A cute story about a rich city New-Yorker girl whose family is caught in the GFC, forcing her to go ‘recessionista’ while she’s stuck in Texas for a term.

During her stay she learns to loosen up, make good friends, love her family and grow a real romance. However, there’s a lot of underage drinking (and subsequent lying to parents) that does nothing to help the story along – except that the wholesome country teaches her to leave behind “girlie drinks” and go for something more substantial. There’s also a good amount of gratuitous swearing and rough talk, and most of the character development is still quite shallow.

If you added up all the positives and negatives it may just come out ok, but it would take a mature reader to sort the good from the rubbish, and I think a mature reader’s time could be put to better use.

Clare Cannon lives in Sydney where she is editor of The Good Reading Guide and manager of Portico Books,...