Telling the story of a group of teens with a lot to hide, A North Shore Story feels a lot like Gossip Girl, without the seemingly-omniscient blogger to spoil things at the most inopportune times. Where the story struggles most is in the focus. There are a lot of characters to cover in a very short space.
It became fairly difficult to tell the characters apart or remember who had what issues. While it didn’t feel like any one issue or struggle was unrealistic, the sheer number of them was overwhelming – some characters struggled with unrequited crushes, other had to face cheating boyfriends, others worried about money troubles, others struggled with having a friend surpass them, still others dealt with unfair accusations. It just seems like a lot for a single group of friends to deal with all at once.
Any one or two of these issues could have served as an entire story, being delved into more deeply so we could truly get to know the people involved. Instead, we got a lot of “telling not showing” about how people felt, and we did not get to see many characters’ motivations.
The story has the foundation for a deeper look into the lives of teenagers. What it needs now is more character development and more focus so that it can get the readers invested.