One year and two months after the release of The Moon and More, I finally got around to reading the latest from Sarah Dessen. I’m not sure if it was the build up of anticipation, or knowing what I was expecting from a Sarah Dessen novel, but for the first time I found myself not really caring for the novel, at all.
Emaline works at her family’s realty company. They rent out houses to those families visiting Colby. It’s the summer before she takes off for college, and after many pages of back story you find out why she isn’t really thrilled. Her mother, Emily, met this guy in Colby the summer before her senior year of high school. They were in love and promised to try and keep their relationship together even though he didn’t live in Colby. She got pregnant, and although he tried to stay in touch and support her, he lost contact. The only thing he did was have his father send her checks every month. But at ten, Emaline had to do a family tree project and wanted to know her true roots and not her ‘dad’ who adopted her when she was three. This started a chain reaction of content that mostly had to do with her studies. Her ‘father’ promised to help her with her college tuition if she got into a good school.
She did. She gets into Columbia, but due to unforeseen circumstances, her father backs out of paying, so she goes to East U instead. Her father doesn’t even attend her high school graduation and it isn’t until he comes to town with her half-brother to sell his aunt’s house, that the story is kind of revealed. Him and his wife Leah are separating. While this is going on a documentary duo come into town to do a story on a local artist – Clyde from the bike shop in Along for the Ride – and she meets Theo.
I really wished that this book had a point. Emaline was an interesting character but the people in her life were just so…I guess the word would be annoying. Emaline’s mother, and stepsisters don’t grasp the concept of personal space, especially Margo trying to make the company better all because she has a degree. Snobbish. Emaline’s boyfriend Luke is very presumptuous and I agree that he was a sex addict. Jeez. Theo is a go-getter, and I normally don’t mind that kind of attitude but he was very snobby about it. I honestly wonder what Emaline saw in him. The only true drama in this book was when Luke cheated on her and when she finally confronts her father about what really happened with the college tuition thing.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. This book lacked Dessen’s usual witty banter and intriguing characters. And while I was happy that Emaline ended up without a romantic interest, I kind of wished it was for another reason other than the boys she had her choice between weren’t total idiots.
Bookshelf worthy? I own a copy, but I kind of wished I had rented it from the library first.