Eighteen-year-old Bronwen Oliver has a secret: She's really Phoebe, the lost daughter of the loving Lilywhite family. That's the only way to explain her image-obsessed mother; a kind but distant stepfather; and a brother who has a small personality complex (he thinks he's Jesus). Bronwen must have been switched at birth, and she can't wait to get away from her family for good.Admittedly this was one of those books that I refused to admit to reading due to the seemingly YA sappiness of the title and summary. Some books I just can't tell most people about for fear of losing their respect for me and my reading tastes, even if the book turns out to be good. Like this one. I really was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book--it wasn't as sappy and shallow as I was expecting it to be.
Then she meets Jared Sondervan. He's sweet, funny, everything she wants--and he has the family Bronwen has always wanted too. She falls head over heels in love, and when he proposes marriage, she joyfully accepts. But is Jared truly what she needs? And if he's not, she has to ask: What would Phoebe Lilywhite do?
Yes, the book is about a high school girl who gets engaged. But it wasn't as roll-my-eyes lame as I thought it would be, because the author takes it beyond the "he makes me giddy so it must be love" point and explores some of the bigger issues about marrying young. Like, am I willing to give up my other possible futures for this? Is this worth missing out on the experiences everyone else my age is having? Am I willing to be an Us rather than a Me at this point in my life? What about practical things like money, insurance, and birth control?
And the book wasn't all about falling in love and marriage. There is also a strong storyline about Bronwen's relationship with her family, especially with her mom and step-dad. (Can I just say her step-dad is so completely wonderful? I wanted to hug him.)
And, of course, as is requisite for me liking any book, I adore Jared--Bronwen's boyfriend. He's straight up quality, ya know? He's good for her and to her, and I love him for it.
The only real issue I had with the book is the fact that no one seems to take issue with this 17-year-old dating a guy who's 21. What parents would be okay with that? I'm just sayin'.