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I Belong

Review: Heat of the Moment by Lauren Barnholdt

Heat of the MomentTitle: Heat of the Moment

Author: Lauren Barnholdt

Genre: YA Contemporary

Series: Moment of Truth (Book #1)

Publication Date: May 12, 2015

Format: Paperback, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062321390 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978- 0062321398 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Zed


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.

Quick & Dirty: A teenage romantic comedy; great as a light-hearted summer read.

Opening Sentence: Before graduation, I promise to…learn to trust.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

My first impression of this book was ‘oh my, I feel like I’m stuck in the mind of an immature, hormonal teenage girl!’ BUT the more the story progressed, the more likeable Lyla became and I found myself chuckling at her eccentric personality and bizarre thoughts.

Lyla is the kind of girl who plans and overthinks everything. Her thoughts are often running at a gazillion miles a second and often they digress from what she was originally thinking about. Her scattered thoughts and the fact that nothing ends up going to plan reminded me of Bridget Jones’s Diary.

“Where’s Derrick?” I demand. Crap, I really thought Beckett would still be out on the beach.
But part of you was hoping he’d be here.
Lies, lies, lies! God, my brain is a real mess today. I wonder if I’m coming down with multiple personality disorder. Like, one of my personalities is totally normal and loves Derrick and is excited about this trip. My other personality is some kind of sex-crazed maniac who can’t seem to keep her boobs inside her top and wants to kiss and cheat with every guy she sees.
Not every guy. Just Beckett.

The element of old friends and broken trust added a realistic touch to the story. I was surprised to learn that Lyla would drop her friends in an instant because she thought they broke her trust. Holding a grudge with your best friends for such a long time was really immature and I was hoping she would have gotten over it by the end of their trip (especially with the email she received from her freshman self). Speaking of the end, the last scene reminded me that this is actually a series, something I completely forgot whilst reading.

And I realize that if I really did love him, I wouldn’t have kissed someone else. Actually, that’s not true. I do love him. But just because you love someone doesn’t mean it’s going to work out. In fact, it doesn’t meant that at all. All it means is that you might have a chance. And honestly, a chance doesn’t mean that much.

I really liked Beckett. He has the whole smart but sexy bad boy thing going on, rides a motorbike and helps Lyla out in more than one sticky situation. He’s also undeterred by Lyla’s craziness and I always swoon when a bad boy becomes semi-good!

“Forget the party,” Beckett says, shaking his head. “Come hang out with me instead.”
“You have got to be kidding me,” I say. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”
“Why not?” He seems confused.
“Because,” I cross my arms over my chest and look at him. “You’re creepy.”
“I’m creepy?”
“Yes.” I tick off the reasons on my fingers. “One, you drive a motorcycle. Two, you went through my bag. And three, you have a preoccupation with my swimwear.” I take in another yoga breath. “Not to mention that talking to you is like talking to a three-year-old.”
“Yeah, well, talking to you is like talking to a forty-year-old. You need to loosen up.” But he doesn’t sound mad. Or exasperated. Or anything. He just sounds kind of…amused. And he’s looking at me with this little smirk on his face, like he has a secret about me.

Heat of the Moment was a fun read and it made me smile. Although I felt like tearing my hair out at the start, the main protagonist did end up growing on me, and I’m hoping you’ll feel the same!

Notable Scene:

After a few seconds, I say, “It didn’t mean anything.” The words are hollow, even to me. And as I’m saying them, I know they’re not true. It obviously did mean something. It meant a lot of things. It meant I was cheating on my boyfriend. It meant I was attracted to Beckett. It meant I liked him enough to kiss him, to get upset at him when he brought Katie to the club. It meant everything.

Moment of Truth Series:

1. Heat of the Moment

2. One Moment in Time

3. From this Moment (July 14, 2015)


FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Heat of the Moment. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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