Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ARC Review: Heat of the Moment by Lauren Barnholdt

Heat of the Moment
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Series: Moment of Truth, Book 1
Publication: HarperTeen (May 12, 2015)

Description: In the first book of Lauren Barnholdt's captivating The Moment of Truth series, Lyla discovers that trusting her head might be easy but trusting her heart is a whole other matter.

Lyla McAfee had all but forgotten the email that she wrote to herself freshman year and scheduled to be delivered right before graduation—the one promising that she'd learn to trust by the end of senior year. But when she receives it the first morning of her senior trip to Florida, her life is sent into a tailspin. Soon she's questioning her seemingly perfect relationship with her boyfriend, Derrick, her attraction to the school player, Beckett, and whether ending her friendship with Aven and Quinn, her former BFFs, was one of the biggest mistakes of her life.

Each book in this trilogy is told from the perspective of a different girl—Lyla, Aven, and Quinn—former best friends who, back in freshman year, wrote emails to their future selves about the one thing they hope to accomplish before they graduate. Over the course of the series, each girl will learn about life, love, and the truth about the fight that ended their perfect friendship.

My Thoughts: This is a story of the most poorly-supervised class trip that I have ever read about. The seniors are traveling from somewhere in New England to Florida for Spring Break. This episode, the first in a trilogy, is told by Lyla McAfee. It begins with her receiving an email from her 8th grade self which reminds her of her vow to "learn to trust." Next, she just about misses the flight to Florida when her mom is late bringing her to the bus at school.

Luckily, another senior has also missed the bus. After some misgivings and a potential case of motion sickness, Lyla agrees to ride Beckett's motorcycles to the airport where they hope to board the flight with none of the advisers the wiser. (See what I mean...lousy supervision.) Lyla then proceeds to lie to her boyfriend Derrick about how she got to the airport. This doesn't bode well for Lyla's goal of finally having sex with her boyfriend of two years. I couldn't figure out why Lyla wanted to have sex with him other than to check something off some imaginary list that she had made. The two had no chemistry and every time they would come close to moving their relationship to the next level, something would interfere. A lot of the time the something was Beckett.

Adding to the complications on this trip is the fact that Lyla is sharing the hotel room with two girls who used to be her best friends - Aven and Quinn - until they had a fight that destroyed their friendships. Lyla is very unforgiving and a complete black and white thinker with more than a touch of ADHD. Who else would get sidetracked by flooring options when she is imaging a romantic encounter with Derrick?

I found Lyla to be very annoying and, since the book was written in tight first person, I really didn't know enough about either Derrick and Beckett to form much of an opinion about them. I certainly couldn't see why Beckett kept pursuing her through all the abuse the Lyla heaped on him.

As far as I am concerned, Lyla never did reach her goal of learning to trust in this story. Maybe something will happen in the next two books.

Favorite Quote:
If he thinks I'm going to follow him out there, he's mistaken. He's like a dog—if you reward him when he's acting up, he'll think he can get away with it. A few seconds go by, then half a minute, then a minute, then two. What is he doing out there?
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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