Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
Seventeen-year-old Bronwen Oliver doesn't just want a family. She has one of those, and there's nothing terribly wrong with them apart from bickering grandparents, an image-obsessed mother and a brother she describes simply as Jesus. But there's no natural sense of connection between Bronwen and her family, leaving her with the belief -- and the hope -- that she was switched at birth, that she was never supposed to be Bronwen Oliver but someone else entirely.
When she begins dating college senior Jared Sondervan, she finds herself thoroughly embraced by the loving family she has always wanted and does not hesitate to say yes when Jared proposes on her 18th birhday. Plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her junior year of college become plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her freshman year of college. And a wedding so soon isn't exactly what Bronwen wants. But Jared is. And his family is. Or so she thinks.
Before Bronwen can determine what she truly wants, she must first determine who she truly is, and the answer, she discovers, is only partially what she thought it was. She wasn't switched at birth, but she's also not Bronwen Oliver and hasn't been for a very long time.
From the start, this book had a familiar ring to it. I have felt very similar to Bronwen, with parents whose interests were so different from my own that I did not think we were actually related. I also got involved in an engagement at a young age, but this was where our similarities became divided.
Bronwen was an enjoyable charcter, for me. The sarcastic tone of the novel fit well with my own ironic sense of humour. As things begin to snowball out of control for Bronwen, though, this changed. It got a little more serious,and rightfully so. When things have been left unsaid for so long, the time for laughing and joking must eventually be put aside to deal with the more important issues in life.
This book has a bit of an older feel than the usual YA, with the characters being late to teens early twenties. There were some situations that felt wrong to me, for example Bronwen "saving it for marriage" just seems so outdated, but that's just my own personal opinion. Having a daughter myself, I will encourage this theory when the time comes (I dread the day, lol) and will gladly accept the title of "hypocrite", lol.
I did enjoy this book for the most part, it just took a bit of a down turn towards the end. It's definitely worth reading though if you've ever questioned your own identity or if you were switched at birth :-p