Would middle school you be happy or disappointed in how your life turned out?
This is the truth Georgie must confront: she has not lived up to the goals and expectations of her middle school hopes and dreams. She didn’t even do the things in her hometown that she always planned on. Now that she’s returned to her hometown, leaving behind a successful personal assistant career when her Hollywood director boss decides to reinvent their own life, she finds that she herself doesn’t know what to do next. Again. But her middle school notebook, which holds the fan fiction she wrote about the life she wanted to live, may hold the answer to who she really is.
Except… Her best friend Bel is super pregnant and can’t do all of the things they put in the notebook.
And also, her parents accidentally told her she could stay at their place…and they also asked handsome dock builder Levi to watch their plants, house and plant sitting while his own home is being renovated.
So that adds some complications to her plans.
Especially since Levi has run as far away from who he was in high school as possible. His reputation as a troublemaker follows him nonetheless, cornering him into a certain type of life. A certain type of life that does not have room in it for certain women checking life goals off a list she made in middle school. A certain woman who his dog loves, and who is occupying a lot more mental real estate…especially since she’s just sleeping down the hall.
Kate Clayborn’s Georgie, All Along is just as delightful as the rest of her books. As always, this novel is chock full of wonderful, relatable characters in an intriguing world with romance, friendship, and family.
Like Clayborn’s other work, Georgie, All Along is as much about the character learning about themselves as it is finding love. Georgie is still ashamed of her high school reputation as a flake, just as Levi is ashamed of his troublemaker reputation. Their journeys toward self-love and acceptance are just as important as their shared romantic journey.
Clayborn’s consistent character development continues in her latest release. Every character feels real, like you could bump into them at the grocery store. Georgie, fighting to overcome her high school reputation as a flake, is expansive, exuberant, and loves life. Levi is officially my fictional crush, because his emotional intelligence and general self-awareness is just as swoon-worthy as… pretty much everything about him, actually. Georgie’s parents are almost cringe-levels of embarrassing, in the most relatable, realistic, endearingly lovable way. Bel is a complex character in her own right, adding even more depth to the story.
I just adore seeing strong friendships on the page. Bel and Georgie’s friendship is like a warm hug. I love how they’re there for each other, but also hold each other accountable. Their ability to be honest with themselves and each other while still supporting and encouraging each other is beautiful.
The setting is vivid and relatable, and the contrast between how this hometown was and how it has also been reinvented introduces some challenges for Georgie.
The found family vibes in this novel are yet another reason why it is such an enjoyable read. The community is laid out in all its positive and negative aspects. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to run into my middle school choir teacher while getting milkshakes. Nope, no thanks. And yet the community of Georgie’s hometown is the aspect that stayed the most consistent, with an emphasis on choosing who you let into your life prevailing.
If you love an author with an amazing backlist, Kate Clayborn should definitely be on your radar. Her novels strike the balance with thought-provoking depth and lighthearted vibes that leave the reader feeling filled up, joyful, and sighing in contentment.
Georgie, All Along will be available January 24, 2023. Thank you to the author, Kensington Books, and NetGalley for an advanced e-arc so that I could share my honest opinion.
You can purchase Georgie, All Along at Bookshop.org here. Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org. I will earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase.
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