This was my first Sarah Dessen and I’m so glad I started with this one because it was just wonderful.
We start with Sydney’s brother going to jail after completely falling off the rails and completely throwing everything in Sydney’s life into turmoil. Struggling with feeling like she’s the only one who feels like her brother did anything wrong Sydney starts at a new school and meets a new family who she gets closer to as she becomes further from her parents.
There wasn’t anything particularly remarkable about this book but somehow it was one of my favourite reads this year. It just left me with the warm and fuzzies. The relationships between Sydney and her new friends are adorable and it was so wonderful to see her grow as a person, out of her brother’s shadow.
Sydney’s parents are the most irritating people I’ve read in a while. Her mother seems to think it’s this horrible thing that her son has ended up in jail and he shouldn’t be there when it’s exactly where he belongs and both Sydney and her brother are tired of it. Sydney is constantly having to watch what she does and says because her mum is constantly thinking of Peyton and nothing else. It was so frustrating to read, but in a good way, I could really feel for Sydney and I felt so angry which is the kind of response I want to come out of something like this, I like connecting with a novel this way.
Dessen does a really good job of making you feel the climax as it’s building. I knew something was going to happen I knew things were tense but I didn’t know what was going to happen and I didn’t know when it was going to happen.
The love story had me absolutely reeling, I was smiling the whole time I just adored it and it’s made me want to read like 5 million love stories at once. I love contemporary romance when it’s like this, when it makes you feel things and it isn’t contrived.
I want to read more Sarah Dessen so if there’s any of her books that you’ve read and think I would enjoy feel free to recommend them to me.