Standalone. Viking Juvenile (February 2013) Own
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?
My first Sarah Dessen book and it didn't turn out how I hoped. Emaline had everything going for her. I got this very laid back vibe from her that I liked. She felt strong like she could handle anything that came in her way. But, the obvious mistakes with a love interest left me an unpleasant feeling that ruined the whole book for me.
Emaline was so likable! Then Theo enters the mix and I couldn't get over her obliviousness to what she was doing. There were a lot of good points to this book and only one really big negative. Mainly I really liked the family dynamic especially when her half brother got into the mix. I was able to envision her family as well as grow to care about them. There was just something about the whole documentary business where she is asked to help out by Theo that annoyed me. He was so pushy and there was something up with him from the beginning. It was all too fast and Theo gave me a bad feeling. This book just didn't do it for me and I can't explain it beyond that which is frustrating but true (which is why this review is so short and uninformative. I can't describe my experience with this book correctly). I feel like other readers will enjoy this book a lot if they give it a chance. It just wasn't for me.