Hattie Ever After, I waited and waited to read this one, wanting to have it waiting for me instead of having it be finished.
I've found something interesting with Sarah Dessen's novels. I love her work - strong characters, a little romance, set at the beach usually, good conflict, everything I want in a novel. And yet, for some reason it takes me a little while to let her books sink in before I really love them. I like this one a lot, don't get me wrong, but I do not love it like I love the Truth About Forever or Just Listen my two very, very favorites of hers. I do not even love it like I love What Happened to Goodbye or Along for the Ride. And yet, I remember feeling the very same way when I first read those books.
For some reason, her books have to percolate around a little for me. I might even have to read them for a second time. In part, I'm sure it's that once I start, I am full steam ahead. In part, though, I think it's that there's so much to think about, so many layers, so much happening underneath the surface, that I can't process it all at once, and so I let it sit, and I think about it vaguely, or sometimes something happens to make me think about it wholeheartedly, and then suddenly, one day, I'm just like, that was a terrific book. It's interesting.
This story has cameos by many Sarah Dessen characters, but is focused on a new character, Emaline, who's about to go off to college, Emaline's longtime boyfriend, Luke, and a perhaps new love interest, college hipster, Theo. Emaline's (unhappily) working for the family business and her father, with whom she's had minimal contact with over the years, has just moved to town with her ten year old half brother. Over the last year, her father had gotten her all keyed up to apply for top tier colleges that he said he'd help pay for, only to suddenly change his mind and say he couldn't help her with anything and basically start ignoring her yet again. What the what? Turns out her father's in the process of divorcing his second wife. Ugh. If that weren't enough, things aren't great between her and Luke, and the very high maintenance clients in one of the rentals want her to run interference between them and a local artist. It's a little overwhelming, but if Emaline can hang on and get through it, she just might make it to the moon and more.
On sale June 4th.
Updated May 2nd HERE'S a new video just posted about Sarah and her new book :-)