Dakota McCloud has just been accepted into a prestigious art school. Soon she'll leave behind the artists' colony where she grew up―hippie dad, tofu since birth, yurt―and join her boyfriend and best friend on the East Coast. It was the plan…until Dakota finds out her boyfriend and best friend hooked up behind her back.
Hurt and viciously betrayed, Dakota pours out her heart on a piece of paper, places it in a bottle, and hurls it into the ocean. But it doesn't quite go where she expects…
Jack Sauvage finds the bottle washed up on the shore and responds to Dakota's letter. Except what if his straight-laced life doesn’t jive with the free-spirited girl he’s only seen from afar? As Jack creates a persona he believes she’ll love, they slowly fall for each other with each new letter. Now Jack is trying to find a way to make this delicate, on-paper romance happen in real life…without revealing his deception.
The concept is absolutely brilliant, even if the execution lacked commitment.
A lot of people have complained at the concept of the relationship - Jack pretends to be somebody else to woo Dakota, and I have to admit it doesn't sit perfectly well with me, but it all worked out well enough and Dakota was understandably upset at the deceit so I think the storyline developed and followed through well. I liked how well Gehrman made it clear that despite the fact he was pretending to be Alejandro, Jack was generally getting closer to Dakota and she would have liked him without the deceit.
I loved Dakota as a characters, she was flawed and vulnerable, proven by how upset she was that her ex had been with her best friend, but she was also headstrong and knew what she wanted in life. She dealt with Jack's big secret well and I really liked the two of them as characters. The whole thing played out like a Disney Original Movie. If it happened in real life it would be manipulative, but in this it was just super cheesy, super cute fun.
Overall Rating: B
Book released 15th April 2015
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review