Sorry to say, this was not my favorite Dessen novel. She returns to the beach town of Colby that shows up in a couple of other books, this time focusing on a year round resident, Emaline, whose family owns a realty company. It takes place during the summer between high school graduation and the fall and definitely has an older YA feel to the book (I guess her other books are older YA, too, but somehow this seemed more so-she works a lot, sex with boyfriend is just a given, she’s very independent, almost seems in her 20s already.)
I found this a bit long and not especially compelling. In fact, I stopped reading it right in the middle to read a couple of other books. I think I just didn’t care that much about the dramatic conflict. Emaline has a birth father who was a summer boy that her mom got knocked up by when she was a teenager. He’s not really a part of her life, but apparently during her senior year of high school he was determined to help her work to get accepted to Columbia University and said he’s pay for it. Emaline got in, but then he said he couldn’t help her out. And that’s the big crisis that hangs over head, affecting her interactions with her when he comes to Colby for the summer, and basically wrecking everything for her. The better parts of the story were Emaline getting to know her half brother that summer and the crazy documentary being made about a local who, it turns out, is famous in the art world. That was interesting, but really just the backstory to Emaline getting to meet Theo, who’s clearly an ass and not right for her.
Hmm…the more I write about this the more I think I didn’t like it. I did give it 3 stars, though. It wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t very very good and I just didn’t care very much about any of the characters or their angst.