Ash Gupta is having an amazing senior year, hanging out with his tight circle of friends and cranking out the grades his wealthy, immigrant Asian-Indian parents expect. A model student in every way, Ash is on track to earn every school honor there is... except one. It looks as if valedictorian will go to the anti-social, foul-mouthed girl who has been a thorn in his side throughout high school, and that’s just not a part of Ash’s—or his parents’—plan.
Eden Moore’s biggest goal is to escape the poverty that haunts her family. When she’s not babysitting a special needs boy, managing the high school website, or attending classes, she’s studying her ass off. Her perfect GPA should be enough to win her the class valedictorian title, and with it, an endorsement for the full-ride Peyton Scholarship. Eden’s sure this is her chance to get out of her dead-end town and her trailer-park life for good, until she discovers that the arrogant, rich Ash also wants the title and the scholarship that will come along with it—for the prestige.
To both of their surprise, when Eden and Ash are forced to work together on a school project, sparks fly. As they spend more time together, antagonism changes to romance. They start a secret relationship, even though they’re on opposite sides of nearly every social hierarchy their friends and families can imagine—race, class, social status.
Can they put all that behind them and start something real? @goodreads
Bloody Brilliant! Made me cry!
You guys, this book is so good! I love finding these gems when I least expect it. The characters in this story are so amazing!
Eden and Ash have been competing all through high-school to be the best. They both are the best in the school and they are trying to get into top-notch universities. Ash's family is rich and can pay his way into school. Eden, not so much, her dad and step mother live in a trailer park and Eden has worked since she was fifteen-years-old to help them make their way and to save for university.
This is their senior year of high school and some things are different this year. Eden and Ash start to notice each other . . . differently. But Ash's parents have him on a strict chain, he has to do what they want, he can't see a girl from the wrong family - even though she's the smartest girl in school.
Eden's dad is a racist jerk who doesn't want her seeing Ash either. They both have things against each other and it's a really sad and beautiful story that plays out.
Also, of all things, a new student has arrived at the school and has taken up with Eden. Mundy is the daughter of the art teacher and she sort of just places herself in Eden's life. You have to understand that Eden has no friends, she likes it that way. But this makes no difference to Mundy and they become best friends. I love them both so much. I want to be their best friends too! Mundy and her mom and step-dad are so much fun. These characters are wonderful.
Eden herself is a wonderful character too. She baby sits for a Mrs. Fremont and this entails her staying the night about three nights a week or so and then being taken to school when Mrs. Fremont gets home. Eden watches her two little children, Marta and Kurt. I love these kids and the mom as well. Kurt has high-functioning autism and at times he's hard to handle but Eden is so good with him. He listens to her and it's just so bitter sweet. He is the reason she wants to be a teacher.
Eden's step mother is a wonderful character too. She's always good as she can be to Eden. Her father, not so much. I won't start on him or I will not stop!
I will leave it at this because you should just read the wonderful book yourself. I love the book so much and it will be going on my bookshelf. Once again, these characters are wonderful. So many of them melted my heart and the story has a lot of real life things in it. The friendships are real and written out beautifully. The love interests are written just as beautiful. To me, everything just flows. None of the book seemed forced or instant this or instant that, which doesn't bother me anyway, but I digress.
The book made me cry some sad tears but more tears of joy than anything! Kudos!
*I would like to thank Netgalley and St. Martin's Griffin for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*
AMAZON LINK TO THE BOOK: