I received this book for free from blog tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Viking Juvenile on June 4th, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: blog tours
Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.
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?
Sarah Dessen's devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.
The only reason I haven’t read a Sarah Dessen book before was because I’m not a huge contemporary fan, but once this was one of the selections for Razorbill Canada’s blog tours, I jumped at the chance. I’m glad I did. Not only did she manage to write with a passionate teen voice, but she also brought in all the problems, worries, and drama that a teen goes through in this day and age. I did have problems with the pacing and the lack of plot. But considering the summer-y beach theme of the cover, I had assumed it would include a summer fling and a transformation of sorts. Characters always change once they graduate high school and are thrust into their first year of college.
I always have trouble reading a book when I dislike the character more specifically the main character because then I stop caring about the story. This was hard to get into because I knew it was about Emaline and her summer before going to college but I felt lost just as much as she did. I felt Emaline to be a little flat and whiny in the beginning, but was luckily introduced to a much more emotional and changed character at the ending. The full cast of characters added so much more meaning to the plot and I’m glad they were all included. From Emaline’s entire family (I have a soft spot for Benji) to her best friends Daisy and Morris, each character had a little bit of a back-story that’s revealed little by little.
In the end, I was happily gobbling away the final chapter. I’m glad I read my very first Sarah Dessen book and I’m sure it won’t be my last. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of her back-list titles because she knows her teen audience and knows them well. Here’s to more SD books in my TBR list!
Love the back-story tidbits on each of the characters. Very strong!
Slow pacing, and the length was too long for me.
Very summer-y feel! Fits the setting well!
Simple story, but I was hoping for a lot more.
Overall, a cute beach read, perfect for vacation!