When I was in high school, I was in the band. We had an exchange trip with a school from Massachusetts and I met a guy who I really liked. We hung out in Massachusetts and back at my school. After the exchange, we kept corresponding, but I was a flaky teen and his letters were starting to get just a little too serious. Plus he lived hours away and I was not old enough to drive. The love affair ended with summer as I just couldn't hack the long distance thing.
I have found since that if you truly love someone, you can manage. My husband was in the military and he was deployed for a year. As much as it bit the big one, we still managed to get through the year. But that is me, older and wiser, not young and flighty.
A long-distance relationship is just what Sophie Gerrard is trying to establish, though, in Please Don't Tell by Kelly Mooney. Oh, what Sophie doesn't know and I wish I could tell her.
Publication Date:February 6, 2012
Sixteen-year old, Sophie Gerrard has been in love with her close friend, Peter Watson since childhood. She planned to tell him how she felt during their families’ yearly vacation to the Caribbean. But when Peter arrives from London with a girlfriend and his cousin Ethan, her plans change.
Disgusted by how the vacation has turned out, she agrees to go island hopping with Ethan, to avoid Peter. But even that didn’t work out as planned. When their dinghy capsizes, Sophie and Ethan are forced to swim to a cliff of rocks. She never planned to share her innermost secrets with Ethan but, she really thinks this could be her last adventure ever. In the panicked hours it takes for help to arrive, Sophie tells him how much she likes her Sunday through Monday undies, that she kissed her best friend’s boyfriend, and how she’s never made it past third base.
Once saved, Sophie tries to forget about all the things she revealed. After all, it’s not like she’ll ever see Ethan again, right? But Sophie’s mom decides he should stay with them while he does his semester abroad, and by the time Sophie realizes she’s falling for him, he’s moved on to her arch-enemy. Knowing that Ethan can ruin her junior year with one slip, she becomes obsessed with one thought: Please Don’t Tell!
My first thought was that Sophie must be an idiot for holding on to the dream of a relationship that is never going to happen. She waits every year for the family vacation so she can see her crush for two weeks and then not again for another year. She's not interested in any boys back home. Well, that's not entirely true. She was dating a boy named Jason that she wasn't all that into. But she never fell for any boys back home, holding out for Peter to notice her as a woman.
When she sees Peter this vacation, though, she's in for a bit of a shock because Peter has brought his girlfriend. Sophie didn't see that one coming and she was devastated. Peter's cousin, Ethan came along for vacation this year. Ethan, who was the tormentor of Sophie's youth and someone she can't stand. However, to get away from Peter and Claire, Sophie finds herself going on an excursion to one of the other islands with Ethan. It's all fun and games until the boat sinks from a near run in with a larger boat. They have to swim ashore and wait until someone notices they're missing.
Fear can cause people to do strange things and Sophie starts blurting out to Ethan all her secrets she's never shared with anyone, but when they're finally rescued, she's mortified at what she's divulged. She decides to avoid Ethan for the remainder of the trip, which she is fairly successful at. That is until their last night on vacation when she shares a dance with Ethan. And that changes everything. She is about to get more than she bargained for, not that she was bargaining, and her worst nightmare is about to come true. Ethan is going to come stay with her family for a year as an exchange student.
Sophie doesn't want to see Ethan again. She has conflicted emotions about him. She is finding herself attracted to him, but still remembers how he tormented her when they were younger and is still mortified about her confessions to him on the island. She decides she has to keep her distance, so she starts dating Jason again just so she is unavailable. Which is kind of screwed up if you ask me. I want to avoid hunky A, so instead I will date B who is a jackass. She didn't make sense to me at first. She was crushing so hard on Peter and then turned it off so quickly and started having feelings for Ethan, but Ethan made her nervous, so she pushed him away and started dating Jason again. See? Makes no sense. But I was young once and an idiot, so I suppose in some way it does make sense.
Ethan is a troubled soul. His dad died and he took it really hard. Started living rough and recklessly. He moved back to England with his mom from Australia hoping the change of scenery would settle him down, but it wasn't until he saw Sophie again that he thought his life might be worth something. He has always had a thing for her, but he knew she had the hots for Peter, but now with Peter unavailable, he is hoping he can win her over.
He seems like the perfect guy to me. He still exhibits some self destructive behavior, but he is jealous of Jason and frustrated that Sophie is pushing him away. Still, he clings to the hope that she'll give him a chance. Will he succeed? Read and find out.