Willoughs is certain of two things: he doesn’t want anyone (including the reader) to know his dorky first name, and he needs some excitement in his life. Enter Alice Atkins, the beautiful adopted daughter of a Congressman, and Willoughs falls hard. Author Angel I. Hawkins tracks their relationship in five seasons, starting the summer after Willoughs’ senior year in high school and throughout his freshman year in college, covering all the teen tropes of awkward kisses, nosy parents, clueless friends, and a huge romantic gesture gone horribly wrong.
THE POINT takes us into the mind of Willoughs, and it’s rather a strange place. We’re not quite sure what to make of the way Hawkins has written her main character, with his musings that range from the enthusiastic and sincere (“when you find that person, you fight for that person and win back that person and do whatever it takes to get that person back in your life forever”) to the startling and rather cringe-inducing (“Lucy gained a few pounds and slit her wrists. It was literally too much. And I told her that. Although really, if she lost the weight, I would have considered staying.”). It’s hard to tell if Hawkins is attempting to make her character complex and difficult to pin down, or if the writing is just periodically tone-deaf.
THE POINT is charming and funny at times, and Alice and Willough’s romance has some genuinely sweet moments, but the character that threatens their relationship is poorly drawn and not much more than a plot contrivance, leading to a fairly unsatisfying finale. Hawkins definitely has an ear, and a heart, for storytelling. Perhaps all she needs is a good editor to shape the arc of her narration and punch up some of the convoluted sentence structure and grammar. Overall, THE POINT is uneven and perplexing at times, but still an enjoyable read for lovers of teenage love stories.
A sweet, if somewhat thin, romance set against the backdrop of college life, THE POINT covers the love story of Willoughs and Alice, from “meet cute” to “ugly break-up”, and all the steps in between.
~Shari Simpson for IndieReader