Beatrice Quinn has spent sixteen very serious years studying to get into Oxford University. Homeschooled and a whiz at statistics, Beatrice knows that she belongs at Oxford, where she will finally find people who understand her. She thought the hardest part would be getting in, not convincing her parents to let her go. They’ve put a halt to her plans until she can prove she’s able to make friends with people her own age and function in social situations. Their solution: Shakespearean theater camp and a detailed list of teenage milestones to check off. She has six weeks to show her parents she can pull off the role of “normal” teenager and won’t spend the rest of her life hiding in a library. Unfortunately, hearts and hormones don’t follow any rules, and there is no textbook for teenage interactions. When she’s adopted by a group of eclectic theater kids, and immediately makes an enemy of the gorgeous popular son of the camp founders, she realizes that relationships are trickier than calculus. As the summer draws to an end, and with Oxford on the line, this girl genius stumbles through illicit parties, double dog dares, and more than your fair share of Shakespeare. But before the final curtain falls, will Beatrice still feel like Oxford alone is enough?
I’m not sure what drew me to this book. Maybe the pink cover, maybe the the Shakespeare theatre camp, maybe the awkward main character who has to show her parents that she can function like a normal teenager. Maybe everything combined. But I was curious about this book, and I was curious to see what I would think of it.
I absolutely, completely adore this book. I fell completely in love. Boy, I needed this book. It’s completely brilliant.
I’m going to start off with Beatrice, simply because my love for her is immense. She’s awkward and weird and anxious, and that’s her. She’s allowed to be awkward and weird and anxious. The way she thinks, and the way she does things, just, I do things so similarly sometimes, and it was so, so amazing to see. For example, I loved seeing a picky eater in a YA book!!! Hello to my fellow “only eat the bread rolls” people!!!!!!! There are things that make sense to her brain. Her clothes, her food, her routine, how she gets overwhelmed sometimes when there is so much being thrown at her and she just needs a break. I love, loved how it was written. I just loved Beatrice a whole lot, especially her imperfections and weirdness. She made the whole book for me.
There are so many amazing friendships in this book. Beatrice sort of stumbles head first into them, which I thought was amazing! She makes friends on her terms, and she doesn’t have to hide any part of herself to do it. Plus, her friends are just wonderful, incredible people. They felt so authentic and real and they truly cared.
Truly, I loved all the characters in this book. There were ones that were hilarious and ones that completely shone and even the bitchy character had her own story and development! It was just so, so good.
And the romantic relationship. I kinda want to scream about it, because oh my gosh. It is an absolutely incredible hate to love story, and the romantic tension and mutual pining and both of them being dumbasses about each other. Oh, it is so wonderful. There’s even two scenes that are like the Smooth Criminal scene from Glee and it’s as awesome as it sounds!!!!!!! It’s sweet and adorable and just so, so good.
I completely adored this book. I loved seeing Beatrice grow and make friends and do things even though they terrified her. I loved her and this book so, so much. It’s freaking amazing.