I love reading books, especially Young Adult books of all kinds. I have a book reviewing blog (The Reading Shelf) that I try to update whenever I'm not reading or procrastinating on the internet.
This is my third Sarah Dessen book and my second summer-themed one. While I didn’t love it as much as my first two Sarah Dessen books, it was still a nice short, fun book that I enjoyed.
The mention of friendship is what first caught my attention. Friendships can often be uneven in the young adult world, so it’s always nice to see good friendships in YA books. This friendship starts out rough, but I enjoyed getting the chance to see it grow as well as get insight to the friendship that Morgan and Isabel already had.
The next thing that caught my attention came from the summary on the copyright page, which called Colie a “former fat girl” or something along those lines. It’s not the same thing as having a plus-sized protagonist, which is almost completely unheard of in YA books, but it did provide an interesting perspective. Most skinny YA protagonists seem to be naturally thin without watching what they eat or working out – Colie, as the daughter of a fitness guru and fellow former-plus-size, often obsesses over her food, wakes up extremely early in order to run on the beach, and silently repeats the fat jokes and insults she’s received whenever she wants to stop working out. She also misses her added weight sometimes, that layer of protection that she no longer has.
Colie was a bit of a confusing character at times. She’s trying very hard to be as tough as possible with a lip ring and dyed hair, but it seems almost thrown on to her personality rather than a real part of her. Then there’s her reputation; I’ll try to be vague, but there’ll probably be some spoilers in this paragraph, so be warned. Not that she’s no longer fat, the popular crowd has switched to various forms of “slut” for insults. I was interested to see why this happened, wondering what she had done that led to her new reputation. Near the end of the book, we finally find out that she was seen with someone, assumptions were made, and the insults started poring in. It didn’t really make sense, though. There was only one incident and it didn’t seem to back up all the awful names that visiting mean girl Caroline kept throwing at her. Of course, calling anyone a “slut” or related insults is never deserved, but this really confused me.
Anothe reason this book wasn’t as great a read for me as The Truth About Forever and Lock and Key is its short length. It seemed like we didn’t get the chance to really know some of the characters. Sometimes things seemed a little more rushed than they needed to be, while we missed out on more growth and answers that could have happened in a slightly longer book.
Overall, though, this was a nice quick and enjoyable book for me. Apparently this book’s location, Colby, shows up in other Dessen books, so I’ll be interested to see if some of the characters in this book pop up again.