Ash Gupta has a life full of possibility. His senior year is going exactly as he’s always wanted-- he's admired by his peers, enjoying his classes and getting the kind of grades that his wealthy, immigrant parents expect. There's only one obstacle in Ash's path: Eden Moore—the senior most likely to become class valedictorian. How could this unpopular, sharp-tongued girl from the wrong side of the tracks stand in his way?
All Eden's ever wanted was a way out. Her perfect GPA should be enough to guarantee her a free ride to college -- and an exit from her trailer-park existence for good. The last thing she needs is a bitter rivalry with Ash, who wants a prized scholarship for his own selfish reasons. Or so she thinks. . . When Eden ends up working with Ash on a class project, she discovers that the two have more in common than either of them could have imagined. They’re both in pursuit of a dream -- one that feels within reach thanks to their new connection. But what does the future hold for two passionate souls from totally different worlds?
It's interesting when we spend time with someone we think we have nothing in common with that we find something we do have in common. In this day and age, we have more in common than we don't but we often overlook it. This is a story that draws people together and looks at the common.
Eden is the white trash of the community. She's working to get out of the trailer-park and away from the poverty by throwing herself into her education. She's worked hard and is close to reaching her dreams. But she has a chip on her shoulder and she doesn't want to consider what the rich boy may have in common with her.
Ash is expected to have good grades and go to college. His parents are doctors and demand much from him. His Indian heritage and money have him walking in different circles than Eden. He's seen her as the competition for the scholarship his parents want him to win despite the fact that he wants to go to Stanford. Eden's always the mouthy girl that can't get along with anyone. Not a team player. He doesn't see what they have in common.
But as they work together on a project they discover something different. The problem is that no one else is going to accept them. And the story really begins.
I enjoyed the characters. They were well developed and authentic. They felt like high school students and not just an authors idea of what students are like. I'm always a hard sell on things like this. As a teacher, I'm around students a lot and authors can often get them wrong. This one got them right.
The story is a hard one. I've hoped that we've come farther than parents keeping their teens away from someone they care about because of race or economics. But the news is enough to tell us that we haven't come nearly far enough. It was a great story to remind us about what's important in life.
A great YA story that can be enjoyed by adults as well. This story will have you cheering for a couple that represents far more than the love they have for each other.
It's good. Don't miss it.