Emaline is a Colby girl – born and bred. It’s the summer before college and things seem to be changing more in a few months than in her whole life.
Emaline has been dating Luke since Grade nine, and he seems perfect. He’s Colby – along with her friends Daisy and Morris, her mom, grandma, (step)dad and sisters.
Theo is a summer resident – super-ambitious, and from New York, he wears designer jeans and takes life as Big Moments. Emaline’s father – who hasn’t been around most of her life – is around for the summer too. Both think Emaline should dream bigger than beach-town Colby.
It’s a summer of discovering who she is, and who she wants to be.
I normally really like Sarah Dessen, and unfortunately this book didn’t resonate with me. (Caution: some spoilers ahead).
- I liked Emaline, though I didn’t really empathize with her as much as I would have hoped. It REALLY annoyed me that she leaped so quickly from one relationship to another. It frustrated me that she seemed to be pulling away from her friends and family a bit (though I did appreciate her new relationship with Benji, her half-brother).
- I really disliked Theo – from the start and all the way through. I found him vapid, arrogant, and annoying. He seemed so full of himself and too wrapped up in Making Things Count to see what was really going on. I also felt leaving Ivy in the lurch was totally a Jerk Move.
- I liked Luke – even when he made mistakes, which confused me.
- There were a few heavy-hitting topics here: teenage pregnancy (a past issue, not a present one), parenting (in absentia), divorce. Some not-so-heavy but definitely worthy topics: the transition to college and worries about the future. Nothing quite as deep as previous novels, however.
- Since so many of her books seem to center around Summer in Colby, it was nice to get a new perspective on the town.
- My favourite part was probably having Emaline get to know her half-brother, Benji.
Maybe I didn’t enjoy it enough because I had relatively high expectations, after previous books I’ve read. Or maybe it’s because I have very little patience for protagonists who can’t seem to be single for any length of time (though admittedly Emaline did have a little bit of redemption in the end).
I’m sad that I didn’t enjoy this one as much. 3/5.