Published August 2013
When life hands you lemons, sometimes you have to say screw the lemons and bail.
Seventeen-year-old Bentley Evans had it all. Then her Dad got laid off.
Now she has to move across town to a small apartment and leave her life of luxury for public school and a job at the local burger place. Just when her world seems like it's crumbling she finds solace in the unlikely punk boy next door, Kai Stone. But as their relationship blossoms, a jealous ex-girlfriend and a secret to tell that threatens to bring disaster back into Bentley’s life.
"Screw the lemons" this book is totally Sweet Tea!
First off, this is the fourth Magan Vernon book I've read recently. I absolutely adore her humor, sarcasm, and wit. I fell in love with Ace and his guyliner in the My Alien Romance series (check out my review at www.mereadalot.com) and now I’m loving Kai and the lip ring in Life, Love & Lemons. I love how Magan's male characters are out-of-the-ordinary and unique.
Meet Bentley: rich girl, total snob, little miss everyone-loves-me. Well, at least until her dad gets laid off and she moves from the burbs to the nasty 70s apartment on the wrong side of town. Leaving her ritzy private school for the gang-infested public school isn’t the only shock. She actually has to get her manicured hands dirty with a real job at a burger joint if she wants gas money or new clothes. Poor little rich girl.
Of course Bentley is tough, and full of snark. Just because she isn’t in her elitest social circle during the day doesn’t mean she’s going to slum it with punk-rock-wannabe Kai. Nope. He can take his sarcasm and lip ring and choke on them.
But there is something about Kai. Underneath the slightly arrogant wit, punk band t-shits, & skinny jeans is a pretty amazing guy. Not too mention, he’s actually kinda hot. Maybe Bentley judged him a bit too harshly. Maybe he’s just what she needs when everything else in her life is going so wrong.
I loved watching Bentley try and navigate public high school. And she thought metal detectors were only for airports. And seriously, how was she supposed to know red was a gang color? Oops. But getting your purse stolen before actually entering the building is a first for the rough school. So as much as she'd like to blend in, Bentley is the talk of the hallway.
I adored the relationship between Bentley and Kai. I love when opposites attract. I swooned for Kai, but maybe that’s because I’ve known a few Kai’s in my life. The references in the book were hilarious and brought back my own HS memories. Of course our Perkins was really a Denny’s, but the garage band music, free bowling, & wanna-be rockers are right up my alley. Kai is Mr. Straight Edge. He doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. Much like most of the “Kai’s” I knew back in the day. But enough about me and my walk down memory lane.
There are some great secondary characters including Gabby (her only real friend in public school), Brett (her only real friend back at private school), Brynne and her crew of punk rock bitc**s, Kai's adorable sisters, and even the sleazy Jake (who reminded me so much of Blane from Pretty in Pink). By far my favorite secondary character was Bentley's dad. He had me rolling on the floor in laughter a few times.
So, the rest of the story we follow Bentley and Kai’s growing relationship, and continue to watch Bentley try to adjust to her new life (which is both heart-warming and flippin’ hilarious). I love how these two characters connect and bond. Here are some of my top moments in the book:
- Screw the lemons!
- Perkins being the punk rock hang out
- Sid & Nancy Drew
- “Milk is good for your …” You’ll never guess Bentley’s dad’s philosophy on this
- Orange hair is NOT punk rock (been there, done that)
- Kai ruining all of his mom’s good towels
- Prayer is good for the soul (at least w/Kai’s mom)
- Bentley's MIA mom finally saving the day (& her hilarious method)
- Foreskin Bandits
- LIP RINGS!
- Homecoming…..speaking of here is how I saw Kai at the dance:
I laughed my way through this book. The characters were fantastic and watching Bentley grow was sweet. I especially loved when she finally put her so-called “friends” in their place! You go girl! There are a few secrets revealed along the way that were unexpected. I really was surprised when the real reason behind Bentley's break-up with the icky ex Jake was revealed!
Overall I think this is another insanely fun Magan Vernon read. It’s short and sweet and you won’t want to put it down. She has definitely got a fangirl in me.
Come back on Monday for the Blitz for Life, Love & Lemons and enter to WIN an ecopy of this fun book! And remember:
Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman.