Since her parents' bitter divorce, Mclean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move - four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, Mclean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, Mclean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself - whoever that is. Perhaps her neighbor Dave, an academic superstar trying to be just a regular guy, can help her find out.
So, it's the new Sarah Dessen. Do I need to say anything else? I mean, really? Sarah Dessen is the author who made me fall in love with YA. I love everything about her and her writing. With every word I write I think WWSDD?
While this book didn't come close to dethroning This Lullaby from my coveted Favorite Sarah Dessen Book spot, I really, really enjoyed it. It has all of the typical SD elements - family drama, an interesting setting or situation, a girl trying to find her way, a cute boy who can help her figure it all out, and an amusing cast of characters.
I loved that so much of this book took place in a restaurant. As many of you know, I currently work PT in a restaurant in addition to being a FT teacher, and I've worked in restaurants for awhile now. It was so fun to get a behind the scenes view of the restaurant setting. I know Sarah Dessen worked in a restaurant for a long time, and I have to say she is right on with restaurant life. So crazy, but so much fun.
This book didn't have as much swoon as some past Dessen books, but there is such a great family story here. There are lots of complaints about missing parents in YA books, but this book has a touching story between Mclean and both of her parents. There is also Deb, a girl Mclean meets at school, who pretty much steals the show. (She reminds me of Tracy Flick, and if that doesn't make you love her right away, I don't know what will.) And even though there aren't a ton of swoony moments, Dave, Maclean's boy next door, is totally adorable.
This latest from Sarah Dessen doesn't disappoint. It's another great story of family and self-discovery from the master of contemporary YA.