May 15, 13
Read in June, 2012
Oh god, this book is fantastic.
I am jaded. I am completely biased because I know a boy who is Garrett Delaney down to the letter, but I think any girl or maybe even boy can relate to the all consuming ways we love. If you've ever been through a terrible break-up or been permanently friend-zoned or just know some really awful people who've done some terrible things to your heart, then you can find something in this book.
It's got a lot of the typical elements of a YA novel. The characters are a little too much of a stereotype-- the intense, smart main character who doesn't drink or party and resents the more popular crowd. The quirky and enigmatic friend with the daring fashion sense. The childhood friend turned cheerleader returns. The boy who is clueless to all your pining.
But it's different. It's so different, somehow, and that's what makes it worth it. I like this novel because it's not even about the boy-- it's about the girl getting over him. He isn't even present for most of the novel-- out of town for a summer retreat-- so it's not all about him and the gushiness that would result from his presence.
And I like this book because it deals with all kinds of relationships-- the ones that didn't work out, the ones that never got a chance to start, and the ones that are going really well! But no matter what one the characters are in, they all have their qualms and they all feel like they're doing something wrong, something Sadie acknowledges.
And best of all, Abby McDonald is a great writer and every sentiment is mind-blowing in how poetic and beautifully it's stated. Her teen dialogue can be a little forced at times, but all written conversations kind of do.
And without getting too spoiler worthy-- even though she does take the YA cop out regarding the ending, it, once again, is not the main focus of the novel. It's not a novel about the old boy. It's not a novel about the new boy. It's a novel about what it's like to be in love with someone who isn't right for you. It's an honest and authentic book about being true to yourself, no matter what your current walk of life.
It's not perfect, but it just has such authentic elements (the pretentious, teen-angst culture phenomenon was just so spot on that I couldn't help but laugh every time) that I will forgive her every inadequacy. Read it and make all your heartbroken friends read it.
This is someone doing Young Adult Fiction 100% right.