“But I’m still gonna give it my all. And whatever happens, I’ll never give up on my dreams.”
My Epic Spring Break (Up) is Kristin Rockaway’s new YA contemporary novel and it’s a sweet and fun coming-of-age novel with a light-hearted romance. How would you spend your spring break? Ashley, the main character of this novel, had it all figured out: she would go from NYC (where she lives) to Silicon Valley to take part in an internship with a famous tech company. Her main goal is to become a software engineer so she is very strict about what she focuses on. However, when her plans fall through, she starts to question everything. She decides that maybe it’s time to let loose a little bit and have some fun, have that epic spring break she was hoping for—even if it looks a little different than she first planned: dating, hanging out with friends, and prepping for a coding competition.
Ashley is a driven and intelligent high-school junior student. It’s great to see a girl that is into coding and part of the school STEM team. Her passion is contagious and so much so that even her best friend Jason becomes interested in it and even joins her team! He is a prankster and is interested in showcasing what he does on social media, but thanks to Ashley, he is willing to learn a new skill.
All her life, Ashley thought she could control her future if she worked hard enough. However, when her plans fizzle out, she sees that she actually has no control over anything. So she let’s go a little bit. Her crush starts to take an interest in her so she is ecstatic about it and they sort of start dating, something she has never done before. But is he really the guy of her dreams? What about the boy who she’s been friends with all her life? She keeps getting confused but you’ll have to pick up the novel to find out how the story pans out! On top of everything, all the realizations she has in many different aspects, along with a sweet cast of friends, bring some funny moments throughout the novel.
This new found spontaneity and (light) rebellious side that Ashley begins to explore is that of your average teen. And with that comes questionable and naïve decisions. She makes mistakes but she has a lot of heart, and a good conscience and so she questions herself and thinks if her decisions are right, and what would her mum think. Even if more mature readers will develop a motherly side and want to scream at her that she isn’t making the best decision, those readers who are closer in age with her will definitely relate a lot more to her antics. It’s quite endearing to see her change and find her path and strength to stand up for herself. To see her realise that even if her dreams change a little and are not exactly as she expected, they are still achievable.
Rockaway’s writing is good, it has a great mix of witty and more emotional dialogues. There are also a ton of Taylor Swift references, since the main character is a Swiftie, so if you are one too, you’ll definitely enjoy this part. It’s nice because it offers the main character a soundtrack that accompanies her experiences. The coding aspect of the story was also a very interesting point and the author included all those technical terms (binary code descriptions, API, how to code apps…) in a way that is easy to understand for those who may have no clue about anything code related, which makes sense since Rockaway herself used to be a software engineer!
However, the characters, though mostly lovable, sometimes feel one-dimensional. We do not get to learn much about the side characters, for example Ashley’s friends and fellow coders, which would have been nice. The romantic relationship between Ashley and Walker had quite a few flaws, but that is quite true to what teens go through. On the other hand, Jason and Ashley’s relationship was great, they have a lot of chemistry and it’s sweet to see them be clueless about their feelings for each other. The ending of the book felt a bit rushed though. Another thing about Jason is that his development was great. I think maybe he is one of the characters that changes the most.
All in all, My Epic Spring Break (Up) is a light-hearted novel about finding your path. Smart, fun, and fast-paced it’s the perfect spring break read! If you enjoy coming-of-age stories and friends-to-lovers romance, this is your book and you will devour it in one sitting.
Will you be picking up My Epic Spring Break (Up)? Tell us in the comments below!
Synopsis | Goodreads
A fun and upbeat paperback original romance about a girl who finds a cheat sheet for love.
Spring break . . . heartache?
For coder extraordinaire Ashley, high school is all about prepping for college. Her love life? Virtually nonexistent. She’s never been on a date. Never been kissed. Never been in love.
When her plans veer off course, Ashley realizes she might be missing out on her high school experience. Now that spring break is finally here, Ashley vows to have fun . . . and, for the first time, follow her heart.
Starting with Walker Beech, her gorgeous, maybe-not-so-unrequited crush. But with Jason Eisler–her childhood friend turned prankster–in the picture, trouble is bound to follow. Will Ashley’s epic spring break lead her to love, or will her heart crash and burn?