From the Jump

Putnam Jul. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780593328279. pap. $16. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Waldon’s (The Layover) second novel is a contemporary friends-to-lovers romance with secrets, high drama, and strong elements of found family, proving that relationships, both romantic and platonic, are a choice you never stop making. Liv Bakersfield translated a childhood full of secrets and uncertainty into an adult pursuit of perfection in all things: appearance, career, home design, and relationships. Her rigid adherence to the rules defined in self-help books and blogs has kept her on track, but when she starts saying “no” it feels too good to stop. Soon she’s dropping everything to finally go on vacation with her tight-knit group of college friends, throwing her carefully ordered routines to the wind, and growing even closer to her enigmatic friend Lucas Deiss. When Liv returns home, ready for a new career direction, she finds her home and finances in shambles, with Deiss her only option for refuge.
VERDICT The love story is satisfying, but Liv’s journey (from inflexible, insecure ice queen to confident risk-taker with a strong support network) is the real draw.
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