Main Character: Emaline
Love Interest: Luke and Theo
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.
I always look forward to reading a Sarah Dessen book because let’s be real, she’s pretty awesome. I’ve always found something to love in every single one of her books and this book wasn’t any different. I really enjoyed getting to know Emaline. She wasn’t the easiest person to connect with but her issues were real and I connected with that.
When we first meet Emaline, she’s dating Luke and they seem pretty happy but when a new guy comes onto the scene, I thought that he’d be the love interest and while he was….I found myself curious over the fact that I wasn’t a huge fan of his. I never warmed up to him, the way that I usually do to Dessen boys. I liked him okay, but I didn’t fall in love with him. And there were even times when I didn’t even like him. I kept wondering what the heck Em’s problem was that she would dump Luke for…Theo.
Em’s story unfolds pretty slowly but not in a boring way. This book takes place in the summer and it’s very character driven so of course, I was a happy camper. I really liked getting to know Em and her family (even when they were freaking crazy) and I thought the whole thing with her father was interesting. And then of course, there was the drama with Luke.
There were times when Em frustrated me but Dessen did a good job of keeping my frustration at a minimum and making me understand why Em was thinking or doing the things that she was thinking. As enjoyable as this book was, it’s not a favorite of mine. That book still belongs to The Truth about Forever. But this was a solid read. One that I’m sure fans of the author will enjoy.
Grade: 3.5 out of 5