author: Elise Bryant
Genre: YA/Romance/ Rom-Com
What's it about?
Lenore Bennett. She's beautiful, smart, talented and strong. Now she's a high school graduate and planning on making her way across the country to study at art history at NYU in the upcoming year, but that's not what she dreams of. Sure, she loves art and she's thankful to have the opportunity to go to whatever college she wants, but she's not sure she wants to spend the rest of her life looking at art instead of making it. But, her parents are over achievers and expect their three kids to be over achievers, too. Her older brother Wally is going into pre-law next year, her sister Etta is 10 years old but she's taking college courses already and Lenore is... well, she's hesitant to commit to anything.
Disappointed, her parents demand that she decide on a college major that she intends to stick with throughout her entire college career by the time they return from the cruise they are embarking on TOMORROW! Now, heart broken from her latest failed relationship, she has about 2 weeks to decide what she's going to do for the rest of her life. She can afford no distractions and a sign from the universe wouldn't hurt. Instead, she gets stuck with a family who her parents instantly bonded with, leaving Lenore to spend way too much time with their handsome, put together, annoying, overly confident son.
Will she find the answers she is desperate to find?
Will she end the trip single, or will she find love?
Favorite Character: Lenore. I liked that she was strong, smart, determined, and capable. But she was still lost in her own way. She still felt the weight on her shoulders to make her ancestors proud and their suffering worth something. She was hard on herself. She was confident, but insecure. She was complex and human. Honestly, if my daughters where like her when they graduated high school, I'd be proud.
Least Favorite Character: I've been reading quite a few books recently with no "bad guy", where the conflict isn't person vs. person and those can sometimes make picking a character I disliked the most difficult. This is no exception but I think I'm going to name Jay my least favorite. I'm not going to say too much more on that because, honestly, spoilers and I think the reason will be self explanatory.
Favorite Part: I think I'm going to go with Lenore's birthday. It was the time Lenore was most relaxed. Plus, it was fun, sweet and romantic in a unexpected way.
Least Favorite Part: The conversation with Lenore and her parents before the cruise. I know that they love Lenore and want what's best for her but, I can't help it. I "listened" to the conversation and I just wanted to ask them if they know their daughter and why they can't just accept her for her. I just didn't love the way they handled that.
Any other thoughts?
I moved this book up on my TBR list to help me reach a newer goal I made for this year (2022), to read more books by POC. But this book conquers more then just what it's like to be black in America today. It touches on being bi-racial and even anxiety; anxiety severe enough to be debilitating.
I also felt like I learned a little bit about my own white privilege. I never thought about there being any bit of pressure on someone to make the suffering of their ancestors "worth it" (for lack of a better term It will never be worth it), like by being more successful then the last generation, your making the past a process. I've felt pressure to be good or great, but never to the extent of generations worth of expectations. I was floored and it made me wonder just how many people feel that in America? And how can we, as a society, be okay with entire communities feeling this pressure and need to not just achieve, but over achieve to honor their ancestors? How can we ignore or even admiringly honor that we put, as a nation, put these communities in this position?
Putting aside the politics and my own realizations, this story was fun and sweet. It had this thought provoking side to