YA Book Review: Effortless With You by Lizzy Charles


From Amazon:

“EFFORTLESS WITH YOU is the story of Lucy, a girl who needs an attitude adjustment, and Justin, the boy who just might give it to her.

School is out and Lucy is ready for the perfect summer: lazy days at the pool, invitations to the most exclusive parties, and romantic dates with her hot new boyfriend. That is, until she lands in trouble one too many times and her parents issue the ultimate punishment: a summer job. Suddenly, the summer can’t end fast enough.

To make matters worse, the job is painting houses with Justin, the most popular, egotistical guy in school. Spending all summer with Justin might be other girls’ dreams, but definitely not Lucy’s. After all, Justin is cocky, annoying, and a jerk. So what if he’s the most beautiful jerk Lucy’s ever seen? Or that his grin makes her forget she’s mad at the world? Or that maybe, just maybe, there’s more to Justin than everyone thinks. Only one thing is certain: it won’t be the summer she wanted, but it might be exactly the one she needs.”


I really reaaaaally loved it. I turned 21 a few days ago, and I was freaking out a little and all I wanted to do last night was read something YA. I started two books, which I couldn’t get into, and finally came upon this one. I was in one of those moods where I didn’t want to put in too much effort to get to the good part of the book. Luckily, Effortless With You was interesting from the start.

I like Lucy. As I grow older, I have a harder time connecting with a lot of the leads in YA books. A lot of what they do just seems stupid or whiney, even though I know I was both of those things. At times, Lucy is definitely stupid. And whiney. But Lucy gets it. The fights she has with her parents, the shit she takes from her best friend and from shitty guys… It feels real. So even though you kind of hate the things she does, you get it. It was actually kind of cool–the story made me remember feelings I haven’t felt since I was in high school. And Lucy’s character growth is awesome. Her story is actually empowering, no matter how old you are.

I like how this book portrayed Lucy’s relationship with her mom. I could totally understand Lucy’s frustration while seeing her mother’s point of view. I think that the way this book handled her mother’s post-partum depression did feel a little contrived. I’m no expert on depression, but something about its manifestation felt not real to me. However, that is a very small issue I had and it did not take away from the story.

The other characters in the book are also very real and very great. Justin is a cool guy. Though he’s not at all my type, I definitely saw the appeal. He’s a good guy, funny, charming and has respect for women. Alex, and even Lucy’s younger brother, Eric, were characters I enjoyed getting to know.


Charles has a fresh style of writing that really makes you feel something. The characters are awesome, and I stayed up until 3 am reading this because I couldn’t put it down.


If you liked it, try…

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. It’s definitely heavier, but the feel of the two books is similar. I loved both!

As always, let me know what you think!


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