“I mean, struggling—makes—us—strong. It makes us think about where we’re going, where we want to be. It makes us realize what’s important.”
Rewind to You by Laura Johnston is a standard, young adult, summer romance. It follows a dual narrative between “nice-girl” Sienna and “bad-boy” Austin. Both characters struggle with family issues—Sienna coping with her father’s death, Austin with his absent parents—and the looming end of summer with college in the future. The pair fall in love and pursue a relationship despite complications, one of them being Sienna’s “jerky jock” boyfriend.
The story itself is full of teenage stereotypes and stock characters. The main characters are in a constant battle of boringly tragic and tragically boring. The setting, which is a beach town in Georgia, is hardly fleshed out and is constantly contradicted with changing details. The dialogue style tries too hard and ranges from corny to offensive, again relying too much on stereotypes for stock characters.
Sienna and Austin are shallow characters—both in the sense of development and personality. They are less than interesting and spend the majority of the story obsessing over one another, though the readers never get to know them enough to sympathize.
The writing relies too much on the “telling” part of “show, don’t tell.” Sienna is an accomplished dancer, yet the readers never get a taste of her practicing. The narrative relies too much on “mysterious pasts” and romantic tension to drive the story instead of playing on development and self forgiveness. The foreshadowing is predictable, yet it is an acceptable effort by Johnston, as is the continuity and final pull-together of the plot.
Rewind to You is nothing new in the world of young adult fiction, but will no doubt pass the time if one is looking for a quick and easy romance.
I received an ARC e-book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.