Author: Kristin Rockaway
Narrator: Taylor Meskimen
Audiobook Length: 6 hours 56 minutes
Spring break . . . heartache?
For coder extraordinaire Ashley, high school is all about prepping for college. Her love life? Virtually nonexistent. She’s never been on a date. Never been kissed. Never been in love.
When her plans veer off course, Ashley realizes she might be missing out on her high school experience. Now that spring break is finally here, Ashley vows to have fun . . . and, for the first time, follow her heart.
Starting with Walker Beech, her gorgeous, maybe-not-so-unrequited crush. But with Jason Eisler–her childhood friend turned prankster–in the picture, trouble is bound to follow. Will Ashley’s epic spring break lead her to love, or will her heart crash and burn?
I saw this My Epic Spring Break(up) going around online for a while and could not wait to try it. As a female in STEM, I was extremely excited to read about a younger girl who is interested in coding and wants to make it her eventual career. I would have loved this book even more when I was younger as it gave a new light to computer science. I especially would love to learn to code the light up sweatshirt that responds to music! On top of being interested in science, she is a regular high school student dealing with family drama, figuring out her future, and boy issues. It is a very relatable coming of age story and a nice easy light-hearted novel.
Ashley is a 16-year-old high school student in Brooklyn, New York. She is gearing up for her two week long Spring Break. First things first, I was automatically jealous of her character as I only got a one week Spring Break at 16, so I would have loved an extra week. She applied for an internship at Zig Zag (the book’s version of Tik Tok) in Silicon Valley where she believes she’s a perfect fit for coding. She also is excited to participate in the Hackathon, which is a team coding competition. There were two questions I automatically had difficulty relating to with her decision to apply for Zig Zag. The first is the reasoning for her decision to apply for an internship on the opposite coast. Silicon Valley may have a ton of tech companies, but she is in New York, which has tons of local tech companies (both large and small). The second is the reasoning why she only applied to one. Even when I was sure I would get into a program/school/etc., I still applied to tons of others as potential back-ups. Unfortunately, this distracted me for a brief period, as I could not wrap my head around this concept.
The romance aspect of the story has two love interests for Ashley. The first is her crush, Walker, who is the bad boy. On the other hand is her friend and the school prankster, Jason. For both choices, I felt that the novel does not give the reader enough time to get to know either choice aside from surface level characteristics. There seemed to be a lot lurking underneath the known elements of Walker, but the reader, and Ashley, does not actually get to know this side. It was the same for Jason. As Ashley’s friend, the reader interacts more with him, but there was not a lot of depth for why he would make the best choice for her, again, aside from the basics.
I loved the coding aspect of the novel. I love that she loved to code, so I wish the novel went into more of this part of the story. Coding is just one part of the larger computer science field, which includes parts like databases and statistics. Again, I am not sure why this character tried exclusively for Zig Zag, which I am assuming involves coding, but I also assume would involve other fields, which she does not have experience. I am on the database side for my own job, where I have the same engineer classification as a coder, so it could be my own experience and the story’s intention (author’s experience) that does not align. This whole part of my opinion for the story did not affect my enjoyment as my curiosity just got the best of me.
The focus of the novel is on Ashley’s romance and a brief exploration of her family life. She has a rocky relationship with her father, as he is not always there for her. I wish this part were also explored a little more. I loved Jason’s mischievous pranks that he did, as they were nice harmless fun rather than being mean. Ashley is a huge Taylor Swift fan and I loved that she was unapologetic about it. This was very refreshing as she was not ashamed to be obsessed with the music and artist. While I am not a huge Taylor Swift fan, I could definitely relate to being similar about other artists when I was 16. Throughout the novel, Ashley makes many mistakes and her bad decisions were very relatable. Almost everyone has made some questionable choices to try to connect with potential friends or love interests, and I liked how she was not perfect. It was very relatable and well done. Overall, this book was a fun and quick read and I just wanted more as there were a lot of potential for subjects to be further explored.