I haven’t read a lot of Sarah Dessen books and this one has been on my to read list for a while so I dove in and let me say… I really really enjoyed it!
I think what I really gathered from reading this book, my second Dessen novel, is that Dessen can give you a book that has a plot and theme that might sound like a million other stories, but make it a compelling story and provide you with some great characters.
Macy has nothing to look forward to this summer… her boyfriend, Jason, is going to be away at ‘brain camp’ and she’ll be getting ready for her senior year by studying for SAT’s and taking over at the library information desk for Jason.
Macy, for the last year and a half has been struggling with the overwhelming grief for the loss of her father. And in an effort to make things as easy as possible at home strives for perfection at both school and home. Her mother is overwhelmed and stressed with taking over the family business and is oblivious to what is really going on in Macy’s world.
When the unexpected happens a few week after Jason leaves, Macy throws herself into a fun new job working for a catering company. It’s here where she meets the people who will turn her summer around. From Kristy and Bert to Monica and Delia they all help her realize that perfection isn’t necessary.
You have to have a little bit of disorganization now and then. Otherwise, you’ll never really enjoy it when things go right.
BUT… I didn’t mention Wes yet. Wes is the resident misunderstood, bad boy type… who also works at the catering company, and he and Macy end up bonding over shared history as well as a game of Truth. I really loved the evolution of their friendship… being able to see it grow into something more and the way he was there for her to lean on when she needed was wonderful.
I will say that the reason I gave it 4.5 instead of 5 is because I wanted more more more …. I think I went in expecting a bit more romance and swoon between the two. Don’t get me wrong there are quite a few moments between them, but not the stuff I really wanted LOL.
What I enjoyed most about this story was that it wasn’t over done if that makes sense. Often times I notice when authors are really trying to get you to feel the sadness they lay the drama on thick, but Dessen doesn’t do that here, and still she managed to make me feel what Macy was… the heartbreak, the awkwardness, the sadness, the loneliness and yes… the happiness. It was all there for me.
Ultimately this book is about grief and how everyone deals with it, but there are also some smaller lessons here too… learning to trust people and stepping outside your comfort zone to get to know yourself. If you’re a fan of contemporary YA definitely check out The Truth About Forever. I think it’s made it’s way onto my favorites list!