**Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.**
Summary by Goodreads:
A funny, uplifting debut about running, romance—and dealing with college rejection and other hurdles
On New Year’s Day, Alice Davis goes for a run. Her first ever. It’s painful and embarrassing, but so was getting denied by the only college she cares about. Alice knows she has to stop sitting around and complaining to her best friend, Jenni, and her pet rat, Walter, about what a loser she is. But what doesn’t know is that by taking those first steps out the door, she is setting off down a road filled with new challenges—including vicious side stitches, chafing in unmentionable places, and race-paced first love—and strengthening herself to endure when the going suddenly gets tougher than she ever imagined.
I chose this ARC with the hopes that I could share this with our high school seniors who are struggling with what they want to do after graduation. Alice was not a character that was easy to fall in love with. While I understand her life was turned upside after she was rejected from Yale (the only school she wanted to attend), Alice annoyed me with her arrogance, her self centeredness, and her ability to whine about everything happening to her in her pampered lifestyle. She felt she deserved whatever she wanted, even if she didn’t do anything to actually deserve it. I also found Alice’s love of her pet rat (yes, rat!), Walter, to be a bit on the weird side.
In her attempt to bounce back from her rejection to Yale, Alice picks up running. I connected right away to this desire to try something new. As a new runner myself, her struggles were the same struggles I face as I continue to push myself. I appreciated her determination to focus on running as a way to work through rejection and figure out what she wants to do after graduation.
While Alice was not lovable throughout most of the story, both Jenni (her best friend) and Joan (the owner of a running store), were my favorite characters. They were both so patient with her and (I am not sure I would have put up with her behavior.) helped her grow as a person and realize that there is more to her life than Yale.
I did end up liking this story. It really is about learning to love yourself and figuring out what makes you happy in life.