Plot: 3/5 Characters: 4/5 Writing: 4/5 Entertainment: 3/5
“Someday Girl” is a well-written, heartfelt love story and a great introduction to the New Adult genre.
Cat Nichols has needed to get out of her famous mother’s shadow for some time now. Moving away to college happens to be the perfect opportunity. As Cat’s life fills up with great friends and interesting classes, she begins to see herself in a new, healthier light. Then, she meets Jace Butler, the sexy bartender with shadows of his own and an infatuation with Cat that won’t let up. Can Cat and Jace outrun the shadows holding them back from starting a new life together, or will they be swallowed by the demons that lurk there?
As someone who doesn’t usually like romance, I have to say that “Someday Girl” was pretty good. Both Jace and Cat are well fleshed out and believable enough. They play off each other okay. Not great, but okay. Instant infatuation just isn’t my cup of tea when it comes to writing devices. It sort of defeats the purpose of making the characters get to know each other in my opinion.
I really appreciate that Jace is a genuinely good guy, despite his rough past. He never uses what has happened to him as an excuse to be mean or hurtful to Cat or anyone else. If he had turned out to be a total jerk because of what he’s been through, I probably would have stopped reading. My tolerance for manipulative/abusive love interests has been at “0” for some time now. He does inevitably mess up, but you can see why he makes the choice he does and he eventually sees where he goes wrong, which was great to see in terms of character development.
The writing is also well crafted. The narration alternates between Cat and Jace’s point of view and Shawn does an excellent job giving them their own voices. She doesn’t just rely on telling us who’s talking, like I’ve seen in many books. She actually gives both characters distinct idiolects that work great for their personalities and backgrounds. Alternating narrators takes a lot of effort, trial and error, and attention to detail, so kudos to Shawn for pulling it off so well. I just wish the great writing could have made Cat’s self-perception a little more original and creative.
In Shawn’s defense, she does a great job explaining why Cat sees herself the way she does, but I really wish she would have tried a little harder with the resulting insecurities. There’s a few mentions of her feeling a bit awkward in social settings, but most of the focus is on how Cat doesn’t see herself as beautiful. She sees herself as smart and capable, but for some reason she can’t realize that she’s physically attractive. It usually wouldn’t bother me that much–just about every young female protagonist seems to have this issue and I doubt that’s going to change–but everyone constantly harps on her about how gorgeous she is. Apparently Cat is kin to Aphrodite herself, so if she could go against what she’s been told and see that she’s intelligent, what was stopping her from realizing she was pretty before Jace showed up? If Shawn had focused on one particular physical shortcoming—or if the protagonist actually had a physical shortcoming for once—it could have worked, but as is, Cat’s insecurity about her appearance feels flat and doesn’t garner any sympathy from me as a reader.
But, like most romances, the most important element of the book is the interaction and relationship between the two leads, with Shawn does really well, both through the characters themselves and her excellent writing. So, if romance is your thing and you’re looking for something to read, give “Someday Girl” a try.