Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Length: 383 Pages
Release: June 2009
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
This was my fifth Dessen novel and probably my second favorite out of the five (behind Lock and Key). What I enjoy most about Dessen's novels is how much time you just spend in the main characters head, hearing her thoughts. Sometimes those thoughts can be frustrating, but as a person who likes to think a lot, this appeals to me. There are things I liked and disliked about this novel, so lets get into them.
Auden was a likable character, but I didn't find her brilliant. She made some stupid decisions occasionally that didn't really seem to fit her character all that well. She did grow throughout the novel and I enjoyed watching that growth, even if it was slow going at times.
The novel doesn't really pick up pace until over half way through. Even then there isn't a whole lot happening, but what was happening kept me interested. It was nice to see Auden having to question her opinions of Heidi and Maggie. She thinks they are superficial at first, but learns over time that nobody can be categorized so simply.
The thing I disliked most about this novel was Auden's parents. I just found nothing about them appealing. I know they were supposed to be self absorbed and annoying, but I was hoping for a little more growth than we got. Her mom was working on it and her dad was too, in some ways, but I was constantly frustrated by these two.
What I loved most was Eli. Out of the five Dessen novels I've read I haven't liked a guy character as much as I liked Eli. He was complicated, but caring. He wanted to help Auden experience the things she missed out on growing up and their adventures together were so much fun. Honestly, I think this novel would have been better with more of Eli.
Overall this was an enjoyable read. It wasn't as emotionally charged as some Dessen novels I've read, but in some ways that was a good thing.