Dec 19, 09
Read in December, 2009
Another smooth, insightful book from Dessen, I liked this one because it felt like the author was branching out a little, drawing more on all kinds of aspects than focusing solely on romantic relationships.
Auden is a smart girl, a cautious girl, a girl who had to grow up fast because her brother was needy and her parents divorced. Auden's always been self-sustaining. But on a snap decision, she decides to take a leap outside her comfort zone and stay with her father and his new wife and baby for the summer.
But summer is not destined to be a sugary vacation or a whirlwind romance season for Auden. Instead, it will be an exploration of many people in her life; her feelings about her father's remarriage, her cheery but layered stepmother Heidi, her new baby half-sister Thisbe, her cool and standoffish mother, her wild brother. From Heidi's girly beach boutique and the three outgoing girls that become Auden's coworkers, to the bike shop down the street frequented by a cast of guys, Auden will reluctantly immerse herself in the town.
But there is only one way to truly enter the summer. Because Auden is an insomniac, and only at night does everything truly seem real. And only fellow night explorer Eli, a quiet and serious guy with the past haunting him, can help Auden realize the other gift the night can offer...a chance for her to relive everything she's missed.
There was a lot less focus in this book on Auden and Eli's relationship, and a lot about her motivation and personality was really explored. So were her relationships and feelings with a lot of other characters. Eli's also not the typical Dessen guy; he's calmer and more introverted than the others, although still pretty amazing. I also felt I could relate to Auden a lot, because of some personal parallels I drew between her situations and mine.
All in all, it lacked a bit of the warm, whirlwind spark that drove my favorites of Dessen's novels, "This Lullaby" and "The Truth About Forever." But its slow pace gave the book a lot of depth, and I enjoyed it.