Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and - lately - concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?
Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.
The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her 12th novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.
©2015 Sarah Dessen (P)2015 Listening Library
I was unsure to start with and this was my first audio book but after the first chapter I couldn't stop listening. lovely story and brilliant characters. I did feel the ending could have been more it is a somewhat happy ending but I wanted to know what happened, did David except her apology ? that's the only reason for the Los of star. I didn't expect it to finish there. That said it is well worth the read and would highly recommend
"Not my favorite."
I have loved many books by Sarah Dessen but this one falls short. The plot is rambling and gets tedious fast. Nothing ever really happens and then it's over, tied up neatly with an unbelievable bow.
I didn't develop a sense of connection to the characters or sense their connections to one another (an area in which Dessen usually shines). Everyone gets an off book but I hope she is back on her game next time around.
The narrator didn't add anything to the story with her performance and wasn't a favorite for me either. Her delivery often contributed to the draggy feel of the story.
"Pretty good. Different from the usual."
I liked it but I wish there was less detail about her family, mainly her mom, and more about Sydney and her friends. Honestly, her mom made me so angry, am I the only one who would have fought for what I wanted? Sydney just sat back and took it. Thinking about it now, she's pretty weak. She has no backbone. She only screamed near the end of the book because she was being attacked, and she definitely made it last longer that it should have. Actually, the only reason it stopped was because her dad stepped in. Sarah is my favorite author but this isn't the best representation of what she is capable of.
It was a good book, I really like Sarah Dessen. It was similar to her other books and predictable but I enjoyed the story line and the characters.
"Not my favorite"
Not one of my favorite Sarah Dessen books. Seemed to drag on and story line not very exciting. Liked some of her earlier stuff better. This story did not have a strong theme.
The friendship between Leila and Sydney is so real and well represented that it makes the entire book so enjoyable!!
Leila is definitely my favourite character in the story. She is very loyal to the people she cares about and supportive even when people screw up, and her character development is very interesting how it shifts when she is dating Spence, and after they break up.
It was my first audio book. Totally new experience but I really enjoyed. I couldn't stop listening. plus I ride a lot of public transportation. This gave me something to do!
"Slow Start, Disappointing"
This book may be fine for teen girls, but I didn't care for it. It's not my genre.
It had a very slow start with a ton of telling back story instead of showing interesting things happening. Then the rest of the story was pretty slow too.
The love story could've been done a lot better. One of the plot lines was completely contrived and totally predictable from the beginning, uncomfortably and annoyingly so.
The ending was unfulfilling, too. It made the same mistake of telling everything instead of showing it. The author uses a lot of passive voice in key moments of action, which completely disengages the reader, killing the action. If I hadn't had to read this book for a book club, I would've stopped reading after the first page or first chapter. Very disappointed.
On the upside, her characters are well written and realistic, with good voices. Considering that, if she were to stop breaking the rules I mentioned earlier, she cold probably write some really good stories. Thus book did get better as I kept reading, and became tolerable at some point. But I wouldn't recommend this book.
"Don't Listen To The Summary"
We read mystery or fantasy to get away from the world. We read Sarah Dessen to know that someone, somewhere, sees the things we struggle with on ordinary days, to help make sense of everything going on inside. It was all good, but what knocked me in the gutt this read was the scene at the garage near the end. I've felt threatened by a man before, and the thought of someone just coming in and overpowering what makes you feel powerless is so powerful.
The central characters. I love Leila's steadfast friendship, the way she handled that seriously creepy guy. The things Mac says...; I never knew delivering pizzas could be so wonderful. Sidney is a heroine who isn't stupid or needy, but she has her flaws, just like the rest of us.
Some narrators carry the story. This story carried the narrator. I probably would have loved it if it had been read by a robotic voice, but Taylor wasn't monotone. She knew where each characters inflections belonged, and in the scenes where I was bawling shamelessly at my kitchen table, her on-point narration kept the intensity authentic and me rivetted.
I did. Started during breakfast, didn't move until I was done.
Sarah Dessen does a masterful job of bringing family, friendship, and relationship issues into a life. When I was younger, I thought her descriptions might be too much, that a story centers on plot, but I've come to realize that different descriptions speak to different people, or just to different points in life. I started reading her books in middle school, I think, and I'm still here. I hope she writes until there's nothing left. Read this book, especially if you're lonely.
"Sarah Dessen is back"
for all of you who love Sarah's writing's ( As I am obviously ) this book will satisfy you to no end .. it has great characters .. a nice atmosphere and a good perspective on family relationships .. I liked the story so much and I enjoyed every minute of it :D
Sarah Dessen proves her genius in this book, it's expertly written and well narrated by Taylor Meskimen. The relatable and realistic characters reel you in and the beautiful motifs + metaphors leave you smiling. Go buy it, now preferably :)
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