I did like reading this a lot more than A Little Friendly Advice. It’s not an absolutely stunning book, but I was able to get into the story more and relate to the characters more in here. I really liked Emily, as she felt like a normal, average girl who just wants to try something different for the summer. There’s no tragic backstory, no missing parents—Emily’s just average. I even liked the fact that while she’s a good artist, she recognizes the fact that she’s not “OMG SO SUPER SPECIAL” and has a long way to go to being truly great and that she has her strengths and weaknesses in art. It’s a nice added detail that adds to the realism. And I also really related to Emily’s identity crisis of not being “arty” enough to fit in with the rest of her classmates and that her suburban life isn’t very impressive compared to Fiona’s or Yates’s life in Philadelphia. And while there’s contrived teenage girl fights, I like that Emily’s more willing to hold the olive branch out and mend her relationships with Meg and Fiona.I do like Yates, and I think he’s nice. Not so much a fan of him being the love interest. I could buy Emily getting a massive crush on Yates and Yates helping her out during the summer course, but once they move into an actual relationship, I started to get a little squicked out. The one positive thing I do like about the relationship is that it doesn’t go without consequence—even when Emily and Yates both deny having done anything, Yates is still stripped of his position and loses some of his opportunities. Again, it’s more of a realistic touch than most other YA novels would do.Fiona is a tough one for me, especially with her juxtaposition with Emily’s other friends. I liked that she’s the girl who tries too hard to be mature and worldly, and while that impresses Emily in the beginning, it doesn’t last very long. It is infuriating that Fiona doesn’t learn anything from being torn down in front of her peers, but again, it’s a very teenage reaction. (If anything I’ve picked up on Siobhan Vivian so far, it’s that she grasps the teenage mindset very well: you rarely learn anything quickly as a teenager.)And I do like the growing distance between Emily and her other friends here. It’s easy to write off a scene like Emily yelling at her friends for drawing obscene pictures in her sketchbook. But I liked that there’s that wall between the two groups, and that Emily definitely didn’t appreciate it. I like that they have to acknowledge this growing apart. The only relationship I didn’t get a good grasp on was with Emily’s family—we really only get to see her mother and sister, and even then, they only pop in and out of the story. I felt that there could have been more done with them, especially toward the end of the book.Overall, it’s a solid read. I like the bits of realism—some may knock Emily for not being very interesting, but that’s what made me like her in the first place. I’d say it’s worth checking out if you want something different in realistic YA novels.