to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here.
But I wondered, would I be able to relate to Sarah Dessen now that I am 24 years old?
In some ways, yes, I have outgrown Sarah Dessen. But in other ways, no. This book didn’t really help me decide but I enjoyed it anyway. But I wasn’t super wowed by it. I’ll explain further.
What I really liked about this book is the character growth. That is what really sucked me in. Every single character, whether it was a side character or a main one, had some sort of growth. And I love that. I hate it when characters are stagnant in a book. How can they accomplish anything if they don’t grow?
Ruby, I think, had the most amount of growth. She had been sent to live with her sister after her landlords found out that she was living alone, underage. Her flaky mother took off and left Ruby to fend for herself. Ruby had a bit of bad relationship with Cora, her sister, at first. She accused Cora of leaving her in the mess and abandoning her and her mom. But the truth slowly comes out and suddenly Ruby’s world isn’t the same. She had to learn what it meant to have a family.
The growth that Ruby had was incredible. She started out as a teenager so angry and sad for being left and completely set on being independent. Ruby’s mother instilled a lot of really bad thoughts in Ruby and it took her a long time to get over that. She viewed help as a sign of weakness and vowed to never left anybody help her. Slowly, through the help of Jamie (her brother in law), Cora, Nate, and others, she learned that help isn’t so bad and that family can mean more than one thing.
Nate was a good side character and a good love interest. I wasn’t totally wowed by him but he had charm and was good for Ruby. He made Ruby question a lot of her decisions in life and that was good for her. Nate essentially forced Ruby to rethink what it means to have friends and people that care about you. In turn, Ruby taught Nate that help is okay and it’s okay to talk about what is going on in your life.
Overall, this was a good book. I was surprised to find that I liked it as much as I did. I think the reason I didn’t love it was because I wasn’t super emotionally involved with the plot. It took me way longer than it should have to finish this book and I think it was just because I didn’t connect with the plot very well. In all honesty, there really wasn’t a plot and the plot I did find, kind of plodded along slowly. Maybe it would have helped if I didn’t read Harry Potter during this book but probably not. Overall, not a bad piece of work by Sarah Dessen.