The book opens by effectively dropping the reader into a well-rounded setting with enough physical and sensory details to create a realistic and well-rounded, 3D place. The characters who inhabit this space are growing into their realism in fine pace. Author has succeeded in avoiding cliché as she creates a sense of the mundane. Not everyone has to have fireworks in their relationships and their lives, and they do a pretty good job of convincing themselves that this is fine, normal, and satisfying. The reader gets a good sense that a change is coming. Great establishment of expectation as well as connection to the characters. Author writes sarcasm well, using that tool in her dialogue toolbox to create a crisp characters and differentiate characters from one another. Kayla and Russell becoming parents is a wonderful moment where author has charged with the lesson that adversity reveals characters. While the birth of a child isn’t automatically adversity, it is a challenge for such young parents. Russell steps up and impresses with his maturity and commitment. I enjoyed the author’s choice to steer far from cliché and give the reader a fresh take on the unexpected dad. Well done. Kayla’s relief is also measured without drama, to good effect. I enjoyed the author’s creativity in physical description, such as ‘almond-colored curls’ and –my favorite of the book for its freshness – ‘rusty-looking guys.’ Author has a talent for description. The author may have telegraphed Russell’s coming legal troubles, but the reader still experiences that fall in the stomach when we realize that he’s going to be far from Kayla and the baby. We mourn the influence he could have been. Relationships evolve over time, with author avoiding any rushing of relationship turns. We end with a sense of fairness with the cooking contest, a new start for Kayla, and well-developed characters who have grown slowly and naturally into their strengths. Very well done. I enjoyed the sense of movement the author kept as a feature throughout the book, and the nicely-crafted story structure.