Tyler Bruce, seventeen years old, life is an on-going mess. He doesn’t know how to solve his distorted life, but what we do know is how his distorted life began. It is summer in California, a usual day for Tyler until he meets a girl – his stepsister whom he didn’t know existed. This summer will change his life forever. But the question is: is his life going to change for the better, or worse?
This book is written in the form of the first person, where Tyler Bruce, the main character, is narrating the story of his life. This is an effective approach because the reader can know and understand how he felt, and the trauma he experienced. These include domestic abuse and alcoholism.
Due to the first-person narration, the reader can sympathise with the main character.
Moreover, the reader can experience Tyler’s romantic relationship issues, where he is in love with someone he should not be in love with. This is because society would see this as shameful and would disapprove of it. Overall, this leads to his complicated life.
The book is situated in Santa Monica, California, USA, in modern times (21st century). Santa Monica is an area where wealthy people live. This could suggest that people who live in the “wealthier” areas lives are not as perfect as many people may think due to Tyler’s story. Tyler was brought up in a quite wealthy family, where both of his parents had stable good-paid jobs.
After reading the book, some may argue that there is a message in the book that the author wants us to know. This is that you must not judge a book by its cover. For instance, Tyler is a typical “bad boy” that you see in those typical teen romance movies. However, as you start to read on and know a bit more about Tyler Bruce, you begin to realise that he is not the “bad boy” or the bully. Tyler wants to forget about his past; he wants to distance himself from his past so he relies on alcohol and behaves in an ill-mannered way to distract himself. He is like a lost puppy.
It is romance and teen fiction. I like that it is teen fiction because it is factually more common for teens to start drugs and alcohol. This book, in a way, shows the consequences of using drugs and alcohol, which influence young people to stop using them, especially if they are using it as a “distraction”.
The author of this book is Estelle Maskame. She previously wrote three series book on about the same concept but from someone else’s point of view. She also wrote a book called “Dare To Fall.” I think that this book is better than her previous books because this book is more detailed and we can have a deeper insight into Tyler’s life. All her previous books were from a girl’s perception, so I found it very interesting that this book is from a boy’s perception.
I enjoyed this book, although it did make me cry sometimes. I felt that the story line was realistic and that it was something that could happen in reality.
Personally, I would read more books by Estelle Maskame but I would like to read books from other authors. This is so that I can compare her books to other books by other authors.
I encourage you to read this book because it teaches you a moral lesson and gives you an insight into some people’s lives.
I believe that the moral message is crucial because we tend to judge people by their outward appearance and their behaviour, so we already have an overall impression about the person. However, it should not be that way because we do not know them nor what is happening in their lives.