This sequel to Escaping Perfect (2016) finds Cecilia battling her own selfish tendencies even as she accuses everyone else of the same.
Cecilia is mixed-race, with a black dad and a white mom, but this plays little part in the story. Her powerful U.S. senator mother has decided to run for president and needs to keep up appearances. Her mom is authoritative and manipulative, but impulsive Cecilia constantly gets herself into trouble anyway. Cecilia’s white boyfriend, Jasper, is a rising country singer who attracts female fans, triggering jealousy. She agrees to go to parties whenever one of her friends suggests it, always becoming seriously drunk and getting caught on camera doing embarrassing things. As these photos and videos inevitably make the news, Cecilia becomes famous in her own right. Nevertheless, no matter how many times she screws up, Cecilia continues to party and lash out at her friends, her mother, and Jasper, even though he remains devoted to her. Cecilia appears to be on a path to nowhere when she finally has an epiphany and thereupon becomes strong, supertalented, and instantly mature. Harrison’s plot resolution, then, simply involves changing Cecilia’s character overnight. Her historical research fails, as she appears to believe that photography was common in 1815.
Romance and fame, plus exasperating immaturity for those who like that sort of thing. (Romance. 12-18)