So I’ve read all of Sarah Dessen’s books, and for the most part liked them all, but this book was . . . I don’t know . . . a little lagging.
By the time I finished it, I felt like I didn’t know some of the side characters very well, even when they played an important part in the end. And Luke . . . I still don’t know how I feel about him. Throughout the book all we really hear about is Emaline, her work, and the documentary about a local artist. But there could have been so much more background about the local artist and what was going on with Luke and his other relationship (if it even existed) that we never get. It’s not a bad book at all, just one that I feel could have been different.
And I think Dessen’s writing is interesting. If you read her books too quickly, you would simply think that it was about an average girl moaning about going off to college and leaving everything familiar behind . . . blah blah blah! But then, if you’re paying attention, Dessen drops something on you that makes you pause. The fact or opinion she gives makes you think. It’s not something that you read, think about for a millisecond, nod to yourself in agreement, and read on. It’s almost an introduction to a topic you really don’t want to think about, but are forced to. In a good way.
That was what I did like about the book. Now the dislike. (Read: This next part has some major spoilers. Just a warning)
First off: what happened to Luke?! I thought he was going to pop up again after the breakup, and he does for, like, a second with his (maybe) girlfriend. And then I’m thinking, “Okay, so they might get back together.” But nope! I am still confused about his and Emaline’s relationship by the end. He cheated on her, and then she kisses Theo, and then he wants to get back together but she doesn’t, and then they’re buddies all of a sudden??! WHAT IS THIS??!!
Oh, and then there’s Theo. WHERE DID THAT RELATIONSHIP COME FROM???!!! (Yes, that did qualify for all caps and multiple exclamation and question marks). I got that he liked Emaline, but he kisses her, finds out that she broke up with her long time boyfriend THAT MORNING, and seems to decide that this means they are dating . . . I don’t understand. That relationship just came out of nowhere.
This was how I felt about that relationship.