Yay, another Sarah Dessen book!
This story takes place in Dessen’s beach town called Colby. The novel is centered around the main character, Emaline’s, last summer at home before leaving for college. Emaline has been dating Luke since her freshmen year in high school, but when out-of-towner, Theo, comes he mixes things up.
Now, that was the best synopsis I could give without giving too much away. It makes the story sound so fluffy and typical when it really isn’t at all. There is so much more to it. But that is the core of the story.
On the side lines, Emaline is dealing with her father. Emaline has a father and a dad. Her mom and her father got pregnant as teenagers, and her father was out of the picture for most of her life. When Emaline was young, her mom remarried, and her mom’s new husband became her dad. (That was a kind of complicated intro) Anyway, her father comes into her life, and he ends up coming to Colby for the summer with his son Benji (his scenes are my favorite part). Things start to happen since Emaline’s father has entered her life.
There is definitely more to the story, but it’s hard to say without giving too much away.
I love Sarah Dessen because her novels are always so well-rounded. While there are always boys and relationships in her novels, the novel is never completely centered around the boy. There is always other stuff going on in the girl’s life. I hate how in other teen novels it makes it seem like the guy in the girl’s life is the only thing in her life because that’s so unrealistic.
I also love her novels because her supporting characters have a lot of personality. They are definitely not flat, and they are memorable and real.
One of my favorite parts of Sarah Dessen’s books is that each of the story’s happen in the same suburban or beach town that she makes up, and character’s from previous novels show up in other novels. It makes everything seem more real. It’s as if the characters truly do continue living after the end of a story.
I have mixed feelings on this novel, which makes me kind of sad. I love how Emaline didn’t end up with anyone in the end. It’s so realistic and neither of the guys in the books were exactly ideal for her. Also, I’m not sure I was convinced that she ever even liked Theo. I feel like she was constantly mocking the way he dressed or the way he went about life with his “Best” whatevers. I know that you weren’t supposed to like him in the end. But I never liked him to start with, and I don’t feel like Emaline did either. I really did like Luke a lot though. I feel like the old love and friendship they had really showed through. I liked the way she laid out their relationship.
It definitely doesn’t top my favorite novel of hers (The Truth About Forever), but it’s an excellent beach read.