Author: Sarah Dessen
Summary: 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.
Review: Dessen has a magical way of writing a true teenage girl. Every. Single. Time. And they’re always different. Emaline, the heroine of this novel, is just as authentic.
I loved the way Dessen built Emaline’s love of her small town. As a “small town girl in the middle of nowhere”, it has taken a few years and lots of nostalgia to appreciate and even love living in a small town. Seeing Emaline defend her hometown to the big “city clickers” was refreshing.
Dessen also does a great job setting up this view between the vacationers and the townies of “us” and “them”. Emaline has to decide which part of “us” and which part of “them” she wants to be part of. I also loved the tension that Dessen created between Emaline and her father.
Recommendation: READ!! Read NOW!