"She would make it happen. One day. New York City was her soul mate. She knew they would eventually meet and live happily ever after."
The Good Life is Roxie's story. She has been married, living a pretty cushy life in New York City with her husband for the past seven years. All of a sudden, he drops a bomb on her and asks for a divorce. This causes Roxie to take a good hard look at her life and make some big decision about her future. She is in desperate need of a wake up call and her best friend Hope is right there, she doesn't mince words and says the things that Roxie needs to hear. I loved that about her!
"...Run away and don't look back because the guy is a tool and he's turned you into one, too."
"And this life you've been living with Caleb," she continued, "is not you, either. You sit in an apartment all day planning all of these things you want to do. But you never do them."
Roxie's first decision is to move back to her hometown in Michigan to start over. As much as it pains her to leave her beloved NYC, she knows she doesn't have the money to support herself there since she's been living as a "trophy wife" (her words) for the past several years. Before Roxie goes, Hope writes her "The Good Life" list consisting of lots of outrageous, exciting, and funny things that Roxie must complete by the end of the summer. This is all to get Roxie back to being the happy, fun, optimistic person she used to be before her life revolved around impressing people.
Once back in Michigan, Roxie moves in with her older brother, Adam and his childhood best friend, Jake. This is where things get really interesting. Roxie and Jake have history. They've known each other their entire lives and had a few run-ins *wink wink* in the past, before Roxie moved to New York.
"The Summer of Jake and Roxie - it was the best summer of my life."
I really loved the interactions between Jake and Roxie and their chemistry. But what I really loved was Jake! He was the perfect blend of tough and sweet. He's considerate and respectful, but has also had his man-whoring moments since she's known him. I loved that he was always so blatantly honest and even if it was something that could potentially be hurtful, he had the freaking best delivery ever! There is depth there and their history is weaved throughout and affects these two immensely, even more than Roxie really realizes.
"It wasn't until high school when I realized you weren't gross. You were actually kind of amazing. But at the same time, you were too important for me to lose."
Roxie took me a little time to warm up to though, well, maybe more than a little. I knew from the beginning that this was going to be a book where the character is on a path to self-discovery, so I was trying to be really patient. She just honestly rubbed me the wrong way and I never really connected. That made it hard for me to get overly invested, which is what I look for when reading. Even though she was quirky, cute, and a bit neurotic, and did make me laugh many times, she was also pretty self-absorbed and clueless at others. I did warm slightly in the end, mostly as her and Jake's relationship deepens.
I absolutely love the plot of this book! "The Good Life" list and Roxie using that to get back to being the person she once way and pushing her boundaries, was awesome! I loved watching her friendship with Jake grow and really enjoyed the steamy/romantic moments they shared. Their relationship is complicated and anything but black and white. Even though there is only one love interest in this book, it really does feel like a love triangle between Roxie, Jake, and NYC at times. I definitely enjoyed their love story. Childhood friends to lovers is one of my favorite themes and this delivered that for sure!
I would definitely recommend this to someone looking for a cute, fun, light read. I really enjoyed it! It held my attention the entire time and I felt like I breezed right through it.