Genre: Young Adult
Summary (from Goodreads): Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?
Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.
The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans
Review: Sarah Dessen did a good job capturing teenage Sydney's voice in a realistic way, and the book was easy to read because of it. I liked Sydney, I liked her friends, I liked seeing her relationship develop with Mac, I liked seeing her challenges at her new high school. But I guess that was the problem - I liked a lot of things, but I didn't love anything. What bothered me most was watching Sydney's mom completely ignore Sydney while she spent all her efforts trying to reach out to Sydney's older brother in prison. I felt very sad that Sydney thought she had no one to talk to Ames' creepy behavior, and I couldn't believe that Sydney's mom would leave creepy Ames in charge of Sydney for a weekend. What kind of mom does that? But I guess this is a good book to read from the mother's perspective, to see how teenagers feel and learn what NOT to do with a teenage daughter.
Rating: 3 stars