Mackenzie “Mac” Cabot is a people pleaser. Her demanding parents. Her prep school friends. Her long-time boyfriend. It’s exhausting, really, always following the rules. Unlike most twenty-year-olds, all she really wants to do is focus on growing her internet business, but first she must get a college degree at her parents’ insistence. That means moving to the beachside town of Avalon Bay, a community made up of locals and the wealthy students of Garnet College.
Mac’s had plenty of practice suppressing her wilder impulses, but when she meets local bad boy Cooper Hartley, that ability is suddenly tested. Cooper is rough around the edges. Raw. Candid. A threat to her ordered existence. Their friendship soon becomes the realest thing in her life.
Despite his disdain for the trust-fund kids he sees coming and going from his town, Cooper soon realizes Mac isn’t just another rich clone and falls for her. Hard. But as Mac finally starts feeling accepted by Cooper and his friends, the secret he’s been keeping from her threatens the only place she’s ever felt at home.
If you’re looking for something unique and unpredictable, this is the wrong choice. All of it was predictable. The writing was solid, but there weren’t any surprises, and the “townie” characters were pretty much all horrible and selfish people who just wanted to get drunk or high and complain about the wealthy kids, or, as they deprecatingly call them, “clones.” I liked Mac, but there weren’t any surprised with her, either.
Elle Kennedy is a bestselling author. Good Girl Complex is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)