My rating: 3 stars
Vivi loves Verona Cove, the small town in California where she and her mom are spending the summer. Meeting Jonah just makes it better and gives her a purpose--she is going to make that boy smile. Jonah is trying to keep his head and his family above water, so Vivi is a more than welcome distraction. However, there are battles both of them are fighting and those battles could get in the way.
In any other story, Vivi would be the typical manic pixie dream girl; however, Lord takes the "manic" and takes it deeper. This is what makes Lord's novels so good--they come across like typical teen romances, but instead deal with difficult topics that everyone will have to deal with sometime in their life.
I applaud Lord for her honest portrayal of mental illness, without any guile or stigma attached. The way that the characters accepted each other's darkness was refreshing to read, and a hope for a more accepting world in the future.
I was surprised at the amount of language and sexual situations, as it was a departure from Lord's other two novels, which had little of both. Because of the nature of the story and Vivi's character, it was somewhat necessary, though there were a lot of f-words.
*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.