ARC Review: It Started with Goodbye by Christina Joy
Release Date: May 19, 2017
Pages: 272 pages
Genre: YA / Fantasy
Buy: Kindle | Paperback
Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night, which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client. If Tatum is reading his emails right, her virtual Prince Charming is funny, smart, and talented—and he seems to think the same about her. Too bad he’s spending his summer across the ocean in Ireland…not that Tatum would be allowed to go on a date anyway.
But over the course of the summer, Tatum will learn that sometimes going after what you want means breaking all the rules. And when Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.
This was a fun read. Its supposed to be a modern take on the Cinderella story but I didn't really catch that until I read it somewhere else. Navigating family life and still trying to maintain a social life while being on house arrest isn't easy but Tatum seems to achieve it. Tatum's character was spot on and very realistic, she isn't perfect and she discovers that no one really is, that everyone has flaws and baggage and it is sometimes necessary to look through someone else's eyes at a situation.
Joy really navigates the complexities of a blended family, changing friendships, and young love with ease and insight. The characters had depth and you could really feel the emotions. I enjoyed Tatum's stream of consciousness regarding closing valedictions, and the way her playful prince charming would come up with new ones to impress her. By the end of the book I even had good feelings about Tatum's sister and Step-mother. Overall this is a great retelling of a classic fairytale.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.