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.
Back when I was a teenager, Sarah Dessen was a stable on my bookshelves. When I saw that she had a new book AND it was a choice for March, I sprung at the opportunity to read it without even giving a glance at the synopsis. I went into this story knowing nothing more than the title, author, and cover.
That was enough, though, because I have yet to read a book by her that I disliked. This was no exception.
I love how she's able to tell a story of a teenage girl with romance in it, but the relationship between the characters are not what the story revolves around. It's really quite refreshing.
In this story, Sydney is dealing with her family's attempt to cope with her older brother's jail sentence. Because of it, her parents are not paying attention to certain aspects of her life as they should. Nor are they taking their son's transgressions seriously. So, she finds others she can confide in and basically adopts a second family.
Throughout the story she struggles to do the right thing, balancing her parents, friends, and her romantic feelings in a way that helps her stay afloat during this time.
As much as I really enjoyed this story, I felt it was holding back and it lacked a little... emotionally.
Also, this mini rant:
"knowing this was where Mac slept was both weird and thrilling. God, I was such a nerd."
All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I do recommend it, and any of Sarah Dessen's other works.