Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.
Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?
Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?" - Goodreads
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Page Count: 435
Would Appeal To: Anyone looking for a light summer read
"'I'm sorry, Emaline. I just...education is a big deal in my family. It arouses passions.'"
"'Emaline, I'll tell you this: Life is long. Just because you don't get your chance right when you want or expect it doesn't mean it won't come. Fate doesn't punch a time clock or consult a schedule.'"
"'But know this, Emaline. The mistakes you make now count. Not for everything, and not forever. But they do matter, and they shape you.'"
Looking at my favorite quotes, it seems like Emaline was getting lectured. A lot. That's partly true.
So my first reaction upon buying this book: YESSSSS, another Sarah Dessen book!
My reaction after I finished: Crap. Why did I just read that whole thing? :(
I am the biggest fan of Sarah Dessen; however, her last two books have fallen short of the I love you forever and ever because you're brilliant bar. If I was a younger reader, maybe I'd have enjoyed this one more. I felt like even though stuff happened, it was a whole lot of stuff I didn't care about. The ending made it bearable, but who wants to wait until the ending to get the good from a book?
I actually put this book down halfway through and read an entire other novel before picking it back up.
What I liked: You have the classic mentioning of characters from previous books. The quaint beach town of Colby. Emaline's name. Benji, Emaline's long lost brother, who's a ball of energy and just wants to be a kid. The fun friend relationship between Daisy and Emaline that doesn't try too hard.
I liked the personality of Emaline's mom because she said things that I wouldn't typically associate with a mom. And I kind of like that Theo was unconventional for a love interest, especially wearing "girl jeans," as that is kind of the style in certain groups.
What I disliked: Theo was annoying. Ivy was entitled. The preachy/moral/lesson type endings of just about every other chapter. Usually Dessen achieves great "Got it!" moments without being obvious. My biggest there was nothing extraordinary about Emaline. Emaline's working at her family's realty business. She's a local who caters to tourists. Same boyfriend throughout high school. One controlling older sister, a grandma who has a penchant for Rolos, and another older sister who changes her hair color almost daily. A dad who adopted her when she was very small and a father, a tourist himself, who wants little to do with her. It's the summer before college. For some reason she falls for Theo. They seem to have little attraction other than the fact that he's different from anything she's known. But they have hardly anything in common and in her head she seems to roll her eyes a lot at what he says and does. The rest of the story is about changes. Mending relationships.
Yes, some people's real lives are boring, but that doesn't mean I want to read about them.
This Lullaby- funny, sassy main character. The Truth About Forever- inspiring, adorable love interest. Almost every other Dessen book- great writing, fun characters, even a twist here or there.
Warning: If you are looking for a heavy romance, this isn't your book. If you've never read a Dessen book before and you start with this one, you might really like it because you haven't experienced how awesome her other stories are.
Sorry to say that Dessen is no longer one of my favorite authors after two in a row that have been bland. That's not to say I'll never pick her up again, but I felt like she was coasting on her reputation while writing this book. It lacked spark and complete uniqueness. Although I did appreciate the realism of one relationship that didn't end with a happily every after, this book didn't measure up to her past works. I wanted so badly to like it...
I really did.