Reading Level: Young Adult
Romantic Times (RT) Reviewers' Choice Award for Urban Fantasy (2004), South Carolina Book Award for Young Adult Book Award (2007), ALA Teens' Top Ten (2005), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2006)
Plot Summary: Macy's brainiac boyfriend goes away for the summer, leaving her with an unpleasant library job and a stressed out, emotionally distant mother. Macy (and her mother) is still recovering from her father's sudden death a year and a half earlier, but has perfected a pretense of "fine just fine." When she impulsively takes a job with a chaotic catering company, things start to change and "fine just fine" might not be enough anymore.
Red Flags: Language (mostly PG-13), some teenage drinking, parental death/grief issues, liberal breaking of the third Commandment
My Rating: A-
I was excited to read this book and sad when it was over. Like Just Listen, it balanced teen angst with real themes and good writing. It has the perfect kind of romantic teen angst that makes me giggly but doesn't make me cringe at the same time. The characters were a nice mix and were true to life as well. And of COURSE I liked the brooding dreamboat guy. Sarah Dessen knows my type--sneaky authors.
Also like with Just Listen, I wish she would dial back the language, just a touch. I know, I know--that's how teenagers talk blah blah blah. But that's not how ALL teenagers talk. Just sayin'.
I don't really have anything more insightful to say. I liked it, I liked reading it and I'll probably read more of her books in the future. Sometimes realistic fiction seems anything but, which just annoys me, but this book hit a sweet spot of drama, relatable characters and actual insight.
"...it was okay to not fit in everywhere, as long as you did somewhere."--ch. 9